Center-Sponsored Projects

Diversifying the Classics

The project encompasses five initiatives: L.A. Escena Performance Series, Hispanic classical theater and adaptations for L.A. audiences; Library of Translated Hispanic Classical Plays, a digital resource for theater practitioners; Classic Comedia, a bilingual digital and print anthology of monologues for actors; Classics in the Classroom, a program to introduce Hispanic classical theater to students via adaptations, the compilation of supporting materials, and connections with K–12 arts educators; and a future Performance Studies Database, listing scholars in the field prepared to guide theater professionals approaching new and underrepresented texts.

Making Green Worlds: Early Modern Art and Ecologies of Globalization

Making Green Worlds contributes to current debates about climate change that are at the forefront of public and academic discourse by re-assessing the intersection of global mobility, environmental change, and artistic invention before the advent of the modern era. Historical narratives of early globalization (c. 1492-1700) and its impact on artistic production need revision to consider the complex and multi-faceted effects of colonial violence and environmental degradation. Making Green Worlds takes up this challenge by addressing urgent questions raised by ecocritical studies, decolonial approaches, and growing interest in “green worlds,” a concept expanded from literary studies. Green worlds are fabricated by artists, poets, and playwrights who created illusory visions of the natural world; they are also shaped by practices like garden design, agriculture, town planning, and land reclamation. These human-made environments are conceived as second worlds, controlled spaces that vie with nature itself in fashioning an artfully designed setting. Such spaces advance new understandings of the world as human-made. Creative processes of engagement with the earth foreground the critical, technological, and imaginative elements of world-making processes. A central question is how the making of green worlds operated in tandem with a significant escalation in environmental devastation unleashed by global mobility and the brutal exploitation of people and natural resources worldwide. This dynamic tension between the creation and destruction of green worlds is at the core of the research agenda.

Making Green Worlds is necessarily a collaborative research initiative; it fosters relationships with institutions in Canada, the USA, and Europe in order to generate interdisciplinary conversations with researchers and activists across and beyond the university. Developing a collaborative model of graduate and faculty research in the humanities is central to our approach.

Bronwen Wilson, Art History, University of California, Los Angeles (
Angela Vanhaelen, Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University (