Discovery Themes


Drs. Yana Hashamova and Jennifer Suchland are both heavily involved in two important Discovery Themes initiatives and projects.

Migrants and Movers: Humanities & Arts Perspectives on Global Mobility

Dr. Yana Hashamova, Team Leader (Slavic); Dr. Vera Brunner-Sung (Theatre); Dr. Jeffrey Cohen (Anthropology); Dr. Theodora Dragostinova (History); and Dr. Robin Judd (History)

Global mobility is one of the defining issues of the 21st century. What does it mean to leave home? How do cultures and societies receive newcomers? We address the study of migration to investigate how local cultural factors and decision-making inform global dynamics. Our proposal integrates the insights of the humanities (history, literary and film/media studies) and arts (moving image production) with the social sciences (anthropology) to facilitate a conversation on how to advance the study of global mobility at the largest public institution in the United States. We will foster the exchange of ideas on campus, engage students in and outside the classroom, and forge connections with the wider community in Columbus and beyond. Our short-term goal for the initial two-year funding period is to create a space for conversation, while also working on the long-term (5–10 years) vision and impact of the project, which is to lay the groundwork for creating a permanent program or center on global mobility at The Ohio State University. We envision it as an interdisciplinary research and training program with research, creative, instructional, and public outreach missions.

The Global Mobility Project Website

Human Rights in Transit

Dr. Jennifer Suchland, Project Coordinator (Slavic); Dr. Simone Drake (African-American and African Studies), Dr. Wendy Hesford (English), Dr. Amy Shuman (English), and Dr. Maurice Stevens (Comparative Studies)

We received funding to pilot a Human Rights in Transit research hub.  The hub will capture and cultivate the many faculty and students in the arts, humanities, social sciences, public health, environmental studies, law, policy and other areas already engaged in questions tied to human rights and the human.  Human Rights in Transit (HRIT) is a focused yet fluid motif, as it grapples with the fact that what the human is, what human rights are, who can claim human rights and the meaning and significance of human rights are in transit. 

The first two years of the pilot project will emphasize the idea that human rights claims are in transit.  Specifically, contemporary claims to human rights are engaging and redefining our understandings of slavery.  From the global movement to recognize human trafficking as “modern day slavery,” to social justice campaigns to recognize mass incarceration as a consequence (and reincarnation) of slavery, current claims for human rights are newly emerging and transforming. Additional faculty from across the campus will engage the hub as well and we look forward to activating intellectual connections through the HRIT hub.

Human Rights in Transit Project Website