Professor, American Culture
Professor, English Professor, School of Art and Design
Director, Imagining America

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Contact Information:
Major Projects:
  • In 2007, with two collaborating organizations in Johannesburg and with students and colleagues from U-M, she co-founded the Isithunzi Writing Workshop: Writing with Artists. The workshop focuses on the artist statement, a genre that is both personal and instrumental. With Mark Creekmore of U-M, Ellison is analyzing audiotaped interviews, digital images of writing notebooks, participants’ art works, and other materials. A multidisciplinary approach will allow the team to look at structuring figurations and themes, the dynamics of a multilingual writing community, representations of the writing process, and the relationship between the visual and the text.
  • Etablished collaboration between Imagining America and SA universities and institutions beginning with a visit to South Africa in 2003.
  • Workers in Cooperatives, South Africa (WiCSA) with Mark Creekmore, Jane Hassinger, Kim Berman (University of Johannesburg), and 2005 Moody Fellows David Tshabalala and Jeannot Ladeira. A collaboration with the Artist Proof Studio and University of Johannesburg on a community-based research project with Phumani Paper (2005-06, Ford SA, NCID, GIEU).
  • "New Partners/New Knowledge: Sustaining Learners and Social Change through PAR." A panel with Mark Creekmore, Jane Hassinger and South Africans Christian Ra Hlasane (Artist Proof Studio), Marie Strom (Institute for Democracy in South Africa - IDASA) and Kim Berman (University of Johannesburg). Presented at the South African Association for Research and Development in Higher Education (SAARDHE) International Conference in Pretoria.
  • Ellison was the founding director (now Director Emerita) of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, a national consortium of 75 colleges and universities. With Timothy K. Eatman, she co-authored the 2008 Imagining America report, Scholarship in Public: Knowledge Creation and Tenure Policy in the Engaged University.
  • Ellison has also worked with partners from the Sweetland Writing Center to forge connections with four South African university writing centres.
  • South Africa
  • School of Art and Design
  • American Culture
  • English