About the Co-Lab

Rather than a center, we embrace a “collaborative laboratory” model, foregrounding the dynamism and future orientation of our work and goals.

Student speaks into a microphoneOur Model: The Collaborative Laboratory

The Co-Lab at RWU brings together scholars, students, and members of the larger community committed to engaged learning and scholarship in the arts and humanities with a justice and equity lens. The Co-Lab at RWU fosters interdisciplinary connections among faculty and informs their research, scholarship, creative work, and teaching. The Co-Lab at RWU stages opportunities for students and scholars to learn from our community partners about their histories, heritage, and cultures. The Co-Lab at RWU brokers relationships among students, faculty, and members of the community and enables historically-informed engagement on social problems. The Co-Lab at RWU prepares future generations of professionals to enter into the world equipped with cultural humility and the capacity to engage equitably and justly with others. The Co-Lab at WU develops new methods and models for doing this kind of work across disciplines. The Co-Lab at RWU democratizes methods, empowering and supporting community members who seek to tell their own stories in ways that are meaningful to them and to all of us.

“Collaborative” describes the central role that our engagement and community partnerships have in our work, as well as our focus on interdisciplinary collaboration. This model also signals our commitment to connecting this effort to the One RWU plan, collaborating across the Providence, Bristol, and Law School campuses.

“Laboratory” denotes a space of practice, application, curriculum, and scholarship based on values of innovation and experimentation. Much more than a physical space for study or research, the collaborative laboratory also seeks to open up and occupy public space for dialogue, engagement, and inquiry.

Student paints a wall

Our Methods and Values

The Co-Lab at RWU is committed to impactful work that supports community leadership, benefits communities, and minimizes unintended bias and unequal power dynamics.[1]

Involvement: Community is meaningfully present at all levels of program and project development, implementation, and distribution or use.

Transparency: Information on methods, costs, benefits, risks, uses, and audiences for the work of The Co-Lab at RWU is shared with our partners.

Validity: We acknowledge and recognize our community partners as valid experts and collaborators in our work.

Ownership: We support community ownership of the work and results of Co-Lab programs and projects.

Value: To support equity, we engage in assessments of value for all of our projects. We investigate and analyze questions of what, for whom, and at what cost.

Accountability: The Co-Lab at RWU pledges accountability for programs that unintentionally cause harm and commits to processes of reconciliation and reparation should this occur.

Authorship: The work of The Co-Lab at RWU is collaborative and therefore the work of many authors and contributors. We acknowledge and recognize our community partners as co-creators and co-authors.

Our Leadership

Elaine Stiles

Elaine Stiles
Faculty Director
Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation

Jason Jacobs

Jason Jacobs
Associate Professor of English

Interim Advisory Board 

Laura D'Amore

Laura D’Amore
Associate Professor of Cultural Studies

Nicole Dyszlewski

Nicole Dyszlewski
Director of Special Programs, RWU School of Law

Brian Hendrickson

Brian Hendrickson
Assistant Professor of Writing Studies, Rhetoric, and Composition

Haley Lott

Haley Lott 
Collections Strategies Librarian

Bernardo Motta
Assistant Professor of Journalism

Anne Proctor
Associate Dean, Feinstein School of Humanities, Arts, and Education
Associate Professor of Art and Architectural History

Cynthia Scheinberg

Cynthia Scheinberg
Professor of English Literature