3 ASU female leaders selected for 'Phoenix Herstories' to celebrate 19th Amendment

July 9, 2020

Mi-Ai Parrish, the Sue Clark-Johnson Professor in Media Innovation and Leadership at the Cronkite School and former publisher of the Arizona Republic, is among three Arizona State University women selected to participate in “Phoenix Herstories,” a photography and video project that commemorates the ratification of the 19th Amendment by honoring prominent female leaders in Phoenix.

In addition to Parrish, Kimberly Scott, professor and founding executive director of the Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology, and Kenja Hassan, director of cultural relations with the Office of Government and Community Engagement, were chosen for the project. Mi-Ai Parrish Mi-Ai Parrish Download Full Image

“Phoenix Herstories,” a creation of the Celebration Taskforce — a citizen’s commission made up of the city of Phoenix’s Women’s Commission, Arts Commission and Community Champions — is part of the 2020 centennial celebration of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote. Phoenix will host the celebration on Aug. 18, the amendment’s anniversary.

“My grandmothers were born without the right to vote. My mother immigrated from a country where she did not have this right that is foundational to a democracy,” Parrish said. “I stand on the shoulders of thousands of women, across generations, who fought for this for all of us. I am so humbled and honored to be part of this commemoration and help represent those heroines.”

The photography project will culminate in an exhibit showcased in the Phoenix City Hall atrium on the anniversary of the amendment before traveling to various locations and community events during the remainder of 2020.

The exhibit and the video testimonials also will be housed on a website that will include women describing their voting experiences, a link to the history of the 19th Amendment, a listing of future events focused on the 19th Amendment, and some curricular guides for teachers and students that not only highlight historical aspects, but connect the history to today’s female leaders and how they choose to engage in their community.

“I am proud to be part of this recognition because I am proud of Arizona for becoming a state with women’s right to vote already in place,” Hassan said. “Arizona’s Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) is another point of pride. By being on the PEVL, I haven’t missed a single election. I honor the people who sacrificed in the past and the people who work hard today to make sure we can all participate in electing our leaders. Voting is a privilege and a responsibility.”

For Scott, the project’s mission aligns with the Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology’s goal of providing more education opportunities for girls.

“Our nation is suffering from two pandemics: one health and the other cultural. More than ever before, all individuals who can vote must do so. Since women make up the majority of our nation's population, we must use our political agency. More importantly, we must ensure girls in our K–12 public schools, the majority of whom are girls of color, receive informed and intentional civic education,” she said.

Jamar Younger

Associate Editor, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

ASU professor advances research on water, contemporary Italian poetry

July 9, 2020

Serena Ferrando, assistant professor of environmental humanities and Italian at Arizona State University, is the discretionary funding winner from The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' 2019–20 New Assistant Professor Workshop Series drawing and will be using the funds to advance her research on the intersection of water and literature. 

Her book in progress is titled "City of Water: The Poetic Geography of Modern Milan" and offers a novel and original ecocritical-cultural narrative of the relationship between poetry and nature in the city of Milan, Italy, and three Milanese poets. Ferrando’s work shows how during the 1920s and 1930s, Milan’s embrace of progress and modernity culminated in the controversial covering of the "navigli" (canals) to create roads and how, concurrently, a strong sense of nostalgia for the now-disappeared water emerged among the citizens. Download Full Image

Ferrando’s research on water and contemporary Italian poetry has birthed the Navigli Project (Instagram), an eco-digital interactive map of Milan’s waterways. She also studies environmental and experimental noisescapes and curates "Noisemakers!," a multimedia project that utilizes sound mapping to create a multisensory experience of the territory that is shared by a community. Her publications span from Italian literature to ecocriticism to digital humanities.

Students can enroll in her course, “City of Water: Uncovering Milan’s Aquatic Geographies” (ITA494/SLC494/CDH594), where they will explore the cultural history of water in Milan, Italy’s self-described “city of water,” in a multimedia environment that fosters an atmosphere of creative collaboration and encourages creative design. Students will generate searchable, annotated, thick maps of Milan and disseminate them outside the classroom and will also have the opportunity to see their work featured on the Navigli Project. The course will include a guest lecture by a renowned Milanese illustrator and two Milan-based film directors.

Taylor DiGiro

Communications and Marketing Intern, School of International Letters and Cultures