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Syracuse University College of Law Researchers Awarded CUSE Grants

Posted on Tuesday 7/30/2019
Syracuse University

The effectiveness of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and other human rights treaties, the role of disability art in international relations, and exploring best practices for utilizing restorative practices in cases of elder abuse are the topics of Syracuse University College of Law research projects funded by the 2019 Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excellence (CUSE) Grant Program. 

The purpose of the intramural CUSE Grant Program is to enhance interdisciplinary collaborations, to grow the research enterprise, and elevate scholarship at Syracuse University in order to attract extramural funding and facilitate high-quality scholarly output. CUSE Grants encourage faculty to build teams across campus and produce preliminary data that will help their efforts to obtain outside funding for basic, translational, and applied research, thereby increasing the recognition of the awardees, their programs, and the University.

"These CUSE grant awards will help to amplify the College of Law's strengths in disability law and policy, international law, and aging studies, " says Professor Lauryn Gouldin, Associate Dean for Faculty Research. "I am particularly pleased and excited that all three projects will invite world-class researchers and practitioners to the University and College. I congratulate the Principal Investigators and their colleagues on their awards."

2019 College of Law CUSE Grant Projects

Syracuse University Seminar on the Effectiveness of Human Rights Treaties

Principal Investigator: Professor Arlene Kanter, College of Law

Other College of Law Collaborators: Professor Cora True-Frost and Associate Teaching Professor Corri Zoli, College of Law

The Seminar on the Effectiveness of Human Rights Treaties will gather experts in different disciplines from within SU and around the world to develop new methodologies and indicators for assessing the effectiveness of human rights treaties. During the first two years, the group will focus on the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, adopted by the United Nations in 2006.

Specific objectives of the seminar are to develop a shared knowledge base of theories, methodologies, indicators, and practices that currently inform assessments of the effectiveness of human rights treaties; to bring together University faculty, staff, and students who research human rights enforcement, implementation, and monitoring; to invite to campus a select group of world-renowned scholars and practitioners; and to prepare a book proposal based on the new methodologies, indicators, and theories developed during the seminar. 

The project aims to leverage the results of the initial CUSE grant for external funding and to continue the seminar in order to advance innovative methodologies regarding the effectiveness of human rights treaties, which may provide the foundation for a new University-wide interdisciplinary human rights center or institute.

The Wordgathering Symposium: Cultural Diplomacy, Disability, and Literature

Principal Investigator: University Professor Stephen Kuusisto, Director of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach, Burton Blatt Institute

Co-Principal Investigator: Professor Diane Weiner, Associate Director of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach, Burton Blatt Institute

The Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) Office of Interdisciplinary Programs' award will be used to facilitate ongoing work with the US Department of State and cultural organizations to explore the role of disability art in international relations. 

The Wordgathering Symposium formalizes an approach to disability literature, envisioning it as a core component in a University initiative in disability and cultural diplomacy. Modeled on work by University Professor Stephen Kuusisto, who has traveled extensively with American writers under the auspices of the US Department of State, BBI hopes to extend the University’s groundbreaking role as the first American university to develop a program in Disability Studies by creating an international project to introduce disabled writers from the US to several foreign locations.

This interdisciplinary research grant is tied to a foundation funding proposal currently in process that will establish an International Disabled Writer’s Program (IDWP) in partnership with the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program. The CUSE Grant will fund a literary symposium at Syracuse University to showcase disability writing and plans for a larger international cultural diplomacy program that will introduce disability arts in select global locations. 

Restorative Practices and Elder Abuse: Opportunities and Challenges

Co-Principal Investigator: Professor Mary Helen McNeal, College of Law

Co-Principal Investigator: Professor Maria T. Brown, Aging Studies Institute, Falk College

The seminar Restorative Practices and Elder Abuse: Opportunities and Challenges will explore the challenges and opportunities presented by using restorative practices to address elder abuse. Elder abuse is an epidemic, affecting an estimated 141 million people worldwide, and numbers are expected to grow as the population ages. Existing research and scholarship measuring successful interventions and preventions is scant, and even less evaluates the use of restorative practices. 

Therefore, this seminar will gather a dynamic group of international scholars working at the intersection of restorative practices and elder justice. They will share their work, perspectives, and findings, resulting in a fruitful dialogue to further innovations in responding to elder abuse and to generate “best practices” for utilizing restorative practices in this context. 

Papers presented at the seminar will be published in an edited volume of the “Society and Aging” series. The Co-PIs previously secured a research grant to conduct empirical research, a literature review, and a community forum on this topic.