Interdisciplinary collaboration is at the heart of the Abolition for All Time Humanities Lab, where we reconsider the meaning of abolition in the past, present, and future.


The Abolition Lab brings together a team of faculty, librarians, archivists, and students of all disciplines to transform the way we approach research and teaching in the humanities.

Grounded in a liberatory ethos of social justice, our work embraces an innovative reconceptualization of anthropology, art history and museum studies, business, classics, creative arts, education, film studies, English, history, modern languages, peace and justice studies, philosophy, and political science.

Core Faculty

Michael A. Schneider
Provost and Dean of the College
headshot photo of Danielle Fatkin
Danielle Steen Fatkin
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs;
Associate Professor of History;
Chair of Archaeology
Jen Andrella
Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
in Digital Humanities

2024-2025 Teams

Abolition and the Arts

This team examines the intersection of a wide range of creative arts with both historical and contemporary socio-cultural, political and racial issues. We are particularly interested in basing our work on issues related broadly to abolitionism, postcolonialism as well as social justice concerns regarding gender, race and sexuality. Team members will explore a variety of projects that include developing new course units, scholarly research, performances, exhibitions and mentoring student research. Our goal is to take an activist, applied approach in which our work will directly contribute to curricular innovation in the arts and humanities and enhance institutional and public programming. 

Gregory Gilbert, Convener
Professor of Art,
Director of the Art History Program
& Art Museum Studies
Alyssa Mathias, Team Member
Visiting Assistant Professor of Music
Kathleen Ridlon, Team Member
Associate Professor of Dance
Ryan Tracy, Team Member
Visiting Assistant Professor of English
Jennifer Smith, Team Member
Chair and Professor of Dance

Curricular Innovations

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Scott DeWitt, Convener
Chair and Associate Professor
of Educational Studies
Deirdre Dougherty, Team Member
Assistant Professor of
Educational Studies
Samantha Seybold, Team Member
Visiting Instructor of Philosophy
Sheryl Hinman, Team Member
Lecturer in Educational Studies
Mary Lyons, Team Member
Assistant Professor of Educational Studies,
Director of Teacher Education
Michal Ran-Rubin, Team Member
Visiting Assistant Professor

Innovation in the Classroom

This team aims to support our colleagues in producing innovative assignments and course structures that explore big questions about the human experience. We will do this by investigating the use of technology and multimedia in conveying narratives, historical accounts, and cultural expressions in a way that enhances our understanding and engagement with human experiences. In addition, we will promote the use of these technologies as our colleagues have employed them on our liberal arts campus and foster discussion about them beyond the confines of our lab team. One product of our work will be guides to how Knox professors can incorporate digital tools into their classrooms.

Scott Harris, Co-Convener
Lecturer in Religious Studies
Todd Heidt, Co-Convener
Professor in Modern Languages- German,
Chair of International Studies
Mary Barr, Team Member
Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology
Jessa Dahl, Team Member
Assistant Professor of History
Hilary Lehmann, Team Member
Chair and Associate Professor of Classics
Brandon Polite, Team Member
Chair and Associate Professor of Philosophy
Mitchell Parks, Team Member
Associate Professor of Classics
Tim Stedman, Team Member
Associate Professor of Art

(Dis)placed Voices: Stories from the Prairie

Our team will explore historical and contemporary stories of Knox College and its surrounding areas. Projects include oral histories of the Hakha Chin people and community from Mynamar who live in Monmouth; history of free speech at Knox; art and poetry from the nearby Henry Hill Correctional Facility; ethnic minorities in Galesburg; history of the evolution of the Hawthorne Center; and exploring the Galesburg community through beloved buildings. Outcomes include podcasts, oral histories, virtual architectural tours, documentaries, journalism, presentations, course innovations, and digital publications. 

Anne Thomason, Convener
Director of Seymour Library
Duane Oldfield, Team Member
Associate Professor of
Political Science and Chair of
Social Service
Chad Simpson, Team Member
Associate Professor of English
Weihong Du, Team Member
Chair and Associate Professor of Asian Studies
Cyn Kitchen, Team Member
Chair and Associate Professor of English
Michael Penn, Team Member
Visiting Journalist in Residence
Leanne Trapedo Sims, Team Member
Daniel J. Logan Professor of Peace and Justice;
Co-Chair of Peace and Justice

Open Educational Resources: Using Them, Writing Them

This team will explore options for publishing “Open Educational Resources” or OERs, web-based educational content designed to be openly-licensed, freely accessible, and modifiable by others. Projects across many disciplines will engage in the production of openly licensed educational materials, including  textbooks, videos, or course materials, that can be used, shared, and adapted for teaching. Learn more at: knox.libguides.com/OER.

Fernando Gomez, Convener
Chair and Associate Professor
of Modern Languages,
Chair of Spanish
Andrew Civettini, Convener
Chair and Associate Professor
of Political Science,
Chair of International Relations,
Chair of Public Policy
Judith Thorn, Team Member
Associate Dean for
Curriculum and Assessment,
Professor of Biology,
Chair of Economics
Michael Gerten, Team Member
Visiting Instructor of
Computer Science

3D Structure for Scientific Storytelling

This team will focus on using Autodesk Maya, a digital animation and filmmaking software, to create laboratory exercises that explore three-dimensional structure and function in the sciences. Lab members will use their expertise to develop exercises in chemistry, psychology, biology, neuroscience, and environmental studies. Initial work will develop six exercises at the introductory level with the hopes of beta-testing in the fall and winter terms. Our hope is to add exercises for more advanced courses as time allows. 

Micholas Gidmark, Convener
Associate Professor of Biology
Esther Penick, Team Member
Associate Professor of Biology,
Chair of Neuroscience
Heather Hoffmann, Team Member
Robert M. & Katherine Arnold Seeley
Distinguished Professor
and Chair of Psychology
Thomas Clayton, Team Member
Professor of Chemistry
Mark Slabodnick, Team Member
Assistant Professor of Biology
Patricia Xi, Team Member
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Katherine Adelsberger, Team Member
Chair and Professor of
Environmental Studies,
The Douglas and Maria Bayer
Endowed Chair in Earth Science

Student Lab Assistants

Annemarie Christiansen ’24
Josh Carlos ’25
Kyra Kellogg ’25
Selah Dow ’25

Past Lab Assistants
Mimi Schweitzer ’23

Affiliated Faculty and Staff

Laurie Sauer
Associate Librarian for Digital
Initiatives and Collections
Joseph Taylor
Assistant Librarian for Special
Collections and Archives
Anne Thomason
Director of Seymour Library

Past Lab Participants

2023-2024
Emily R. Anderson, Towards and Abolitionist Model of Media Literacy
Konrad Hamilton, Reimagining the Humanities in the 21st Century
Andrew Hertel, Ethics and Healthcare Inequality in Rural America
Jennifer McCarthy Foubert, A Liberatory Ethos: The Past, Present, and Future of Abolitionism in Galesburg
Deana Nichols, Abolition and the Creative Arts
Gonzalo Pinilla, Abolition and the Creative Arts
Robin Ragan, Ethics and Healthcare Inequality in Rural America
Magali Roy-Fequiere, Reimagining the Humanities in the 21st Century
Jonah Rubin, Towards and Abolitionist Model of Media Literacy
Daniel Wack, A Liberatory Ethos: The Past, Present, and Future of Abolitionism in Galesburg
Rebecca Yowler, Towards and Abolitionist Model of Media Literacy

2022-2023
Thomas Bell, Abolition of Detention
Elizabeth Carlin Metz, Knowledge in Business Ethics
Cate Denial, A Liberatory Ethos
Gina Franco, Abolition of Detention
Jeff Gomer, Knowledge in Business Ethics
Duane Oldfield, Abolition in Detention
Rob Smith, Abolition and the Creative Arts
Jaime Spacco, Knowledge in Business Ethics
Barbara Tannert-Smith, Abolition and the Creative Arts

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