The Collaborative for Southern Appalachian and Place-Based Studies is delighted to announce the selection of Chandler Sowden as Mellon Post-Baccalaureate Fellow.
Chandler Sowden, returning to Sewanee after graduating in 2014, brings to the Collaborative the breadth of her liberal arts education including the ways of thinking and skills she gained as an Anthropology major and her expertise in documentary photography. During her time as a student at the university, Chandler worked in the surrounding area in Tennessee as well as rural Haiti, researching and implementing various discussion-based photographic methods for building resilience in communities. Through this work, she developed a vested interest in and understanding of the ways photography can be used to generate discussions within a community and to provide a way of seeing situations that can only be achieved through photographic imagery. Crucial to Chandler's time and learning in these projects was close collaboration with community members, fellow students, and Sewanee faculty, who all worked together to create, discuss, and refine all projects methods.
Most recently, Chandler has spent a year interning at the FrameWorks Institute, a MacArthur Foundation award-winning non-profit communications organization focused on social science-based research methods for reframing experts' research findings for more productive public understanding of key social issues. As an intern, she was able to work with three departments within the Institute—Research, Learning, and Production—and brings from that a better understanding of where framing recommendations come from, how to implement them, and how visual aids can be used to enhance public understanding.
In joining the Collaborative for Southern Appalachian and Place Based Studies, Chandler hopes to explore further the ways narrative, specifically in photographic form, can inform and shift a community's understanding of itself, and shape a more constructive and true way of seeing for those on the outside looking in. Having worked with members of Sewanee, the university, and surrounding communities, Chandler looks forward to working with those she has connected with before as well as developing relationships with those she has yet to meet. Chandler will begin her work with the Collaborative in July.