Nemer and Frisby Receive UK Confucius Institute Grants


Two faculty members at the UK School of Information Science will receive grants from the University of Kentucky Confucius Institute. Dr. David Nemer (Assistant Professor, Information Communication Technology) and Dr. Brandi Frisby (Associate Professor, Instructional Communication and Research) have been awarded funding through the Confucius Institute to pursue projects related to ICTs in China.

Dr. Nemer will be using his grant to help fund a research fellowship in the Computing and Society group at the United Nations University (UNU-CS), in Macau, China. The group there, Dr. Nemer explains, "is considered one of the most important ICT4D think tanks." During the three-month fellowship (May to August), Dr. Nemer will conduct research on the use of ICTs by Chinese women as part of the Gender Tech Lab at UNU-CS. His aim is "contribute to efforts towards gender justice, gender equality and women’s empowerment in ways that can be facilitated by participation in the knowledge society. This entails facilitating the use of ICT in ways that increase self-knowledge, enhance the capacity for gender analysis, and build the resilience to tackle the social, cultural and political constraints to sustainable community led development." Dr. Nemer has previously studied the roles gender and cultural norms play in regard to how people use ICTs. His upcoming paper  “LAN houses are for boys and Telecenters are for girls: Community Technology Centers as Gendered Spaces” analyzes how physical places and spaces are coded as masculine or feminine according to the local social norms in Brazilian favelas.

"While in China," says Nemer, "I intend to expand this study by including gender and social norms of CTCs in Macau in order to develop a comparative study between CTCs in Brazil and China. Data collection for this project will require constant visits to CTCs in Macau, informant observations, and interviews. Such studies are important since they expand the literature on CTCs by giving a more qualitative and nuanced analysis of women usage of these centers." Read more about Dr. Nemer on his profile.


Dr. Brandi Frisby's grant will also fund a project on ICTs in China, although her work will be aimed at providing an educational background for students here in the Commonwealth through a course to be offered at the university. The course is tentatively titled: "ICTs Abroad: A Global Comparative Perspective of China and Beyond." Dr. Frisby describes the course as highlighting how "ICTs are of critical importance to China in personal, professional, academic, social movement, and governmental realms," and  that "this course is designed to provide students with more insight into ICT usage in China. It will include guest speakers (including a visiting scholar from China hosted by SIS in the fall)."

Dr. Frisby has taught in China in the past during the summer of 2014. She hopes this course might ultimately develop into a Study Abroad opportunity or asynchronous online courses available to students from both the University of Kentucky and Chinese universities. The course would be the first focused on China to be offered in the College of Communication and Information. Read more about Dr. Frisby on her profile.

UK SIS congratulates Dr. Nemer and Dr. Frisby on receiving grants from the Confucius Institute for their efforts. The UK Confucius Institute is "a center for Chinese language, culture, art and business. A gateway to China for the university and the Commonwealth, the Institute serves as a conduit for many of UK’s China initiatives, facilitating a range of China exchange programs across the campus and beyond." For more information about the Confucius Institute, please visit their website.