Scholar Info

Susan Hyatt

Professor of Anthropology

Department of Anthropology


Student-Community Collaborative Research

Since 2009, students enrolled in my ethnographics methods class have been working collaboratively with neighborhood organizations around the city to produce research that is both of scholarly merit and that serves the interests of the communities where the research took place. In 2009, my students worked with a group on the western edge of Warren Township and used their research to produce a book called "Eastside Story: Portrait of a Neighborhood on the Suburban Frontier." One thousand copies of the book were distributed free of charge to community residents. Beginning in 2010, students began working with a range of communities and organizations to produce an oral history of the near Southside, once one of the most multi-ethnic neighborhoods in the city. In 2013, a mostly student-authored book was published entitled, The Neighborhood of Saturdays: Memories of a Multi-Ethnic Community on Indianapolis' Southside. The collaboration also produced a website with over 400 scanned photos and other memorabilia from community residents; a short documentary by WFYI Television; a radio interview on WFYI with Art of the Matter host Sharon Gamble; and an article in the NY Times. All of this material is available at: Since 2014, my anthropology students and I have been working with residents of Mapleton-Fall Creek and in partnership with the Mapleton Fall Creek Development Corporation to help address health issues in this community. The research this past year was funded by a grant from CHEP-- the Community Health Engagement Program, which is funded by CTSI -- Indiana Clinical and Translational Services Institute. An article about that project can be found at: In 2016 I, along with my colleague Paul Mullins, were awarded the inaugural Charles R. Bantz Chancellor’s Community Fellowship for our project, “Invisible Indianapolis: Race, Heritage and Community Memory in the Circle City.” “Invisible Indianapolis” will synthesize research that is currently scattered among several of Indianapolis’ neighborhoods to produce a single coherent narrative of neighborhood connections and displacements. “Invisible Indianapolis” underscores the compelling stories of American life that remain unseen or misunderstood in our very midst; it is striving to develop public scholarship based on community interests; and it addresses how such histories can be reinvigorated to create new understandings of our past and shape a vision of our city’s collective future. In 2010, the Indiana Campus Compact awarded me with the Brian Hiltunen Award for the Outstanding Scholarship of Civic Engagement and in 2012, I received the Chancellor’s Faculty Award for Excellence in Civic Engagement.


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