Two UO professors named Fulbright scholars for 2015-16

Kiersten Muenchinger and Michelle McKinley

One UO professor will travel to Colombia to investigate the relationships between 16th-century slaveholders and enslaved peoples and another will spend a year researching the intersection of emotion and sustainable products in Hong Kong after both received Fulbright teaching and research fellowships.

Michelle McKinley and Kiersten Muenchinger will make their scholarly journeys during the 2015-16 academic year. The two professors join three UO students who also received Fulbright grants this year.

Also receiving a Fulbright fellowship this year was Marc Schlossberg, a professor in the Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management at the UO. A story on his award — his second — was posted earlier this year and is available here.

McKinley is the Bernard B. Kliks Associate Professor of Law in the School of Law, and Muenchinger is an associate professor and holds the Tim and Mary Boyle Chair in Material Studies and Design in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts. Muenchinger also directs the school’s Product Design Program.

The Fulbright fellowship will allow McKinley to travel to the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia, where she will continue her research into Latin American legal history and the laws of slavery. The work will help her with her second book project, “Bound Biographies.”

McKinley also has published widely on public international law and spent a decade researching an archive in Lima, Peru, where she studied and wrote about slavery, human rights and legal history in the colonial era.

“I was tremendously pleased and honored to be selected as a Fulbright scholar,” McKinley said. “The award will help establish stronger collaborations between University of Oregon and the Universidad de los Andes faculty of law, which has a venerable reputation for public international law and social and economic rights advocacy.”

Meunchinger will travel to Hong Kong Polytechnic University to teach and research design innovation. Her research will include how materials affect human perceptions of sustainable materials.

The work will combine a Kansei engineering study with a life-cycle assessment to examine the intersection of science and emotion. Kansei engineering studies how people interact with products at an emotional level, and Meunchinger is the only Kansei researcher in the United States.

“I’d like to be more strongly connected with my research community,” she said. “Southeast Asia is the hub of Kansei studies, and being in their space aids that goal.”

For more information on Muenchinger’s plans, see “Muenchinger wins Fulbright to China” on the A&AA website.

—By Greg Bolt, Public Affairs Communications