Scholar in Residence Creates a ‘Desert Symphony’

November 9th, 2023

Interdisciplinary artist, cultural strategist and entrepreneur Favianna Rodriguez was selected as the 2023 Dorrance Dean’s Scholar/Specialist-in-Residence.


While on campus, Rodriguez created the large-scale art installation Desert Symphony, which reflects on the intersections of climate change and migration in Tucson’s unique ecological and cultural home in the borderlands, and spoke on her work as part of the Tucson Humanities Festival. 



The College of Humanities and Department of Public and Applied Humanities hosted Rodriguez for a two-week residency featuring to engage students, faculty, and the broader Tucson community in understanding how core values of the humanities — such as fearless inquiry, inclusive play and compassionate adaptability — can help us explore the ecological realities of the borderlands through the lens of diverse plant, animal and human communities.


Featuring ground-mounted prints at the Poetry Center depicting Sonoran Desert flora and fauna, Desert Symphony responds to the natural and cultural life of Tucson and encourages viewers to reflect on the urgent need to address climate change and the power of culture in catalyzing social action. 


Public and Applied Humanities faculty members Harris Kornstein, Jacqueline Barrios and Jonathan Jae-an Crisman submitted the Scholar in Residence application and organized the visit, as part of the Fearless Inquiries Project.