Humanities Research Clusters

The most exciting topics in the humanities don’t always fit neatly into one academic department or discipline. Humanities Research Clusters are a way for students from different specialties to talk about big, multifaceted ideas in a productive and student-led environment. While each cluster will be led by one or more students with a humanities focus, members of the cluster should work from a wide variety of disciplines.

The Humanities Research Clusters are open to undergraduates and graduate students. They provide for an open discussion of current topics in evolving and understudied interdisciplinary fields. Each approved research cluster will receive up to $1,000 of annual funding from the university for meetings, materials, and guest speakers. Cluster members will also have access to the Humanities Collaboratory, a new flexible hybrid learning space on campus.

Starting a Research Cluster

Applications open from May 7 to July 15. Notifications of awards will be sent out July 22.

Application requirements:

  • The founder of each cluster should be an undergraduate or graduate JHU student with a humanities focus.
  • Each cluster will need support either from a faculty mentor or directly from the director of undergraduate research, Dr. Natalie Strobach.
  • Each cluster must provide a statement of what humanities-related topic it will explore, which will hopefully have interdisciplinary appeal.
  • Each cluster must provide a tentative plan for how the budget would be used to promote discussion of your topic; this can include expenses such as guest speakers, texts for the group, luncheons for discussion, etc.

Research Cluster Topics

Students interested in starting a cluster should focus on a topic that is close to their own field of study but can be approached within (and outside) many different fields of the humanities. For example, a “cultural death” cluster might include scholarship from sociology, literature, anthropology, biology, and elsewhere.

Examples include:

  • Animal Studies or Explorations in the Nonhuman
  • Space Studies
  • Environmental Impact
  • Migration
  • Queer Studies
  • Technoscience and Media
  • Deportation Studies
  • Collaborative Works in Music and Creative Endeavors
  • Cultural Death
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Food Culture
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Diaspora
  • Urban Poverty and the City
  • Democracy
  • Sound Studies

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