In my first year as Director I put in place a number of tactics and a new mission to reflect its new focus as an institute that is able to strategically deliver world changing research with impact.
The mission attempts to capture two important aims of the IHR: first, to grow scholarly, intellectual and research impact and address real world issues through engagement with internal and external communities, stakeholders and end-users. Second, to build research capacity among faculty by increasing publications and grant expertise, with the further aim of increasing citations and humanities national and international rankings, and continuing to uphold our excellent research reputation.
To achieve these aims I have added new grants to the existing suite, creating a scaffolded approach where faculty have the opportunity to move through various research outcomes that build knowledge and capacity as well as a research track record that makes them competitive for external grants. Professional development workshops and seminars in turn underpin this second aim, for example, by training faculty in how to effectively write external grants; how to build collaborative and cross-disciplinary research teams, and the ‘how to’ of academic journal and book publishing.
Enhancing its mission, I am committed to growing humanities external and internal visibility and creating productive collaborations among diverse stakeholders. To this end, the IHR continues to host its annual Distinguished Lecture and its Book Award, and to this I have added our emerging digital engagement program, with the launch of the Podcast series entitled: “Futures of Democracy” produced by myself and colleague Professor Julian Knowles supported by The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and hosted by Arizona PBS. The inaugural episode featured ASU President Michael Crow on “Democracy and Education.” The current, and a second, podcast series will continue into the new academic year.
On top of this we were honored to support two ACLS Emerging Voices postdoctoral scholars: Nnamdi Igbokwe, working on public policy and globalism, and Victoria Rizo Lenshyn, whose work focused on the German Democratic Republic (GDR). We concluded our year by hosting Palestinian faculty from An-Najah University in May, thanks to a $60K grant for “Entrepreneurship Education for the Humanities and Social Sciences” procured by Dean Jeffrey Cohen. I also held the international Derrida Today conference focusing on the relevance of French-Algerian-Jewish philosopher Jacques Derrida for the cultural, political and social crises we face in today’s world. The conference, comprising over 200 delegates from 36 countries, was held at ASU’s Barbara Barrett and Sandra Day O’Connor Washington Center in Washington, D.C.
At the center of all of this was our faculty, students, staff, donors and ASU community, as well as visiting faculty from around the country. Everyone at the IHR thanks you for your support and commitment and looks forward to working with you in the year ahead!
Nicole Anderson - IHR Director