Research Clusters

Faculty-driven collaborative research. 


The IHR facilitates and supports diverse Research Clusters at ASU. Our aim is to assist research and communication among scholars and to enrich the intellectual climate of the university. The Research Clusters frequently serve as an entry point for faculty engaging with the IHR. They should support activities related to the IHR mission to:

  • foster innovative interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research
  • examine today’s most important issues from humanistic perspectives
  • promote and support excellence in humanities scholarship
  • engage the university community in meaningful dialogue and exploration

The Jenny Norton Cluster on Women

The Reverend Jenny Norton has provided funding to support an annual Research Cluster in the Institute for Humanities Research. The Norton fund is designed to stimulate research on women in any field and on any topic. Gender scholars are encouraged to apply for the Norton Award by proposing an appropriate topic for an IHR Research Cluster that will promote research and communication among ASU scholars and enrich the intellectual climate of the university. 

Apply now

Deadline: March 12th, 2018

2018-19 Research Cluster Application Guidelines:

2018-19 Research Cluster Application Form:


2014 to 2015

Interpreting Contemporary Violence: Mexico, U.S.

This faculty group of scholars from the humanities and humanistic social sciences will interpret contemporary violence in Mexico-US relations from the perspective of horror as theorized by Hannah Arendt, political theorist; Adriana Cavarero, feminist theorist and political philosopher; and international relations theorists Francois Debrix and Alexander Barder. This cluster will employ the Arendt-Cavarero definition of horror viewed as the annihilation of embodiment as a means of eradicating the humanity of people.

Tricksters and Mindful Heresy: Disrupting the Taken for Granted in Creative Research

This cluster interrogates the notion of creative activity as a form of research method in the arts and humanities. Creatively oriented, or “artistic” research, disrupts taken-for-granted notions of methodological order and efficacy. The notions of "Tricksters and Mindful Heresy"  provide the starting point for a critical examination of the orthodoxy of method and the disruption of its taken-for-granted (dis)orderings of creative inquiry.

2013 to 2014

Theories of Immigration: Policymaking, Transnationalism, Return

Through trans- and interdisciplinary dialogue, participants in this cluster seek to explore the complexities of contemporary U.S. migration and its connections to earlier histories as well as to international developments by engaging the diverse theories and fields that have dealt with this phenomenon.

Local and Global Feminisms and the Politics of Knowledge

Jenny Norton Research Cluster - During the upcoming academic year, the research cluster will continue to focus on theories of intersectionality and feminist knowledge within a global and transnational framework as well as those that acknowledge the continuing importance of the nation-state in the construction of identities, desires, and culture.  In this way, we intend to rigorously theorize the politics of knowledge that we research and teach beyond a primarily US-centered analysis of the relationships of women and communities of color to the nation-state but see these phe

Critical Ethnic Studies in Arizona

Critical ethnic studies seeks to create open dialogues around white supremacy, settler colonialism, capitalism, and heteropatriarchy and develop an approach to scholarship, institution building, and community engagement consistent with the decolonial, antiracist, and other global liberation movements that informed the creation of ethnic studies. We ask: What might an Arizona critical ethnic studies look like in terms of both already existing scholarship, praxis, activism, and pedagogy, and future goals and emerging projects? What do we want it to be, and why? And how do we get there?

Never Again? - Never Before? The Holocaust and Comparative Genocide in an Arizona Museum

Never again and never before are equally powerful and problematic statements born out of the horrors of the Holocaust. Yet genocide was committed many times before and after the Nazi murder of the European Jewry. Scholars, curators and artists so far have not forged a universal understanding of the causes of mass atrocities nor have our best efforts been able to prevent prejudice, marginalization and genocide.

Material Texts: Histories and Futures

The proposed “Material Texts: Histories and Futures” research cluster aims to unite scholars interested in the study of material texts, broadly defined. This important transdisciplinary field of inquiry encompasses a range of methods and practices that includes (but is by no means limited to) paleography, codicology, manuscript studies, analytical and descriptive bibliography, media and communication studies, textual criticism, and digital humanities.

2012 to 2013

Lived Democracy: Inventing Alternative Public Discourses in a Quintessential Postmodern City

In this research cluster, colleagues from the Department of English and the School of Public Affairs/ Public Administration will consider together how international scholarship and ASU’s design aspirations as a New American University can speak to this significant challenge posed by diverse groups naming, framing and deliberating over common concerns.

Latin America Issues: Material Conditions, Violence, Human Rights, and Cultural Productions

This research cluster provides a forum to disseminate groundbreaking research and cultural production, but more importantly, a venue to network across schools, colleges, and campuses, in an attempt to engage in more focused inter and transdisciplinary proposals which may become seed grants.

A Jenny Norton Research Cluster: Latina Feminisms

This research cluster, supported in part by a gift from the Reverend Jenny Norton, is designed to re-familiarize the participants with some of the classic works of Latina feminist theory, and to also read important new works with an ultimate goal of invigorating our scholarship and to develop research collaborations across Schools, Colleges, and disciplines at ASU. The collaborative nature of the research cluster format will enable lively discussion about some important texts, and also to develop deeper understanding of Latina feminist theory.