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:


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. 

Integrating Personal Narrative with Scholarly Writing: Exploring Strategies in Creative Non-Fiction

The purpose of this research cluster is to examine ways of making academic writing more meaningful for a wide public as well as for ourselves as scholars and publishing artists.

Within many disciplines in the humanities there remains a strong expectation to produce academic writing that is presented in a detached manner, making extensive reference to existing theories as a means for justification, and often using esoteric jargon of the field. Such writing is expected for tenure purposes, and is believed to be of a higher order than other modes of communication.

2011 to 2012

Creative Inquiry Research & Practice: Catalyst for Social Change

This year the goal of this Reseach Cluster is to continue to establish connections between the diverse areas of our investigation and practice, thereby building upon common areas of exploration. The purpose is to gather together in order to experience each other’s creative processes, share philosophical and theoretical resources, and lines of questioning in-practice, thereby growing our understanding of each others’ creative inquiry, its impact and stimulus for social change, and furthering transdisciplinary research possibilities.

Social Innovation and Community Development

This cluster will focus on cooperatives as innovative ways to foster community development in their efforts in 2012. You are invited to attend a seminar on February 7, where Victor Pestoff, Professor Emeritus at the Institute for Civil Society Studies at Ersta Sköndal University College in Stockholm, Sweden, will present on the topic.

The Anticipated Journey: Transdisciplinary Teaching and Learning Understood Through a River Metaphor

This research cluster will inquire into the circumstances that make “reciprocal interdisciplinary scholarship” possible. As a result of our work together, we will gain new knowledge about how a specific landscape can offer occasion for social, cultural, technological and scientific learning. More importantly, we will know how that landscape, and a journey through it, can be a focal point, a place on which learners can utilize many lenses to understand a whole.

Imaginaires of Islamic Modernity

Diverse manifestations of modernity, from the experience of colonial subjugation, the struggles for the formation of independent nation-states, and the rise of modern-day global networks, shaped and reshaped the Muslim world.

Local and Global Feminisms and the Politics of Knowledge

During the upcoming academic year, this research cluster will 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.
2010 to 2011

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Emotions

The academic study of emotions has developed since the 1980’s in different disciplines, including psychology, philosophy, literature, law and religious studies. It therefore appears as an ideal topic to consider from an interdisciplinary perspective, especially after about three decades of research in independent fields with few intersections between them. In this cluster, our main goal is to study different approaches to emotions, and see how different perspectives, when crossed, can deepen each other and provide a broader and more accurate background.