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. 

The 2019–2020 application deadline for Research Clusters is 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

Review application guidelines


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2011 to 2012

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.

2010 to 2011

Colonial/Postcolonial (Mis)Recognitions

The chief purpose of this Research Cluster is to explore the rich cultural expressions that have emerged in a variety of colonial and postcolonial intersections, including experiences of diaspora, immigration, migration and other forms of cultural encounter. We seek to participate in a global conversation on a variety of issues, including the effects of colonialism on cultural encounters, neo-colonialism, the impact of colonial legacies on postcolonial state formation and the influences (positive and negative) of Western culture generally in the postcolony.

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.

Borders and Migration: Historical Memory and Human Rights

Recent events in the state of Arizona and reactions across the country have once again catapulted the issue of immigration to the forefront of the national consciousness and prompted statements and resolutions from local, national, and international bodies, including university officials and faculty bodies.

The Philosophy, Rhetoric and Literature Research Cluster

The Philosophy, Rhetoric and Literature (PRL) cluster is a transdisciplinary area and a faculty research group of the humanities meeting on West Campus.

Friending Facebook: Social Media and the [Re]construction of Self and Other

Social media permeates our world and continues to impact us as humans, citizens and scholars: from the evolution of virtual communities and its naturalization of online interpersonal exchange to the growth of progressively accessible forms of entertainment.
2010 to 2012

Creative Inquiry Research & Practice: Catalyst for Social Change

This research cluster consists of faculty members from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts is focused on transdisciplinary research with an emphasis on effecting social change.

Local and Global Feminisms and the Politics of Knowledge: Feminist Literacy at ASU

The Jenny Norton Research Cluster on Women seeks to bring faculty across the academy to deeply engage intersectionality as a feminist theory and method: 1) to further develop feminist tools that promote the intellectual mission of “making visible” the workings of power and oppression in our globalizing society; 2) to interrogate the relationship of intersectionality and gender studies to theories of globalization and globalism. 3) and to query how feminist theories and methods contribute to the university’s mission of producing knowledge and ideas that may inform social issues and institutions.