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:


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.
2009 to 2010

Alternative Ideas of Sustainability and Human Flourishing

The Alternative Imaginations (AI) Research Cluster is an intellectual space that seeks to cultivate complementary perspectives on science, technology, and policy to address inequality, marginality, and sustainability. AI’s goal is to engage scholars with backgrounds in humanities, social, and physical sciences to participate in dialogues on Alternative Imaginations focusing on issues of alternative living and sustainability.

Philosophy and Literature

This research cluster builds on a faculty group in PL that has been forming spontaneously for over a year out of a new sense of transdisciplinary respect for and mutual discovery of shared areas of research, teaching, and curricular-program interests. These range from critical theory (both in its broader origins within literary cultural studies and its historically specific genealogy from the Frankfurt School), rhetoric, and communication to literature and poetry to Continental philosophy and spirituality.

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Human Rights and Social Justice

Questions of the nature, meaning, and implementation of human rights, and in human rights research and education will be addressed. Contributions from and differences among humanities and social science approaches to human rights texts and discourses, movements and practices, and analysis and evaluation will also be explored.

Religion, Gender, and Reform

Following the great success of our first round last year, participants in this cluster will be engaged in the investigation of the relationship between women, religion, and reform within the context of social effects. In our second year, we plan to further explore how women in religious milieus articulate their ideas about positive change affecting their lives. Our discussions will continue to address how women challenge the limits imposed upon them and their moral behavior by religious and secular elites in society.