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. 


2006 to 2007

Bioethics and Bioengineering

The goal of this Research Cluster is to bridge the growing bioengineering and bioethics communities on campus and in the Valley. The topic of focus will be the science and ethics of neural prosthetics in three domains: cochlear implants, motor control prosthetics, and deep-brain stimulation.

Cultures of Urban Systems & Spaces: International Perspectives

This research cluster is devoted to investigating the interactions between urban values, urban systems and spaces, and inhabitants of the city by focusing on the cultural dimensions of urban planning, urban systems, and the experiences of urban life.

Exploring Common Ground Between China and the U.S. for the 21st Century

This research cluster will seek out possible common ground between America and China in the 21st century. Promoting dialogue at ASU and seeking mutual understanding should help build a firmer foundation for intellectual and cultural collaboration that might benefit ASU's research cooperation with Chinese institutions.
2005 to 2006

Comparative Colonialism, Conversion, and Globalized Religion

This Research Cluster plans to meet monthly to read current scholarly literature on the relationship between religious conversion and globalization, discuss these issues, and prepare grant appropriate grant proposals to major granting agencies.

What is Europe? Definitions, Boundaries, Identities

This Research Cluster's initial focus will be the variety of ways in which "Europe" has been defined and delimited over the past two millennia.


This Research Group will provide an interdisciplinary forum at ASU for scholars interested in the themes of migration, displacement, and borders. Its interests will extend from domestic migration, to international migration, to refugees and displaced persons.

Race in All Its Formations

Participants in "Race in All Its Formations" will meet monthly for provocative discussion about how racial formations in the United States inform and have been informed by discourses about science, health, policy, history, culture, and globalization.

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Women’s Health

This group will gather together researchers from across the various humanistic, social science, and biological science disciplines that contribute to the many ways women's health is defined, investigated, and pursues.

Language, Identities, and Ideologies

This research cluster plans to meet once a month to discuss articles and/or books relating to questions of language, identities, and ideology. We will also read each other's work on this topic, providing feedback prior to presentation at scholarly meetings and or publication. At the end of the spring semester this cluster will present a public symposium with the hope of attracting the general public, K-12 teachers, as well as university students and faculty.

Space, Place, Society, and Culture

This research cluster will meet monthly to develop core concepts of the trandisciplinary study of "space, place, society, and culture". Members will draw on work in history, geography, environmental studies, planning, philosophy, religion, sociology, cultural studies, and other disciplines. When presenting our findings and the work of seminal scholars, we will begin a sustained transdiciplinary investigation into the relationship of human beings to their physical environment throughout history.