Seed Grants

Support for projects that explore significant social challenges, employing humanities or transdisciplinary methodologies.


IHR Seed Grants are awarded at individual and team levels to ASU faculty or staff in the humanities (though external scholars are always welcome to participate as consultants). The Seed Grant program is designed to provide support for projects that advance the IHR’s mission of fostering research that addresses or explores significant social challenges in the past, present, and future, employing humanities or transdisciplinary methodologies. The Institute supports projects that demonstrate intellectual merit, potential impact on scholarship, and strong prospects of receiving external funding. Seed Grants fund 12 months of work at two levels: individual (up to $5,000) and team ($9,000).

Seed Grant application deadline:

October 4th, 2019

Application guidelines 

Application form 

What are some possible outcomes?

  • Conferences, symposia
  • Invited guest scholars
  • Publications
  • External grant support
  • Public engagement


What types of projects are funded? 

  • All time periods: historic to contemporary
  • Unlimited geographic locations: global to local
  • Significant humanistic work as well as work at disciplinary intersections: humanities + science, art, health, technology, etc.
  • Enhanced access to scholarly resources 
  • Team-based and single-PI research 

Seed Grant Projects

In the Land of Tigers and Snakes: Powers and Violence between Humans and Animals in Medieval China

This project explores the roles and images of animals in medieval Chinese religious life, looking into how animals were defined in Chinese religious traditions, how they were written into the Chinese religious literature as spirits, demons, and companions, and how various social groups, such as the medieval state, eminent monks, and lay people, as well as literati and common people, have applied their zoological and ethnographical knowledge about the animals, nature and environment to develop their beliefs and practices in various religious traditions in medieval China.

Jews and Jewishness in the Dance World

This research project addresses the explicit and implicit impact of Jewish creative artists, thinkers, and organizers on the evolution of dance in education, the concert dance realm, commercial dance world and other specific contexts. It also considers how concerns central to “the Jewish experience,” whether related to identity, history, religious practice, Israel, everyday life and/or conflict and war, have influenced developments in the dance field.

Kealiinohomoku Dance and Human Culture Audiovisual/Scholarship Online Exhibit

This project launches an online exhibit of written scholarship with a corresponding collection of audiovisual resources to support the interdisciplinary study of dance and human culture. The exhibit features key scholarly and philosophical writings of anthropologist Dr. Joann W. Kealiinohomoku (1930–2015) coordinated with her extensive collection of audiovisual materials. The exhibit’s holistic approach and broad anthropological perspectives invite greater understanding of dance as a human universal.

Mapping Grand Canyon: A Critical Cartographic History

For over 150 years, the geography of the Grand Canyon region has been the subject of multiple diverse manifestations of cartographic representation. Mapping Grand Canyon chronicles the history of mapping activities in and of the region—a space of real and imagined superlatives—while interrogating the corresponding societal and technological contexts of those activities and the meanings of their cartographic outputs.

Phoenix Mural Project

Phoenix Mural Project begins as a digital archive of the city’s ephemeral world of muralism—see ~400 images at


Enmei (Long Life): A Dance and Aging Project

"Enmei (Long Life): A Dance and Aging Project" interweaves the collection and analysis of narratives, storytelling and dance making to examine the ways in which different cultures value (or devalue) the aging body. Mid- to late-career dance artists and scholars from the U.S. and Japan will bring their varied life — and bodily — experiences together to explore how cultural ideas about aging and gender inform the lives, embodied experience and wellness of female dancers (and, by extension, of non-dancers). The project culminated in an event at ASU that included a talk placing the work in broader cultural context, a discussion of our research process, the premiere of a documentary and performance of a new dance piece.

Mapping History Project: Stories of the Southwest

The Mapping History Project animates Indigenous and Latin history within the larger Southwest, from the early 16th century through modern times. The Arizona State University School of Transborder Studies (STS) and Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (ACMRS) have partnered to develop a prototype website to host dynamic and interactive digital stories.

Materializing the Invisible: Transforming ASU Tempe campus to an open-air museum to explore the impact of time depth on community sense of place

‘Materializing the invisible’ is a research and public engagement project that seeks to make the archaeology of ASU’s Tempe campus accessible to its proximate and broader community. By transforming the campus into an open-air museum where the past can be experienced in a variety of ways that are integrated into the quotidian experiences of campus life, we aim to create a public conversation of what long-term heritage is, how it affects our sense of place and belonging in the present, and how it can transform the way we imagine our future.

Citizenship, Freedom and Gender in Morocco

This seed grant will illuminate the connections between Kharbusha’s protest (arguably the first female modern political prisoner), which occurred on the eve of colonial rule, and the call to reform the Mudawwana (Code of Personal Status) in 1993. Both events demonstrate multiple aspects of women’s agency that challenged the traditional Moroccan restrictions of women’s rights and individual freedoms. They represent endpoints of a longer and complicated sequence of events and processes that demonstrate the fight for rights within the power structure of patriarchy.

Creative Push

Creative Push is a multimedia art and humanities project about labor and delivery that seeks to create a meaningful dialogue between storytelling and visual art. is virtual space where people can listen to women’s labor and delivery stories and see artwork based on those stories.