Through the Institute for Humanities Research, humanities scholars collaborate with each other and with researchers across the university to address our most fundamental and challenging “big questions”: Who are we? Why are we here? What do we value and why? Where did we come from? Where are we going and how will we get there? Questions such as these lie at the heart of what have been called “wicked problems,” those challenges that require the combined efforts of scholars in many disciplines to find solutions that are complex and transdisciplinary in their scope. They include such global and urgent problems as climate change, terrorism, homelessness and health disparities. Infusing humanistic perspectives into academic initiatives addressing these challenges, the Institute for Humanities Research is at the center of an engaged university research enterprise making a difference in the world.
All are welcome to attend our many events throughout the year, from small workshops on specialized topics to large lectures with scholars such as Lauren Berlant, Alan Lightman and Zadie Smith. Arizona State University faculty can form research clusters around areas of shared interest or apply for funding in the form of fellowships, seed grants, and subventions. The Institute for Humanities Research also encourages transdisciplinary research that contributes to our special initiatives--including digital, environmental, medical and urban humanities—and encourages outreach and involvement with arts and other kinds of institutions in the greater Phoenix community.