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Research, Teaching, and Creative Themes

These themes emerged out of a survey that heads completed in early fall, 2019. They are meant to serve as broad descriptors that begin to articulate the concrete contributions faculty members in HSS are making through through research, teaching, and creative work. It is inevitable that there will be a degree of overlap in these themes. Further, while they cannot be exhaustive, the aim is that they capture the substance and breadth of work in HSS.

There are four themes:

Languages, Media, and the Arts

This theme focuses on modalities of human expression and communication in linguistic, artistic, digital, and other media. Specifically, what characterizes work in this theme is attention to the study of ancient and modern languages; the structure, development, and psychology of languages; storytelling forms and practices in film, literature, theatre, and popular culture; and systems and technologies of interpersonal and global communication. Possible subareas:

Social, Economic, and Political Ethics, Relationships and Structures

This theme focuses on understanding relationships between and among groups of people: what those relationships create, sustain, challenge, and resist. This includes examining, at a minimum, institutions, organizations, social networks, and cultures and social structures, often with particular attention paid to the ethics and relationships of power, resource distribution, reproduction, and change. Possible subareas:

Space and Place

This theme focuses on the relationship of humans and our environment. Work in this theme considers the role of human agency and of power in the context of varied and intersecting physical and social contexts. Specifically, attention to resources, development, sustainability, land, and water, and to concepts including the anthropocene, imaginary environments, and representations of space and place characterize work in this theme. Possible subareas:

Time, Tradition, and Change

This theme focuses on the chronological dimension of human experience and the continuities and discontinuities in social formations, ideas, artistic practices, religious rites, and political institutions over time. Specifically, attention to issues of preservation and transformation, memory and forgetting, and the histories of places, communities, and linguistic practices characterize work in this theme. Possible subareas: