The University of Chicago has a number of academic centers that supply programming and resources to faculty and students in the humanities and social sciences. The Department of English works closely with several of these centers to foster interdisciplinary work within the Humanities Division and to provide intellectual and professional opportunities for its students. We briefly describe four of these centers below.
The Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality (CSGS), which includes the Lesbian and Gay Studies Project, draws on the resources of its 190 affiliated faculty to further research in gender and sexuality studies. The Center runs programming, coordinates coursework (through the mechanism of cross-listing), and offers a workshop for faculty and graduate students. The Department of English and CSGS have enjoyed an especially productive working relationship, which has involved both students and faculty. English faculty members Lauren Berlant and Debbie Nelson have both directed the CSGS in recent years.
The Franke Institute for the Humanities promotes interdisciplinary networks on campus about ideas, theories, issues, and themes in humanities. It cosponsors interdisciplinary conferences and lectures as well as provides grants to student-organized events. For advanced doctoral students, the Franke Institute awards four dissertation fellowships annually and also supports an Affiliated Doctoral Fellows group for students receiving Mellon, Whiting, Harper, or Provost Dissertation Fellowships. The current director of the Franke Institute is English faculty member James Chandler. The Center for Disciplinary Innovation (CDI) is a satellite of the Franke. The CDI offers team-taught courses at the graduate level with participating faculty from different disciplines. Unlike other programs in team teaching, this one constitutes the faculty participants as a fellowship, a group whose aim is to keep the larger disciplinary questions continually in focus. Two courses per quarter, or six over the year, are supported.
The Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture was established by Michael C. Dawson, with a founding conference taking place in June of 1996 entitled, “Race and Voice: Challenges for the 21st Century.” From its inception, CSRPC faculty affiliates, students, and staff have been committed to establishing a new type of research institute devoted to the study of race and ethnicity, one that seeks to expand the study of race beyond the black/white paradigm while exploring social and identity cleavages within racialized communities. Scholars affiliated with the Center have also endeavored to make race and ethnicity central topics of intellectual investigation at the University of Chicago by fostering interdisciplinary research, teaching, and public debate. Fundamentally, the Center is committed to contributing intellectually challenging and innovative scholarship that can help people transform their thinking and their lives. Towards those goals, the Center provides funding and other types of support for projects initiated by faculty affiliates, graduate students, undergraduates, artists-in-residence and visiting fellows. After extensive renovations in 2013, our building now features seminar rooms to host classes and workshops, space for our events and community activities and other resources. English faculty members Lauren Berlant, Adrienne Brown, Loren Kruger, Chicu Reddy, Richard So, Christopher Taylor, and Kenneth Warren are all affiliated with the center.
The Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture aims to develop a new model for graduate education in American culture, to serve as a hub for the exciting multidisciplinary study of America at the University of Chicago, and to make that study visible on a national and international level. The Scherer Center sponsors courses, seminars, and lunch-time discussions of new work; and brings distinguished visitors to campus for lectures, symposia, and conferences. English faculty member Eric Slauter is currently the director of the Scherer Center.
The Nicholson Center for British Studies works with Chicago students and faculty to integrate, support, and fund disciplinary and cross-disciplinary research on Britain, Ireland, and the former British Empire. In addition to awarding grants for graduate and undergraduate research in the UK, the Nicholson Center sponsors a yearly lecture series, hosts graduate-run conferences, and cosponsors a variety of campus events involving British Studies.
For a full list of centers within the Humanities Division, see the Humanities Division Website.