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Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities

CEAH Research Clusters


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The Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities (CEAH) fosters ongoing faculty research clusters (or working groups). Research Clusters are faculty-initiated groups that focus on topics using diverse cross-disciplinary approaches. They examine issues from varied artistic, humanistic, and scientific perspectives to create a unique, collaborative, and innovative interdisciplinary understanding of that issue.


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Research Clusters:


Conceptualizing the Prairie: Environmental Studies and Cultural Memory

Contact: ceah-prairie@iastate.edu

Convener:
    Dr. W. Stanley Harpole, Assistant Professor, EEOB (harpole@iastate.edu)

This group analyzes materials that touch on all aspects of the prairie ecology, making knowledge about its past and present more accessible to the general public and university educators. Through academic publications and the development of educational materials, it will provide resources to increase public awareness and understanding of this landscape, which in so many ways connects not only to the region's economic vitality and ability to literally "feed the world," but also to our regional and national identity and imagination.

Sustaining & Envisioning the Global City:
Urban Space, Architecture, & Infrastructure in a Cross-Cultural Perspective

Contact: ceah-urban@iastate.edu

Convenor:
    Kimberly Elman Zarecor, Associate Professor, Architecture (zarecor@iastate.edu)

Public Space and Urban Development are topics of interest to scholars from diverse fields including architecture, history, regional and community planning, anthropology, and communicative and literary discourse amongst others. Scholars who wish to understand the topic comparatively and across disciplines have looked at issues of development, infrastructure and the politics of urbanization. This research cluster at ISU includes faculty working in diverse cultural and global contexts, bringing together a variety of sub-disciplinary approaches from industrial housing in Eastern Europe to the problems of urban reconstruction in the Middle East to contemporary American cultural identity and environmental formation. As the group expands, the geographic coverage and methodological diversity will extend into other global regions and academic disciplines.

Debt: Crisis, Risk, Inequality

Contact: ceah-debt@iastate.edu

Convenor:
    William Carter, Assistant Professor, World Languages & Cultures (wcarter@iastate.edu)

Debt has a long history and remains more relevant than ever. From global financial crises to debt ceilings, the rising cost of student loans to calls for debt forgiveness, debt looms as an ominous threat to survival both for individuals and for entire nations. And yet, in other cultural and historical conditions, recognition of indebtedness to others has been a key building block of social life. As a framework for both human and inhumane relationships, and for reflections on the value and values of those relationships, debt brings together concerns throughout the liberal arts and sciences. The Debt Research Cluster endeavors to approach debt from a variety of disciplines, theoretical perspectives, historical contexts, and contemporary discussions. We encourage not only faculty participation but also community and student involvement in discussing a topic that has come to increasing impact societies, communities, and individuals throughout the world. We hope to offer a unique approach to current debt crises, both local and international, while considering their lasting impacts as well as proposing potential solutions.