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The Northeastern Humanities Center’s Collaborative Research Clusters give faculty the opportunity for a range of interdisciplinary research collaborations with awards up to $2,000. Current Collaborative Research Clusters descriptions are listed below:

About the Collaborative Research Cluster

These clusters bring together scholars and practitioners from different disciplines, both within and outside the university community, around a common issue of humanistic significance. The purpose is to facilitate productive discussions and collaborations among the participants, with a view toward the development of joint projects, conferences, publications, and grant applications.

Collaborative Research Cluster Application

2022 – 2023 Collaborative Research Clusters

Speculation in the Archive: Speculative Thought as Critical Intervention

The Research Cluster is focused on critically informed speculation as a way of
revising and remediating gaps in archival knowledge. The Research Cluster draws on literary scholar Saidiya Hartman’s idea of “critical fabulation,”–using the practice of critically informed speculation as a way of addressing and accounting for archival gaps and absences. We aim to explore critical speculation across three dimensions: theory, practice, and ethics. Critical
fabulation offers a much needed methodology for remixing and investigating the many silences
and gaps in the colonial archive, opening avenues of research once thought to be inaccessible
due to the power imbalances inherent in archive creation and perspective. The group aims to
scaffold critical and scholarly conversation and practice on the broad topic of speculative
knowledge and critical fabulation, work that is increasingly gaining traction in a variety of
humanities disciplines that will benefit from interdisciplinary collaboration

Contemporary Feminist Theory Book Group

Faculty Convener

The primary goal here is to read cutting edge, interdisciplinary feminist texts in the context of interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching. Books are picked collectively and will represent a wide range of feminist themes and debates.

American Studies Initiative

Faculty Convener

The theme of the Research Cluster is the study of American culture, encompassing the Americas as a whole and bringing together methods from across the humanities and social sciences. The purpose is to identify broad trends in American Studies as conceived within that discipline, and to explore interdisciplinary and multinational ways of thinking about the study of the history, politics, society, art, and literature of the Americas. Our goal is to build community among scholars working in the field from across CSSH, to create a sense of a common conversation across departments about research in these fields. We hope to also discuss how we might envision building a program to make Northeastern visible as a destination for study in these areas.

Preserving Twentieth-Century Urban Landscapes

Faculty Convener

The objective of this cluster is to bring together scholars and practitioners to reflect on contemporary developments in historic preservation and cultural landscapes in twentieth-century cities. This research cluster will create opportunities for discussion among Northeastern colleagues and graduate students respectively pursuing research in architecture, history, urban studies, and digital humanities. It will also place them in dialogue with local practitioners in the field and area scholars committed to thinking through the challenges and opportunities that accompany efforts to preserve cultural landscapes in cities contending with gentrification, migration, traffic, and climate change. Finally, the cluster will consider how tools in the digital humanities can be used effectively for these fields, and help to establish a network of scholars in the greater Boston area interested in the intersections between historic preservation and the digital humanities.

About the Collaborative Research Clusters Archive

The Humanities Center funds a wide range of themes and topics. Past groups have organized around such topics as critical social theory; sexual citizenship; urban environmental governance; food; and race and visual culture studies.


Collaborative Research Cluster Archive