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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

2020 – 2021 Collaborative Research Clusters

Let’s Code for Languages: Integrating AI Chatbots into Foreign Language Learning

Faculty Convener

Our research cluster, including NEU and faculty members industry researchers and developers, graduate and undergraduate students, both from AI research areas (Human to Machine communication) and from the World Language Center (Human to Human communication), aims to investigate how we can take advantage of AI chatbot technologies to motivate student to hone their conversation skills and improve students foreign language communication skills.

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.

Resilience and Autonomy—Pedagogical Multiliteracies in a Globalizing World

Faculty Convener

This proposed cluster looks to facilitate a multidisciplinary dialogue among academic and non-academic stakeholders at NU (students, support staff, administration) regarding what the New London Group (1996) referred to as cultural, linguistic, communicative, and technological diversity. Cluster members from colleges across the university (CPS, CSSH, and D’AmoreMcKim) contribute multiple perspectives from disciplines such as academic technology, applied linguistics, business, instructional design, and writing studies to complete this goal.

Body Disciplines

Faculty Convener

This group is interested in studying the new/retro/revived intensity of policing and scrutiny of raced and gendered bodies, particularly female—everything from “vaginal rejuvenation,” to increasingly baroque practices of hair removal, to discourses around fat and fat shaming, Black hair, “elective” surgery based on caucasian beauty norms, the influence of social media on selfreprsentation. . . etc. We’re inspired here by both critical texts such as Tressie McMillan Cottom’s Thick and by more problematic cultural phenomena such as Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop.

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.

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.