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Research Workshops

Kaplan Research Workshops are interdisciplinary groups of Northwestern faculty and graduate students that foster community through scholarly exchange and collaboration. With financial support from Kaplan, participants convene informal discussions of research and works in progress; present public talks and workshops; and engage with visiting scholars.

The funding call for a new slate of 2024-2025 Research Workshops will be announced in fall quarter 2023. Please check back!

2023-2024 Research Workshops

Colloquium for Global Iran Studies

Conveners: Elham Hoominfar (Global Health Studies), Sepehr Vakil (Learning Sciences), Shirin Vossoughi (Learning Sciences), and Emrah Yildiz (Anthropology/Middle East and North African Studies)

Click HERE for the Colloquium for Global Iran Studies web page.

The Colloquium for Global Iran Studies (CoGIS) provides an interdisciplinary forum for scholars, intellectuals, artists, public figures, faculty, and students committed to deepening our knowledge and understanding of modern Iran in its global, regional, and historical contexts. Through a series of roundtables, public lectures, and events, as well as a sustained research and writing group, CoGIS supports the Northwestern community to consider the productivity of a global framework in the study of Iran and its diverse diasporas and peoples. CoGIS sets out to build the analytical and pedagogical tools necessary to un-learn persistent misconceptions and prevalent oversimplifications that explain away modern Iran and its diasporas and learn from those voices committed to rigorous and imaginative inquiry. 


Critical African Heritages

Conveners: Amanda Logan (Anthropology) and Kathleen Bickford Berzock (Block Museum of Art and Art History)
Graduate Coordinator: Shelby Mohrs (Anthropology)

Click HERE for the Critical African Heritages web page.

Critical African Heritages is a three-year research workshop intended to build deeper connections among Northwestern and regional peers, and to think together about how we can build sustainable collaborations across fields, institutions, and international boundaries. Our goal is to provide a space for generative, open-ended conversation that transcends categories such as intangible and tangible heritage, the bifurcation of Africa and its diasporas, and disciplinary silos.

Death Studies

Conveners: Catherine Belling (Medical Education), Jeanne Dunning (Art Theory and Practice), Sean Hanretta (History), Joshua Hauser (Medicine; Medical Education), and Mel Keiser (Independent Artist; Art History)

Click HERE for the Death Studies web page.

The Death Studies research workshop provides a space for Northwestern scholars and students interested in the human encounter with death and recognizing death as a universal and important part of the human experience.

We are interested in living with death.

Environmental Humanities

Conveners: Corey Byrnes (Asian Languages and Cultures, Comparative Literary Studies, and Humanities) and  Keith Woodhouse (History and Environmental Policy and Culture)
Graduate Coordinator: Phoenix Gonzalez (Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama)

Click HERE  for the Environmental Humanities Workshop webpage.

The goal of the Environmental Humanities Research Workshop is to foster a community of scholars at Northwestern and in the Chicago area who are interested in what we have broadly termed the environmental humanities. Workshop participants share an interest in questions of nature, science, ethics, aesthetics, environmental policy, and the shifting relationships between the human and the non-human, as well as in refining our understanding of what "the environmental humanities" comprises. The workshop hosts informal discussions about provocative pieces of scholarship as well as works-in-progress, and organizes public talks by established scholars whose work has helped define and expand humanistic approaches to environmental issues.

Global Antiquities

Conveners: Mark McClish (Religious Studies), Ryan Platte (Classics), and Taco Terpstra (Classics)
Graduate Coordinator: Udita Das (Religious Studies)

Click HERE for the Global Antiquities Workshop site.

The Global Antiquities research group brings together Northwestern scholars who specialize in the study of the literatures, histories, and cultures of the ancient world, regardless of discipline or regional specialty. Our interests range from Mesopotamian art to Greek philosophy, from classical Latin poetry to Hindu Brahmin law, and from Tang dynasty China to Syriac and Coptic Christianity. The group (formed in the summer of 2017) gets together once or twice a quarter for colloquia, field trips, or invited talks. The group's goal is to enliven both the scholarship and the teaching of its members, and to offer a fresh and exciting take – interdisciplinary and global in essence – on antiquity more broadly, in order to make a significant contribution to the humanities within the university and beyond it.