© photo by Jeff Day

Working Groups

In an effort to build community and foster interdisciplinary exchange on topics with a humanistic focus at New York University, the Center for the Humanities sponsors Working Groups grants. The Center envisions these grants as bringing together NYU faculty and graduate students in a carefully planned series of meetings on a focused topic in the humanities where interdisciplinary approaches are likely to be particularly fruitful. The Center expects that the work achieved by the Working Groups will generate new curricular offerings, publications, conferences, or collaborative faculty projects.

Current Working Groups

Crip Authorship
Mara Mills, Department of Media, Culture and Communication, Steinhardt
Faye Ginsburg, Department of Anthropology, Faculty of Arts & Science
The term crip—a once derogatory term, much like queer—has been embraced by disability scholars/ activists to reveal ableist assumptions and exclusionary effects in mainstream representations and practices. The Crip Authorship Workling Group is co-editing a handbook for NYU Press on theories and methods of research, writing, and multimodal/accessible publishing in disability studies and activism. The contributions will vary in style from the theoretical to the practical, the scholarly to the popular. We intend for the book to be teachable in disability studies classes as well as useful outside the university.

el taller
Abigail Balbale, Department of Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies, Faculty of Arts & Science
Robert Lubar, Institute of Fine Arts, Faculty of Arts & Science
S.J. Pearce, Department of Spanish & Portuguese, Faculty of Arts & Science
el taller is an inclusive intellectual community designed to foster humanistic inquiry and collaboration relating to the arts, literatures, cultures, and histories of the Iberian Peninsula at home and abroad, with an open view of periodization and linguistic identity. The group includes a wide range of scholars who focus, from different disciplinary, temporal, geographic, and linguistic perspectives, on the cultural history of the Iberian Peninsula and its global reach.

Cold War Media
Rossen Djagalov, Department of Russian and Slavic Studies, Faculty of Arts & Science
Arvind Rajagopal, Department of Media, Culture and Communication, Steinhardt
Cold War Media seeks to understand the significance of investments in specific mechanisms undergirding the post WWII liberal consensus, namely technologies of communication, whose advancement and unrestricted functioning became ideological agenda during the Cold War period. The “communication revolution,” which is more acclaimed than analyzed, was launched during the Cold War, and gave rise to the then-new category of media, understood as “extensions of man” (McLuhan, 1964) rather than as state apparatuses for example (Althusser, 1971). The main actors of the Cold War (the Eastern and the Western blocs as well as the diverse Third-Worldist forces) were united in seeing media (print, film, radio, television, etc.) as a means of accelerating modernization. The logic of the competition between superpowers further fueled media growth. To date, however, there has been no systematic effort to assess the impact of the resulting cultural production on a comparative basis. This working group will advance comparative analysis of post-World War II media growth and transformation resulting across the Global North and South.

Drama, Theater and Performance Studies (DTAPS)
Alisa Zhulina, Department of Drama, Tisch School of the Arts; Russian and Slavic Studies, Faculty of Arts & Science
Brandon Woolf, Department of English, Faculty of Arts & Science
The Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies Working Group (DTAPS) seeks to provide a central forum for cutting-edge interdisciplinary research at New York University. Established in the fall of 2019, this working group brings together graduate students and faculty from departments across the university – as well as theatre scholars and artists in greater New York City – to foster a much-needed space for promoting and sharing new scholarship on theatre, performance, and dramatic literature.

Past Working Groups