© 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

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.

Medical Humanities at NYU: From Concept to Curriculum
Trace Jordan, Clinical Professor, College Core Curriculum, Faculty of Arts & Science
Perri Klass, Professor, Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, Faculty of Arts & Science; Department of Pediatrics, NYU Medical School
By bringing together a diverse and interdisciplinary community of NYU faculty around major themes in research, teaching, and practice related to medical humanities, the Working Group will create new opportunities for scholarly activity, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and teaching experiences. We will draw upon the existing scholarly expertise of NYU faculty whose work applies humanistic perspectives to health and disease.

Latinx Studies
Irvin Ibarguen, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Faculty of Arts & Science
Cecilia Marquez, Assistant Professor, Department of Social & Cultural Analysis, Faculty of Arts & Science
The Interdisciplinary Working Group on Latinx Studies seeks to integrate the significant scholarly resources available at NYU for the study of Latinxs. These vital assets are currently dispersed across various departments and units at NYU, when they could be unified to create a vibrant intellectual energy to study the origins, evolution, and outlook of the fastest growing demographic group in the U.S. The Working Group will build intellectual momentum by providing a space where scholars can discuss work in progress and meditate on the teaching of Latinx studies. The Group will provide faculty and graduate students with the first identifiable interdisciplinary home for the discussion and production of Latinx scholarship at NYU.

Past Working Groups