Indiana University Bloomington receives $1 million grant to establish a Humanities research lab

Sample_Gates_Indiana_University_Bloomington,_2010.jpg

The grant will be used to create Platform, a collaborative research laboratory dedicated to contemporary arts and humanities with the aim to open up new professional pathways for students and highlight the many career choices available to individuals with degrees in the arts and humanities.

Indiana University Bloomington

In a time when a growing number of colleges and universities are closing programs in the fields of Liberal Arts and Humanities due to a perceived lack of 'utility', the Andrew Mellon W. Foundation has awarded a four-year $1 million USD grant to Indiana University Bloomington (IU) to support research in the arts and humanities. The university reported that it will provide an additional "institutional commitment" of $1 million USD to support this initiative.

The grant will be used to create Platform, a collaborative research laboratory dedicated to contemporary arts and humanities with the aim to promote interdisciplinary and collaborative projects. According to the press release, Platform will establish faculty-led research teams that will focus on two areas: global popular music and Indiana studies. 

"The best humanities scholarship is integrative; it takes the multitude of details and seeks the patterns, the interconnections, that gather the details into a big picture," said Jonathan Elmer, professor of English and director of the College Arts and Humanities Institute. "With Platform, we have taken this integrative approach everywhere -- bringing researchers and practitioners together from different disciplines, linking teaching and research, and bringing in undergraduate and graduate students into the process of collaboration."

The university said students at every level, from freshmen to postdoctoral students, will be involved in the research generated through Platform. The aim of Platform is to "open up new professional pathways for undergraduate and graduate students and highlight the many career choices available to individuals with degrees in the arts and humanities." 

"The Platform project incorporates students into the research process," said Ed Comentale, professor of English and co-principal investigator fo the grant. "Through high-impact internships, new curricular formats and innovative media use, students will be empowered to pursue public-facing research with real-world impacts. We hope to help students and staff envision new career possibilities for arts and humanities, with the work of the lab providing clear examples of their beneficial application to multiple professions and social institutions."