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Current Projects

Memory: Form, Function, and Fallibility (2015–16)

memoryOrganizing Fellows

Memory is crucial to human thought and reasoning; it is fundamental to daily function, to the construction of personal identity, to social interaction and historical documentation. Fields as varied as religion and computer science, literature, linguistics and anthropology have long grappled with the nature of memory and how it functions. Recent research in neuroscience has added new levels of complexity to our understanding of memory and its reliability, and to questions that cut across all disciplines: What is the relationship between memory and an event? Is memory a recording or a re-creation? How are collective memories constructed and sustained? Read the complete project description.

Project fellows



Organizing Fellow

Spend five minutes watching a small child on the playground. She finds a set of stairs she has not navigated before. Tentatively and painstakingly, she figures out a combination of moves and holds that enable her to get to the top. What does she do then? She makes her way back down and does it again, more confidently, more quickly, more effectively. Read the complete project description

Project fellows

Short-term projects 2015-16


Organizing Fellows

  • Darcy Buerkle, History
  • Greg White, Government

Saturday, October, 31, 9 a.m.-noon

Understanding the phenomena of forced migration presents deep challenges to scholars. A fuller understanding of the intricacies of forced migration can, ideally, help to provide those of us working in a variety of fields with better analyses, informed advocacy for policymakers, and pedagogical insights for the classroom. This project will focus on the value (anc challenges) of first-person accounts and other related cultural production of displaced persons and refugees. Read the complete project description.

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The Empire of Cotton

Organizing Fellow

  • Kiki Smith, Theatre

Friday-Saturday, April 29-30, 2016

Cotton has been the stuff of conflict and controversies in all parts of the globe for more than 5500 years. It is woven into the histories of cities and connected to disparate concerns. This three-day Kahn colloquium will use as its starting point a book, Empire of Cotton: A Global History, by Sven Beckert, a work that engages with virtually every academic discipline. Faculty from a wide range of disciplines are invited to come together to discuss the book and the interesting evolution of cotton in an informal and open-ended way. Read the complete project description.