As a means to inaugurate this new initiative, the focus for the inaugural symposium will be “Contagion,” broadly construed. The topic is obviously an urgent one. But precisely because of the current global pandemic we have increasingly come to understand research on “Contagion” as extending across wide disciplinary perimeters. From the obviously crucial fields of epidemiology, virology, bio-statistics, and public health, our understanding of contagion is aided by social science and humanities disciplines: sociology, history, anthropology, medical humanities, rhetoric, political science, supply chain management, governance, mathematics, art, architectural design, literatures from a range of languages, folklore, science fiction, media studies, journalism, international affairs, law, educational policy and leadership, diplomacy and policy studies, to name the most obvious.
The IAS welcomes applications from members of the campus community interested in thinking about the epistemological, methodological, and conceptual challenges that attend research (theoretical or applied) on contagion.
The 2-day (likely virtual) workshop will be limited to 10-12 participants, drawn from as diverse a range of disciplines as possible. Each participant would, in the service of interdisciplinary engagement, contribute a title or two to a common bibliography. This bibliography would constitute the cross-disciplinary “intellectual reserves” held in common by members of the symposium. At the workshop, each member would present some kind of evidentiary artifact (a text, a data set, a model, a case study, an anecdote, an image) relevant to the question at hand. This presentation would be followed by a broad conversation about the artifact presented and the question or problem it poses. The specific outline of the conversation will depend greatly on the participants. It is the hope that the work of the group would provide both future direction for research questions, and / or a focused plan for documenting outcomes of this and related future inquiries (this could be, for instance, a white paper or other collaboratively authored document).
Two shorter meetings may be planned for February and March, 2021. Participants will receive $1000 in research funds.
To apply, please send a CV and a 250-word statement outlining the reasons for your interest and the relevance of your research to this topic to .
DEADLINE December 7, 2020.