Humanities Lab at ASU
The Humanities Lab at ASU is designed as an experimental space in which interdisciplinary faculty teams work with students from a variety of academic and cultural backgrounds to investigate grand social challenges, to construct researchable questions that delve deeply into those challenges, and to generate possible approaches to complex, “wicked” issues like immigration, health, and climate change, for which there are no easy answers.
In a one- or two-semester classroom experience, students and faculty work in intergenerational collaborative teams, synthesize their research outcomes, and disseminate those outcomes to appropriate publics—in op-ed pieces, performances, art exhibits, public dialogues, e-books, videos, or other media. In the process, both students and the public recognize the generative nature and social significance of the humanities. In today’s world, universities have an obligation to educate students about the grand social challenges they will be called upon to address as citizens and leaders.
As America’s #1 university for innovation, it is especially appropriate for ASU to embrace this obligation and develop programs that encourage students to reflect on, deeply discuss, and prepare to address issues such as health, climate change, immigration, sexual violence, and information overload. The Humanities Lab is a crucial component in this effort.