Gould Center Humanities Labs

Looking for a chance to pursue independent research in the humanities in a collaborative setting?

The Gould Center’s Humanities Labs offer students a funded opportunity for hands-on experience in humanities research in a team-based format and in close mentorship with a faculty member.  These year-long labs engage students in creative, project-based problem solving related to some of the most central humanistic issues facing us today on both a personal and global scale.  Research findings will be presented in both traditional and creative formats, from academic papers to op/eds, short stories, films, websites, and podcasts. Open to CMC students of all class years, with preference given to humanities majors or students with demonstrated interest in the humanities. Selected students will receive a $2000 research stipend plus up to $250 for project-related expenses. Workload per week will vary, but is expected to average approximately six hours per week. Funding for this initiative has been provided by the President’s Office.

Application available at https://forms.gle/DrqDr7XgeiAXYyBE9. Deadline:  Friday, September 13, 2019 at 5 p.m.


Imagining Los Angeles

Faculty mentor: Professor Kevin Moffett, Department of Literature

Humanities Lab #1: Imagining Los Angeles

Imagining Los Angeles will offer students a chance to think critically and creatively about Los Angeles as a place, a factory for its own myth-making, a compelling intersection of cultures, a harbinger of the future. We’ll read some of the literature set there, watch a few of the many films with the city as a backdrop, and explore it as a group with an eye toward narrowing your research to a person, a neighborhood, an idea, all the while speculating on the future of Los Angeles and imagining creative solutions to current problems. Your research will culminate in a creative project, the scope, structure, and format of which will be up to you. Collaboration will be encouraged, as well as novel forms: short films, podcasts, photo-essays. The nature of the lab will be experimental and will ideally give you a chance to approach your interests and obsessions in ways you’ve not yet had a chance to.

Humanities Lab #2: Great Expectations

When Mulan reflects on how she'll never be the perfect bride or the perfect daughter, we recognize that pain. We are surrounded, constantly, by other people's expectations of how we should behave and who we should be. On the one hand, it seems we have to make assumptions about others. For example, the social sciences rely on statistical analyses of classes of people. On the other hand, we recognize that pain Mulan identifies when we’re reduced to who we are expected to be because of protected characteristics that are outside of our control rather than who we in fact are. Together we'll meet and discuss various academic texts, books, and films about expectations, stereotyping, and the assumptions we make about others so that all participants have a common foundation from which to build their own individual and/or collaborative projects. As the topic is extremely personal, it will be up to each participant to decide how, and with whom, they want to explore the questions that emerge from this dilemma about expectation and identity and what format suits their exploration the best.


Great Expectations

Faculty mentor: Professor Rima Basu, Department of Philosophy