New Year, Neu(bauer) Projects

The Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society announces eight new faculty research projects.

By Cairo Lewis

On July 1, 2015, the University of Chicago’s Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society welcomed eight new faculty research projects into its growing portfolio. The projects span everything from climate change, environmental and evolutionary biology, and Assyrian economics, to German idealism, natural history, and American democracy.

The Neubauer Collegium, which was established in 2012, accepts annual project proposals from University faculty. These projects are collaborative efforts to answer research questions that pertain to the humanities and social sciences.

The projects that were recently launched are Climate Change: Disciplinary Challenges to the Humanities and the Social Sciences; Deep History; Economic Analysis of Ancient Trade: The Case of the Old Assyrian Merchants of the 19th Century BCE; Historical Semantics and Legal Interpretation; The Idealism Project: Self-Determining Form and the Autonomy of the Humanities; Open Fields: Ethics, Aesthetics and the Very Idea of a Natural History; the Problem of the Democratic State in U.S. History; and Transmission of Magical Knowledge in Antiquity: The Papyrus Magical Handbook.

The Collegium currently relies on the Global Visiting Fellows Program for further research. This program has so far welcomed 12 visitors from China, Denmark, Norway, France, Germany, England, Scotland, Syria, Switzerland, and Spain. This fall quarter, nine global fellows from the initiative will lead presentations and discussions at the new Neubauer building at 5701 South Woodlawn.

“The program has proven critical for advancing the research of our faculty, resulting in new and unexpected collaborations between our visitors and UChicago faculty and students,” News Officer for Arts and Humanities Susie Allen said.

She also added that Joe and Jeanette Neubauer’s gift of $26.5 million to the Collegium in support of the initiatives funds the new projects. In addition to this major project, the Collegium has funded 42 faculty research initiatives, which include 29 active projects.

“[W]e are very fortunate that the University has an institution like Neubauer to whom we could apply for funding,” said Robert Pippin, the professor who is working on the Idealism Project.

All of these projects will allow professors and students to work and build ideas together. According to Allen, “Collaboration is a value we live every day: In addition to funding projects, we work closely with researchers to develop strategies for their longer term projects, meaning we enter into a collaborative partnership with project leaders to envision the life of a project including but not confined to our own direct support for it. We also collaborate closely with other campus partners to create a lively comprehensive ecosystem for innovative research at the University and beyond.”