- Advanced Materials by Design: Theory and Computation
- African Diaspora and the Atlantic World Research Circle
- American Indian Studies
- Biomedical Engineering
- Chemical Biology
- Cognitive Sciences
- Communication Technologies Research
- Comparative Political Economy
- Comparative U.S. Studies
- Computational Sciences
- Computational Systems Biology
- Computer Engineering
- Computer Sciences
- Cultural Studies in a Global Context
- Disability Studies
- Energy Sources and Policy
- Expressive Culture and Diversity in the Upper Midwest
- Food Pathogens and Toxins
- Functional Brain Imaging
- Functional Organic Materials
- Global Governance and International Finance
- Initiative for Studies in Transformational Entrepreneurship
- Interdisciplinary Arts Residency Program
- International Environmental Affairs and Global Security
- International Public Affairs
- Land Use
- Law, Society and Justice
- Mathematical Physics - String Theory
- Middle Eastern Studies
- Molecular Biometry
- Nanophase Inorganic Materials and Devices
- Political Economy
- Poverty Studies
- Religious Studies
- Science and Technology Studies
- Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
- Structural Biology
- Translational Research - Neurodegenerative Diseases
- Very High Energy Astrophysics and Cosmology
- Visual Culture
- Vitamin D
- Women's Health Research/Biology of Sex and Gender Differences
- Zebrafish Biology
In just a few years, Religious Studies has become one of the most significant interdisciplinary programs on campus. With faculty from more than 20 departments, the program offers courses that range across the humanities and social studies, and that draw several thousand students each semester. The program coordinates core courses in world religions and individual religious traditions, as well as thematic and comparative courses; advises students; and promotes new courses and research opportunities. The university’s strengths in languages, area studies and traditional social sciences support Religious Studies; a distinctive approach to the study of religion combines philosophy, anthropology and sociology with work in art history, literature, folklore, geography, law, education, and history. Other universities have actively recruited our cluster faculty, reflecting the high quality of our hires but also requiring constant renewal. Religious Studies is now a nationally recognized and truly interdisciplinary program that fosters cooperation across academic fields of specialization; retaining and renewing its cluster faculty is its sine qua non.
- Prior to development of the cluster, the undergraduate major was available only as an individual major. Now there is a specific curriculum for majors, and the number of students majoring in religious studies is growing faster than expected. In addition, there is a stable set of certificate earners among undergraduates and the number of PhD minors in the program has increased.
- Many new undergraduate courses have been added. Each cluster faculty member teaches about one-third of his or her classes for religious studies and one-third for the home department; one-third are cross-listed courses.
- Cluster faculty have leadership positions outside the cluster as well. One was named a senior fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities and served as the director of the Middle Eastern Studies Program. Another was chair of the Department of the East Asia Languages and Literature and has served as the director of the Center for East Asian Studies. A third has been active in the Center for South Asia and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies.
- The cluster has been a catalyst for collaboration on religious studies research and the group holds regular faculty colloquia with a group of affiliated faculty. The cluster also worked together to apply for a major Ford Foundation grant. Cluster faculty have been active members of the program’s steering committee.
- The program has sponsored lectures by visiting speakers that have been well attended by both students and faculty from across campus.
- In the last two years the Religious Studies program has conducted two successful searches to replace cluster vacancies in Buddhism and Islam.
This cluster cohort forms the core of the Religious Studies program along with more than 65 affiliated faculty from departments ranging from anthropology to zoology. By working cooperatively, the cluster faculty help to maintain and ensure the success of the program, and allow it to contribute more effectively to the intellectual life of the university.
Cluster coordinator, faculty and lead dean
- Rudy Koshar, Professor, History and Director of Interdiciplinary Instruction Program
- David Morgan, Professor, History
- Anna Gade, Associate Professor, Languages and Culture of Asia
- Anne Hansen, Associate Professor, Languages and Cultures of Asia
- Gary Sandefur, Dean, College of Letters and Science