Working Groups

The Mandel Center for the Humanities supports faculty and graduate student working groups on topics and themes related to the humanities. Coordinators administer their own workshops and are responsible for their content, but upon request the Center will provide a small budget for such costs as publicity, audiovisual equipment, guest visitors and refreshments.

Workshops might meet only occasionally for a brief period of time, as interest dictates or they might become regularly scheduled events running through the academic year. Whatever their size and subject, each workshop provides an open environment for interdisciplinary conversations on subjects of broad interest to humanities scholars, members of the Brandeis community and the general public.

Propose a Working Group

Proposals for working groups should include the name of your group, subject of study and a few stated goals or intentions. Please tell us how often you plan on meeting, which students and faculty members the group is open to and if you intend on bringing in any outside speakers or guests. Proposals should be about one page in length, include the names and departmental affiliations of any core or founding members and estimate the group's yearly budget. Email proposals to Bailey Ludwig, MCH program assistant.

Working Groups for 2020-21

Fighting Anti-Blackness in Our Curricular, Research, and Creative Spaces

Organized by: The interdisciplinary minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST), Tom King and Toni Shapiro-Phim, co-chairs.

This ongoing and interdisciplinary MCH Working Group aims to create a space for (1) uncovering and fighting anti-Blackness in our institutional, scholarly, creative, and curricular frameworks and practices; (2) facilitating our development as artists, researchers, educators, community-engaged practitioners, and administrators; and (3) following the leadership of our colleagues working in such areas as DEI research and implementation, Black and African American studies, and critical race studies and supporting, promoting, and celebrating their work at Brandeis. The MCH Working Group welcomes participation by all faculty, administrative staff, and graduate students at Brandeis who (1) understand creativity, broadly defined, as a key component of their practice, research methodology, or object of study; (2) commit to centering the voices and knowledge of those whose lives have been rendered most precarious by anti-Blackness; and (3) commit to the process of learning together in community and to the principles for engagement established at our first meeting(s).

For more information, please contact Tom King or Toni Shapiro-Phim.

Climate Change: A Threat to Human Civilization and Life as We Know It

This group discusses the interdisciplinary scholarship about the socio-political consequences of climate change and efforts to curb its damage. We also focus on the responsibilities of liberal arts universities in general, and Brandeis in particular, to create and spread knowledge of the threat and its relationship to other forms of injustice through scholarship, teaching, outreach, and creative work in all disciplines, including the humanities. For more information, contact Sabine von Mering.

Contemporaneity Working Group

The contemporaneity group is an interdisciplinary group of 5-12 humanities faculty and graduate students who meet monthly throughout the academic year to discuss new scholarship on contemporary literature and culture. We bring in speakers once or sometimes twice a year and maintain an archive of readings from past sessions on LATTE. Any interested faculty or graduate students are welcome to join. For more information, contact Caren Irr.

Public Humanities Working Group

This working group will examine recent public humanities work, across disciplines, and cultivate public humanities projects at Brandeis. The group will identify new publics for humanities scholarship, explore diverse media and genres for engaging audiences, consider opportunities for collaborating across institutional and professional lines, imagine viable public humanities enterprises, and analyze the curricular implications of public humanities possibilities. This group, open to all Brandeis faculty and graduate students, will meet approximately six times a year, with some invited guests. For more information, contact David Sherman.