Published: Jan. 10, 2017

Students with laptops at a conference tableBy Joan Gabriele and Tim O’Neil

What is research like in the arts and humanities? That’s a question students in several CU programs and departments will soon be able to answer thanks to new initiatives in Jewish Studies, Theatre and Dance, and English, which are supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)’s new Department Grants. With funding generously provided by the College of Arts and Sciences this year, UROP initially offered these new awards to arts and humanities departments to kick start the development of cultures supportive of undergraduate research, scholarly and creative work. Department Grants are now available to any department/program working to help majors understand scholarship in their field and provide opportunities for students to take ownership of their education.

This year, Department Grant recipients will host social events for faculty to share their work with students and initiate collaborations. Because Jewish Studies is interdisciplinary, faculty will come from several departments. English will host discussions with faculty on archival resources and material culture as well as how creative writers produce their work. Both will include field trips. Theatre and Dance will also revise their website to highlight opportunities for undergraduate engagement.

Jewish Studies students will delve into Holocaust denial literature and Jewish renewal manuscripts in Norlin library, working with the Archive Project Director and Chief Archivist. Faculty in Theatre and Dance will integrate research into the curriculum of existing courses. And English students will visit Professor Lori Emerson’s Media Archaeology Lab and Professor Adam Bradley’s Laboratory for Race and Popular Culture.

Students may emerge from these experiences with new ideas for career paths, their own independent projects (including honors theses), a desire to work in the archives, or assisting a professor with their research or creative work. Grant recipients will share their experiences at a symposium in Fall 2017 which will be open to all faculty. In anticipation of the upcoming grant deadline of February 17th, interested departments can get more information at