ASURE Humanities Application Form

Arts + Sciences Undergraduate Research Experience — Humanities

Interested in ASURE Humanities? Great! The College will admit as many eligible students as capacity allows into the ASURE Humanities program. Applying for ASURE, however, does not automatically guarantee admission to the program.

Apply now

ASURE Humanities course descriptions

You will be asked to choose your top three courses on your application. Please take a moment to review the course descriptions below. 

COLL-C 103 Critical Approaches to the Arts and Humanities

This course invites students to discover how the natural sciences and the humanities are not so different after all. Too often we think of science as merely the objective study of facts and data about nature, but science also produces narratives and stories of who we are as humans. Students will explore how scientific controversies over climate change, for example, make us think differently about ourselves and our relationship to nonhumans, while debates over genetic ancestry ask us to consider how DNA can tell us who we are and where we belong. As students learn to think about social problems from both the sciences and humanities, they will acquire transformative new ways of understanding themselves, their relationships with others, and what future worlds are possible.

Instructor: Laura Foster, Department of Gender Studies

COLL-C 103 Critical Approaches to the Arts and Humanities

"Humanities" is the name we give to academic disciplines, expressive art forms, and cultural traditions that represent and investigate the depths of what it means to be human. Philosophy, literature, religion, history, folklore, art—these are the subjects and disciplines within the humanities. In addition to introducing these subjects and disciplines, this course prepares students for the making and doing of humanities activities by attending to the embodied qualities of human minds and by asking students to step into the shoes of philosophers, artists, storytellers, painters, believers, historians, and the like. As we learn, for example, Aristotle's Illusion, we will doubt our own experiences of reality by playing with childish folk illusions like Rubber Pencil and Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board. Above and beyond the explication of religious texts, we will ask ourselves what it is to believe. Through viewings of "Romeo and Juliet" and "Harry Potter,” we will challenge ourselves to perform and to tell stories. While we evaluate the essence of sculpture and painting, we will create maps, pictures, poems, and memes. Along the way, we will consider how the humanities make meaning and give rise to our aesthetic judgements of that which we touch, taste, smell, hear and see.

Instructor: Brandon Barker, Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology

COLL-C 103 Critical Approaches to the Arts and Humanities

This course investigates the ways in which people use global popular music as a force for social, political, physiological, and other types of change. We will explore popular music as a means through which people embody and express notions of identity, self, and other, and discuss connections between popular music and pressing local, national, and global issues. In addition to lectures and discussions, classwork will include panel discussions, film screenings, cultural activities, and performances on campus and in the local community. At the heart of all class activities will be the idea that popular music is a powerful resource through which we shape ourselves and the world around us.

Instructor: Daniel B. Reed, Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology

ASURE Humanities lab descriptions

You will be asked to choose your top three labs on your application. Please take a moment to review the lab descriptions below. 

SOC-S 105 Community Problems and Outreach

How can sociologists translate their work in ways that inform the public and improve policy making? In this Discovery Lab, we will read articles and books about the media, explore how scholars define and understand the role of “public sociology,” analyze how the media interprets scientific research, and do a project in which students make a video or podcast about a scientific topic of their choice.

Instructor: Fabio Rojas, Department of Sociology

CMLT-C 200 Honors Seminar

The Odyssey—one of the oldest surviving works of European literature—continues to inspire authors, playwrights, and filmmakers, from Atwood to Walcott to the Coen brothers. Explore these adaptations and learn why Homer’s tales of Troy, which question ideals of honor and glory, reckon the human cost of warfare, and find heroism in human experience, remain necessary today. Learn to reinvent myths for new audiences and examine the nature of adaptation. Finally, through in-class workshops, create your own adaptation.

Instructor: Sarah Van der Laan, Department of Comparative Literature

AAAD-A 297 Popular Music of Black America

This Discovery Lab explores sociocultural contexts and performance characteristics associated with the music of African American artists like Charlie Patton, Louis Jordan, Little Richard, The Supremes, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield, George Clinton, Whitney Houston, and Kendrick Lamar, and other artists who represent Black popular music genres such as blues, R&B, rock and roll, soul, funk and hip-hop. Students will apply knowledge gained by assessing live performances and creating compositions in the classroom and recording studio. No formal music training is necessary.

Instructor: Tyron Cooper, Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies

SPHS-S 215 Honors Seminar

This Discovery Lab will explore how speech patterns are influenced by our identities and what speech can (and cannot) reveal about us. Topics will include gender, language background, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, home region, age, and peer-group affiliation. Students will become active participants in the research process by collecting and analyzing data, including dialect surveys, digital recordings, and perceptual judgements, and will embark on larger-scale research projects.

Instructor: Tessa Bent, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences

CLAS-C 395 Topics in Classical Art and Archaeology

This Discovery Lab will explore the literary, iconographic, and archaeological evidence for the canonical seven wonders of the ancient world, and how they have been understood and imagined from antiquity to the present. Our survey investigates tombs, gardens, temples, statues, and lighthouses from Egypt, Iraq, Turkey, and Greece. We will also consider the ancient technology used to build these monuments and discuss why they are so impressive.

Instructor: Nick Blackwell, Department of Classical Studies

MSCH-J 261 Studies in Journalism

This Discovery Lab will explore the intersections of journalism, social media, and virality, unraveling the power and consequences of the increasingly interdependent relationship between media producers and audiences. Course topics will focus on recent news and events, particularly those related to politics, crisis, social inequality and social movements. Students will use innovative research methods to identify which media narratives are trending and why. Students will also learn and practice the techniques needed to be a successful social media journalist.

Instructor: Danielle Kilgo, The Media School

AMST-A 350 Topics in Interdisciplinary American Studies

This Discovery Lab is an examination of patriotism via applied knowledge—we will focus our food studies research work by thinking through how war has historically impacted food availability and how the possibility of scarcity shapes our notions of citizenship and national belonging. Our hands-on research activities will include:

  • Using historical records from the IU Archives to create a digital story-map of the patriotic food-related activity that took place on campus, like the various Victory gardens that were grown during the two world wars;
  • Cooking at the IU Teaching Kitchen in Read Hall to simulate the historical conditions of food scarcity, featuring the preparation and consumption of government-recommended recipes for feeding a family with rations (the amounts of food each family would be allowed to purchase per week);
  • Visiting the IU Campus Farm to experience how on-campus farming has changed since the 1940s;
  • Writing an essay that reflects how tasting the food the government encouraged citizens to prepare during war time, and consulting historical records of what foods were available for purchase at the time, changes our notions of what patriotism tasted like for Hoosiers attending IU Bloomington during war time.

Instructor: Vivian Halloran, Department of American Studies

PHIL-P 200 Problems of Philosophy

This Discovery Lab dives deeply into what many have come to call public philosophy—philosophical work, written by philosophers, aimed at non-philosophers. The general idea is to take a topic with which people outside of philosophy are already concerned—say, propaganda—and use the critical skills one learns in philosophy to explore that topic. In this class, we will work on developing the skills that constitute “doing philosophy,” and we will do so in a way that is not only focused on the topic of public philosophy, but on producing it.

Instructor: Kate Abrahmson, Department of Philosophy

ENG-L 210 Studies in Popular Literature and Mass Media

“Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” This famous line suggests that music and writing are so different that it’s nearly impossible to use one to address the other. In this Discovery Lab (taught by an English professor who had a former life as a rock journalist), we’ll prove that adage wrong by exploring powerful writing about rock (and pop) music through contemporary novels, poetry, and ambitious music criticism. We will also try our hands at writing about music in several different genres—taking advantage of the wealth of local live music opportunities—including record reviews, live music reviews, personal essays, and fiction.

Instructor: Ivan Kreilkamp, Department of English

Ready to apply for ASURE Humanities?

Friendly reminder

IU enrollment deposits are due by May 1, 2019.

Pay your enrollment deposit