Research Centers & Initiatives

The University of Minnesota ranks eighth in among US public universities in research spending overall and fifth in social sciences. The connections between our research and creative work create promising impacts in our community. CLA's academic departments, interdisciplinary research centers, and programs support rigorous knowledge production, path-breaking creative activity, and innovative teaching in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. We’re discovering new ways to use research to address societies biggest challenges with the discoveries making a difference in our communities, our nation, and our world.

The College of Liberal Arts supports eight different collegiate research centers and many interdepartmental research centers with resources for students focused on collaborative academic research, exploration, and learning.

Collegiate Centers

Center for Applied & Translational Sensory Science

The Center for Applied & Translational Sensory Science aims to address and solve sensory deficit problems by facilitating research and grant funding, enhancing collaboration and outreach to the medical device industry, and providing doctoral and post-doctoral training. The Center is also home to the Multi-Sensory Perception Laboratory, which studies audio-visual perception in a variety of simulated environments.

Center for Austrian Studies

The Center for Austrian Studies is an interdisciplinary center for the study of the Habsburg Empire, Austria and other successor states, and the new Europe. It connects students, scholars, and an international community with resources in Austria, Central Europe, the European Union, and Minnesota.

Center for German and European Studies

One of the nation's top centers promoting teaching and research on Germany and Europe, the Center for German and European Studies seeks to connect established and emerging scholars, students, K–12 teachers, policymakers, business leaders and other professionals, and the general public.

Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies promotes public awareness, academic research, and education on the Holocaust and other genocides as central components towards the prevention of and response to mass violence.

Center for Jewish Studies

The Center for Jewish Studies fosters a new understanding of Jewish culture and history by supporting the academic study of the historical, cultural, linguistic, ethnic, geographic, and religious diversity of the full range of peoples who identify themselves as Jewish.

Center for Medieval Studies

The Center for Medieval Studies encourages collegial interaction, scholarly collaboration, and community outreach among faculty and graduate students in all areas of medieval studies. It offers graduate and undergraduate courses and organizes formal colloquia and informal workshops alongside other scholarly events.

Immigration History Research Center

The Immigration History Research Center strives to promote interdisciplinary research on migration, race, and ethnicity in the US and the world by documenting immigrant and refugee experiences (especially in the US) and supporting public programming connecting research to contemporary issues and communities.

Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science

The Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science advances research and graduate training in the philosophy of science and related studies of science and technology. The center conducts collaborative research and conferences with researchers from around the world.

Interdepartmental Research Centers and Initiatives

African Studies Initiative

The African Studies Initiative stems from the premise that the interactions among the various regions of Africa, as well as with the rest of the world, are critical to scholarly enterprise. ASI explores themes such as race and ethnicity, urbanization and migration, modernity and modernism, transnationalism and globalization, as well as representation and language.

Center for Early Modern History

The Center for Early Modern History focuses on studying the early modern world emphasizing a global and comparative approach and supporting historical work, drawing upon a variety of disciplines, methodologies, and perspectives.

Center for the Study of Political Psychology

Widely regarded as one of the premier research and graduate training centers in the United States, the Center for the Study of Political Psychology (CSPP) is dedicated to the establishment of a strong research community for social scientists focused on the theoretical and practical advancement of political psychology. 

Center for Writing

The University of Minnesota’s Center for Writing is rooted in over four decades of commitment to writers and the use of writing as a tool for critical thinking, learning, and communicating in all fields by supporting students and educators who practice, teach with, and research writing at the University of Minnesota, throughout the state, and around the world.

Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World

The Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World unites many premodern studies programs at the University of Minnesota, promoting multidisciplinary research and teaching in global premodern studies. It also works to integrate graduate training in established humanities and social sciences disciplines with a multidisciplinary graduate program in global premodern studies.

Davis Center

The Julia M. Davis Speech-Language-Hearing Center offers a broad range of services for individuals with impairments of speech, language, and hearing. The Davis Center strives to provide service to the community and the University of Minnesota, and advocates for individuals with speech, language, hearing, or cognitive-communication disorders.

Environmental Humanities Initiative

The Environmental Humanities Initiative (EHI) seeks to catalyze research, foster pedagogical innovation, and enhance public outreach among CLA faculty and graduate students interested in broadly humanistic approaches to environmental issues that stretch across the globe.

European Studies Consortium 

The European Studies Consortium (ESC) promotes and supports inquiry into Europe related issues that engage scholars across disciplinary and collegiate borders.

Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute

Launched in 2010, The Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute aims to advance Minnesota’s legacy of producing field-shaping research and to build a bridge between its world-class economic research and policy that promotes the public good.

Interdisciplinary Collaborative Workshop

The Interdisciplinary Collaborative Workshop (ICW) program spurs new collaborations among scholars in CLA and beyond. It provides support to bring together faculty, staff, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students from a variety of fields to intensively study a topic.

Middle East Collaborative

The Middle East Collaborative serves as the host to a wide and thriving community of scholars and researchers in the field of Middle East Studies spanning disciplines in the social sciences and humanities and time periods from the premodern era to the contemporary world.

Minnesota Journalism Center

The Minnesota Journalism Center's purpose is to foster journalism innovation through research and interactions between media professionals and the academy. The Center organizes lectures and an annual workshop, as well as sponsors and co-sponsors events with the journalistic community.

Race, Indigeneity, Gender & Sexuality Studies

The Race, Indigeneity, Gender & Sexuality Initiative (RIGS) was created to support innovative research, teaching, and community-building for scholars engaged with issues of race, indigeneity, gender, and sexuality. RIGS is dedicated to bringing faculty and students together to pursue lines of inquiry that challenge systems of power and inequality, assert human dignity, and imagine social transformation.

Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law

The Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law focuses on the concepts and values that define the highest ideals of American journalism: freedom and fairness. It honors the importance of these ideals by examining their theoretical and practical applications and by recognizing the interdependence of ethical and legal principles.