2023-24 Council-Supported Reading Groups Encourage Interdisciplinary Collaboration

September 30, 2023
Photo: Denise Applewhite, Office of Communications

As the academic year 2023-24 begins, graduate students and faculty from across the humanities are invited to delve deeper into their shared interests – from African arts and the Anthropocene to Virgil’s Aeneid—with a host of Council-affiliated interdisciplinary reading groups. The aim of these reading groups is to examine approaches, assumptions, and methods of inquiry, explore new practices of reading across the archives, and consider how objects and text encounter diverse audiences. Interested participants are encouraged to reach out to groups directly for information about meetings and memberships.

The Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities (IHUM), a joint doctoral degree program housed within the Council, sponsors several graduate-affiliated reading groups open to members of the campus community. These groups, which convene around a wide range of multidisciplinary topics, provide participants with opportunities for deeper engagement with texts and each other. Graduate students and faculty from nearly a dozen departments and programs – including French and Italian, African American Studies, Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, and Music – have initiated groups for the current academic year. 

This year’s IHUM reading groups include:

The Council’s Program in Medieval Studies also offers opportunities for further engagement with two book clubs organized by graduate students and supported by faculty in the program. Conceived in the spirit of developing a practical skillset, the Race Before Modernity book club fosters open dialogue about the history of racial biases. The Medieval Studies Book Club gathers students from across several academic departments to offer books and develop discussions that intersect across the field’s many perspectives and approaches.

The Humanities Council’s Magic Project is currently supporting Arriving in the Present: Transcultural Perspectives in Contemporary German-Speaking Contexts, a reading group organized by Sara S. Poor (German) and Barabara Nagel (German). The group, which consists of faculty and students from Princeton, Rutgers, and the University of Pennsylvania, discusses new works fostering the study of an increasingly relevant field in German Studies.

In addition to these reading groups, the Humanities Council provides support for a number of interdisciplinary discussion and working groups which bring together faculty, students, and staff to collaborate on topics and themes of interest.

To learn more about Council-supported reading and working groups, or for information about convening a group in 2024-25, please visit the Humanities Council website.

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