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Spring 2024

Diplomacy Lab: Brazil

In this Humanities Lab, students will collaboratively investigate the meaning of diplomacy and uncover its relationship to climate, health, societal, and economic issues in Brazil. Students will be organized into small teams based on interests to work on a project identified by the U.S. State Department. Students will consult with State Department representatives throughout the semester, and at the end of the course, present their projects via Zoom to personnel in the U.S. Embassy in Brazil. There is also a separate Global Intensive Experience opportunity available that will run over Spring Break titled Global Future of Brazil.

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Ethics of Language Testing

How might testing for language proficiency have (un)intended consequences? In this Humanities Lab, students will devote equal attention to examining the role of language testing in promoting literacy and multilingualism and to the question of such testing being unjust and discriminatory. In teams, students will engage in critical analysis of testing practices and design language assessment objects, and explore opportunities for creating more reliable and equitable examinations. Students will collaborate with a group of language specialists in Serbia who are attempting to establish assessment practices in that country to learn about the implications for this work worldwide.

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Guns, Art-making and Truth

In this course, students will dig deeper into the values held by Americans who are most affected by guns - the gun-owning community, gun law supporters, and (anti-)Second Amendment activists - along with the embodied experiences of victims of gun violence. Students will explore and utilize a “fourth responder” approach interweaving humanities and arts-based praxis as we seek to understand, interpret, express, and engage the human experience of trauma and conflict. Students will learn how to navigate controversial claims and carry out meaningful, non-extractive research with multiple publics in order to create critical and meaningful installations/performances that open dialogue on this issue with the Phoenix community.

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Sustainable Fashion

As we continue to purchase more clothes and the fashion industry continues to expand each year, what effect does it have on the environment and on textile workers? This unprecedented moment is allowing the industry to examine itself and imagine more sustainable ways of working, bringing both brands and consumers together to collaborate and openly discuss its processes and our values: how can we reimagine the future of fashion? Through the investigation of case studies, current industry journals, webinars, and discussions with industry experts and workers, students will propose solutions for creating more sustainable and equitable fashion supply chains and consumer practices.

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Intro to Interdisciplinary Research

Students in this Lab will learn about interdisciplinary research, develop skills of collaboration, learn helpful research tools, exercise creative problem-solving skills, and develop a team inquiry project focused on complex social challenges. In each session students will be working hands-on and minds-on in a workshop-like environment as we work through what the concepts & practices above mean and how to use various tools to help us meet our objectives. Students will need to be actively engaged and willing to work with each other as we learn how to conduct research and work toward interventions into some of the world's biggest problems.

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Narratives of School Shootings

Students in this Humanities Lab will investigate the ways that youth interface with the gun violence narrative, from being victims of school shootings, to advocacy, to school-based prevention efforts. Due to differences in the distribution of gun violence by gender, race/ethnicity, and geographic location, it is impossible to have these conversations without acknowledging the historical and contextual determinants of gun violence.

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Fall 2023

Avanzando: Education Pathways

This course, Avanzando - Moving Forward, in partnership with the diverse community of Maryvale, aims to establish clear educational opportunities and career development support for Phoenix youth. Through an interdisciplinary and intersectional investigation into educational practices (formal and informal), student teams will produce research-based, actionable responses to educational disparities and community challenges related to conflicting cultural norms and values. With faculty mentorship, students will identify cultural and systemic barriers that inhibit student educational empowerment and produce research-based, hands-on solutions that incorporate the nuances of a humanistic perspective and consider relevant historical, cultural, and linguistic contexts of Maryvale.

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Cripping Technology

In this Leonardo Series of Humanities Lab students will reimagine enshrined notions of how a body-mind can move, look, and communicate. Through arts-integrated research into disability justice, students will engage and remake creative technologies through the lens of accessibility. 

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Energy, Justice and Action

In this UNESCO BRIDGES series of Humanities Labs, we will focus on the principles outlined in UNESCO's Guidelines for Sustainability Science in Research and Education. This Lab, in particular, will focus on unjust extraction and just energy transitions, with a focus on actions leading to transition away from coal and towards clean energy.

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Humanizing Digital Culture

Working together, Lab participants consider how digital culture is (re)shaping human identity and investigate the dual power of humankind's relationship to technology to create empathy while also causing real-world harm. What does it mean to be human in a digital world? How does digital identity determine how we relate to each other and the planet? How do we define and demonstrate human identity now and in the future? Working in teams, create original responses to humanize digital technologies.

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Mediating Ocean Futures

In this UNESCO BRIDGES series of Humanities Labs, we will focus on the principles outlined in UNESCO's Guidelines for Sustainability Science in Research and Education. As issues such as climate change, sea-level rise, pollution, and extraction have increasingly threatened our oceans, humanities scholars and ocean activists have turned their attentions to humanity’s relationship to the oceans, past, present, and future. Mediating Ocean Futures investigates how ocean users, storytellers, scientists, policymakers, and activists have imagined, mediated, and regulated the seas. Beyond dominant understandings of blue economy, student teams will do expansive research into how diverse communities care for and create knowledge about ocean ecosystems. In particular, we will reflect on the role of different kinds of ocean storytelling in helping to build a just and sustainable planetary future.

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Narratives of School Shootings

Students in this Humanities Lab will investigate the ways that youth interface with the gun violence narrative, from being victims of school shootings, to advocacy, to school-based prevention efforts. Due to differences in the distribution of gun violence by gender, race/ethnicity, and geographic location, it is impossible to have these conversations without acknowledging the historical and contextual determinants of gun violence.

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Spring 2023

Designing the Future University


Universities were once reserved for the very privileged few but now are a cornerstone for preparing a broader and larger group of people to learn, discover, and apply their skills and knowledge for individual and collective well-being. For some time, scholars and critics have argued that universities are ripe for disruption because they are too bound by tradition and are not keeping up with changing societal needs. Rather than waiting for the disruption, in this Lab we will explore how to design the future university in what is clearly a rapidly changing world. ASU is one prototype of a different kind of design, but there can be many valuable approaches. We will explore what we can learn from our own institution and also develop a vision for what a future university can and should be given anticipated changes in economies, social dynamics, technology, cultural expression, global environmental change, and political and policy trends. The lab will pay special attention to how design can facilitate the success of universities in achieving justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. View more information about this course here.

Diplomacy Lab: Latin America


This Humanities Lab course focuses on a project from the Department of State that tasks us with collaboratively investigating how vulnerable urban communities in Brazil adapt and mitigate climate risks. Students will learn the necessary background and consult with State Department representatives to ensure the local utility of the analysis and resulting suggestions for improved interventions that respond to the U.S. Embassy Brasilia’s project and work collaboratively to produce a deliverable for the Deputy Advisor for Environment, Science, Technology, and Health. View more information about this course here.

Gendering Peace & Security


In this inaugural UNESCO BRIDGES series of Humanities Labs, we will focus on the principles outlined in UNESCO's Guidelines for Sustainability Science in Research and Education. We will draw on humanities and social sciences approaches in order to innovate student-led transdisciplinary, co-produced, and socially-embedded projects that help justly and equitably transform systems and institutions in ways that seek to empower women and advance security. View more information about this course here.

Indigenizing Food Systems


Through an interdisciplinary and community engaged approach, this Lab will investigate what it means to indigenize our food systems and will grapple with issues and questions regarding food sovereignty and Indigenous health. Through multiple fields and mediums (historical, cultural, scientific and creative) students will engage in different ways of thinking about food and experiment with embodying the concept of “food is medicine.” Our Lab will focus on learning about the complex and sophisticated Indigenous food systems of North America, with a focus on native nations in the Southwest, California, and Midwest, including histories of dispossession and contemporary efforts at revitalization and food justice. View more information about this course here.

Intro to Interdisciplinary Research


Students in this Lab will learn about interdisciplinary research, develop skills of collaboration, learn helpful research tools, exercise creative problem solving skills, and develop a team inquiry project focused on complex social challenges. Each session students will be working hands-on and minds-on in a workshop-like environment as we work through what the concepts & practices above mean and how to use various tools to help us meet our objectives. Students will need to be actively engaged and willing to work with each other as we learn how to conduct research and work toward interventions into some of the world's biggest problems. View more information about this course here.

Making Noise, Making Sound?


Student teams will investigate the concept and practice of noise within the larger parameters of sound and music. The Humanities Lab setting will foster an atmosphere of creative collaborations with the ultimate objective to encourage the students to turn from consumers of information into producers of artistic and cultural artifacts (no previous experience or skill necessary). They will create soundscapes, interactive and multisensory experiences primarily steeped in sound and noise, and also generate playable, annotated soundmaps of the ASU campus to be disseminated outside the classroom. The acoustics and instruments in the Organ Hall will be available for the creation of soundscape environments. Sources will include music, artistic performances, sound/noise clips, manifestos, poetry, short stories, essays, city plans, historical accounts, scholarly works, online archives, and digital humanities projects. View more information about this course here.

Migration, Art, & Place: Berlin/U.S.


This course will explore migrant communities at the intersection of place and identity with a focus on art as cultural expression, means of community and individual empowerment, and justice. We will engage critically with concepts such as migration and identity, place and transnationalism, gender and race. For research we use various art forms, including film, literature, and social media. A comparison of Berlin, Germany and Phoenix, Arizona—both places with large and diverse immigrant populations—will allow an in-depth and focused observation of the differences and commonalities of immigrant groups and responses of local communities in different urban spaces.

This course also offers an optional Global Intensive study abroad opportunity to Germany that runs May 13-20, 2023. For details visit: https://studyabroad.asu.edu

View more information about this course here.

Fall 2022

Avanzando Education Pathways

This course, Avanzando - Moving Forward, in partnership with the diverse community of Maryvale, aims to establish clear educational opportunities and career development support for Phoenix youth. Through an interdisciplinary and intersectional investigation into educational practices (formal and informal), student teams will produce research-based, actionable responses to educational disparities and community challenges related to conflicting cultural norms and values. View more information about this course

Justice Through School Gardens

This course on school gardens will provide students with interdisciplinary approaches on how to make our food system more sustainable and just by connecting students to local elementary schools. Through the school garden, Lab students will support an elementary school's environmental and nutritional education curriculum. Lab students will use their experiences to create a model for state policy on gardens in school View more information about this course

Humanizing Digital Culture

Lab participants consider how digital culture is (re)shaping human identity, and how humankind attempts to humanize digital culture. An ArtScienceTech lens offers an interdisciplinary inquiry and creative platforms to engage with cutting-edge initiatives in humanizing digital culture (HDC) through digital identity enterprises, XR and net-native art experiences, experimental publishing, and other innovations. View more information about this course

Spring 2022

Indigenizing Food Systems

This Lab will investigate what it means to indigenize our food systems and will grapple with issues and questions regarding food sovereignty and Indigenous health. Students will engage in different ways of thinking about food and experiment with embodying the concept of “food is medicine.” Our Lab will focus on learning about the sophisticated Indigenous food systems of North America, including histories of dispossession and contemporary efforts at food justice. View more information about this course

Decolonizing 'Madness'

In this Lab, we will consider how social "categories" factor in our understanding of "mental health." Our investigations will inform our work to craft cultural interventions that both map the cumulative effects of intergenerational trauma and amplify Black, Indigenous, and People of Color's resilience and strategies of resistance. View more information about this course

Narrating Global Development

This Lab investigates the concept and practice of global development as a political, economic, and social practice. We will take a global perspective to help us explore issues of inequality, marginalization, and access to resources in Arizona, the United States and around the world. We will be driven by two essential questions: How are understandings of global development constructed and how is power derived from these narratives? View more information about this course

Sustainable Fashion

As we continue to purchase more clothes and the fashion industry continues to expand each year, what effect does it have on the environment and on textile workers? Through the investigation of case studies, current industry journals, webinars, and discussions with industry experts and workers, we will propose solutions for creating more sustainable and equitable fashion supply chains and consumer practices. View more information about this course

Language Emergency

In this Lab, students will work on two special tracks to get involved in multiple ways: students on the linguistic track will work on language documentation projects; students on the preservation track will investigate efforts to raise awareness of the heritage of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, upon whose ancestral lands ASU is situated. All of these activities will work toward positive social changes in the State of Arizona. View more information about this course

Intro Problem-Based Interdisciplinary Research

Students in this Lab will learn about interdisciplinary research, develop skills of collaboration, learn helpful research tools, exercise creative problem solving skills, and develop a team inquiry project focused on complex social challenges. Students will need to be actively engaged and willing to work with each other as we learn how to conduct research and work toward interventions into some of the world's biggest problems. View more information about this course

Navigating Chaos

Leonardo Lab Series: How can we make sense of an unruly world that is always outgrowing any classification or database? How can we navigate or anticipate a world that is always throwing surprises? We introduce the science and art of complex dynamical systems with rich applications from ecology, to history and urban planning, to improvisatory performance. The course invites students to bring their own complex scenarios and phenomena to discuss, represent or prototype. View more information about this course

Fall 2021

Aging in American Culture

American culture has become obsessed with a decline ideology of older age – an ideology emphasizing the social and cultural exclusion of people as they age. This Lab investigates what it means to age in American culture. Through examining our bodies and selves, it will encourage students to explore how our interaction with the environment affects our embodied understanding of the aging process. View more information about this course

Humanizing Digital Culture

Leonardo Lab Series: Lab participants consider how digital culture is (re)shaping human identity, and how humankind attempts to humanize digital culture. An ArtScienceTech lens offers interdisciplinary inquiry and creative platforms to engage with cutting edge initiatives in humanizing digital culture (HDC) through digital identity enterprises, XR and net-native art experiences, experimental publishing, and other innovations. (Leo Lab Series) View more information about this course

Food, Health & Climate Change

This Lab will explore how the intersections between the humanities, narratives and economics inform us about the connections between food systems, climate change, and the health of humans and the planet. As a final deliverable for the course, students will work with food system stakeholders to develop alternative visions of the future of food, and explore the narratives, policies and actions needed to get us there. View more information about this course

Deconstructing Race

This Lab will investigate the category of race in a transnational framework, examining diverse geographical and historical manifestations of race in relation to social, economic, political, and cultural practices. It will encourage reflection and interpretation of the language and idea of race in order to understand the different experiences of racialized populations and communities. (Transnationalizing Race Series) View more information about this course

Epidemic Emergences

In this course we interrogate the histories of epidemics and the stories that help us heal. Emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic creates the potential for new reckonings and understandings of how health is supported or imperiled in human communities. We will think about the many communities impacted (in deeply disparate ways) by contagious diseases to ask how and whether we can promote health justice. View more information about this course

Spring 2021

Feeling Climate Uncertainty

FEELING CLIMATE UNCERTAINTY will assess, consider, and address the complex emotions arising from human-driven climate disruption. The climate crisis generates multiple complex and sometimes contradictory emotions including ecological denial, guilt, frustration, rage, hope, anxiety, and many more. This Lab will work with the realities of this emotional landscape, to begin to realize the significant individual and ultimately socio-cultural changes asked of us. View more information about this course 

Information Overload

This Lab will focus on the present moment of too much information, with much of it being false, by looking at the history of information overload and then analyzing the problems and solutions of a crush of information today. View more information about this course 

ArtScience: COVID Response

ArtScience: COVID Response investigates the critical skillsets and mindsets required to navigate crisis, build resilience, and create the future. Although we cannot predict what future we will encounter, we have all recently experienced a global crisis that is dramatically forcing a new future upon us – the COVID pandemic. Together, students and faculty will examine what disciplinary skill- and mind-sets are most valuable to shape our future given the challenges COVID has exacerbated within our communities. View more information about this course 

Sustainable Fashion

As we continue to purchase more clothes and the fashion industry continues to expand each year, what effect does it have on the environment and on textile workers? Through the investigation of case studies, current industry journals, webinars, and discussions with industry experts and workers, we will propose solutions for creating more sustainable and equitable fashion supply chains and consumer practices. View more information about this course

Facing Immigration

For the past decade, immigration has been a major, controversial force shaping political developments across North America, Europe, and Latin America. Why? The FACING IMMIGRATION Lab, repeating after a very successful run in Spring 2019, will investigate the social, political and historical questions raised by immigration through art and different forms of artistic production that will be shared on campus and in the larger community. View more information about this course

Intro Interdisciplinary Research

Intro Interdisciplinary Research offers undergraduate students an opportunity to learn methods and practice skills to engage in collaborative research that crosses disciplinary boundaries to provide more holistic solutions to today’s grand social challenges. Students will apply what they learn via hands-on engagement with an issue of current relevance. In Spring ‘21, the instructional team and students will dive into questions about technology, community, and protests as a means to affect change. View more information about this course

Fall 2020

Why is the Amazon Burning?

How is Amazon portrayed globally? How has it been utilized by humans over time? What about indigenous rights for the human occupants? These questions and the complicated human relationship with this rich and diverse ecosystem lend themselves to multiple analytical lenses, including film, literature, anthropology, history, politics, sustainability, and international development. View more information about this course

Performing the Anthropocene

The Anthropocene is the current geological age in which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment. Humanity’s impact on the planet is well-recognized. Yet, how well do we understand that our individual actions have a rippling effect on the entire planet? In this Lab, students will investigate global issues tied to human consumption and will then have the opportunity to shape those investigations into a culminating performance impact piece. View more information about this course

Only English?

Given the widespread attitude that the whole world speaks English, is there a need to study or maintain other languages? What laws have been created about language? Why? What are the values behind these decisions? Is English monolingualism a problem? Is it just? Students will develop their own possible solutions based on their inquiries into the policies, practices, and ethical principles related to monolingualism and multilingualism. View more information about this course

Rethinking Addiction

The devastating impact of current opioid epidemic in the United States with 130 opioid-related overdose deaths every day has heightened public awareness about the danger of addiction. What is addiction? Who does addiction impact? Students in this Lab will focus on defining “addiction,” and investigate the way varied conceptual models of addiction affect societies, and how societies and individuals can and should respond, both ethically and pragmatically. View more information about this course

Disrupting Dis/Ability

Students will investigate disabling discourses of disability across medical, legal, academic, media and other public institutions then develop ways to expand and enrich understandings of disability in our cultural imaginary. How can we re-imagine disability in ways that could reshape ableist structures, that are informed and shaped by the knowledge and experience of those most impinged upon by those structures? View more information about this course

Shaping Climate Narratives

The faculty-team has gathered a unique collection of stories of survivor lived experiences from extreme weather events in the U.S. and around the world. These stories, in addition to student-driven inquiry, will provide insight as faculty and students collaborate to write a performance text that will ultimately be produced for live audiences. View more information about this course

Spring 2020

Energy and Social Justice

Moving to clean energy sources is desirable but the transition can cause potentially devastating consequences for the most vulnerable populations. Work closely with faculty, fellow students, and prominent energy leaders to investigate issues and design narratives that will help protect the planet, promote social justice, and enhance human thriving in a future of transitions. View more information about this course

Life without Earth

Work with faculty and local space activists and companies to examine how life and Earth are interconnected and imagine future possibilities for life absent Earth. By examining literary, philosophical, scientific, social, and cultural dimensions of the entanglement between life and Earth, we will pursue what notions of life we assume because of our shared planetary heritage. View more information about this course

Sound and Well-Being

Faculty and students will analyze the ways that sound affect our health, well-being, society, and environment. What is the power of sound to heal the body and the spirit? Can sound play a role in the healing of cultural and historical trauma? Investigate the meaning, emotion, and movement of sound and silence through exciting site visits, workshops, and collaborative research projects. View more information about this course

Working Bodies & Technology

Bodies were once the computers and machines that drove the world but twentieth- and early twenty-first-century technologies have upended that. Learn what role the smelling, tasting, moving body plays as more jobs are being turned over to computers. What type of work do we want for our bodies? We will connect art and science through exploratory, collaborative workshops along with hands-, mouth-, nose-, and feet activities. View more information about this course

Spring 2019

Rebuilding Puerto Rico

The challenges posed in rebuilding Puerto Rico reflect the challenges of urban and human resilience in the context of climate change and the expected higher frequency of extreme weather phenomena. The Rebuilding Puerto Rico Humanities Lab will investigate the ethical and political questions, as well as the technological and strategic ones, entailed in this and other disaster recoveries. View more information about this course

The Future of Cars

No technology has had a bigger impact – for better and for worse – on our everyday lives, our imaginations, and our planet than the automobile. As the negative aspects of the car become more apparent and new technologies, like autonomous or electric vehicles reshape the car, what is the future of the automobile? And, how will the car’s future affect us? View more information about this course

Facing Immigration II

This course will seek ways to respond to difficult, transdisciplinary questions on migration and movement. Together, students and faculty will engage with current and historical immigration and refugee movement at the local, national, and global level. View more information about this course

Fall 2018

Facing Immigration I

This course will seek ways to respond to difficult, transdisciplinary questions on migration and movement. Together, students and faculty will engage with current and historical immigration and refugee movement at the local, national, and global level. View more information about this course

Re-Envisioning Food Systems

This course will reflect on challenges in the current food system, both locally and globally, and seek solutions to them. Challenges include nutritional deficits, unjust labor practices, the overuse of natural resources, and threats to the earth’s biodiversity. This Lab course will culminate in the development of new ideas and solutions to the food system’s problems. View more information about this course
 

Spring 2018

Sexual Violence

What is sexual violence? Why is sexual violence so controversial? How can art processes be transformative? This course will take an interdisciplinary arts-and humanities-based perspective to explore these and other questions as we trace the history of sexual violence, as well as current attitudes and theories, social and personal narratives, research, and policies on sexual violence (both on and off college campuses). View more information about this course

Health Humanities

This course is for you if you are inspired by personal and communal health and well-being, regardless of your major field of study. This is the Health Humanities—an interdisciplinary area of study that words at the intersections of the biological and medical sciences and the humanities. View more information about this course

Spring & Fall 2017

Health Humanities

This course is for you if you are inspired by personal and communal health and well-being, regardless of your major field of study. This is the Health Humanities—an interdisciplinary area of study that words at the intersections of the biological and medical sciences and the humanities. View more information about this course

Sustaining Humans

This course explores human sustainability in its broadest sense: What does sustaining our species mean? How should we determine what must be sustained in our world(s)? What do the humanities–literature, art, history, and philosophy– have to teach us about how best to assess and preserve our cultures, our physical environs, and ourselves? View more information about this course