Research Projects

The IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute is home to two major research projects: Rivers of the Anthropocene and Cultural Ecologies.

Rivers of the Anthropocene

Rivers of the Anthropocene brings together scientists, humanists, social scientists, artists, policy makers, and community organizers to begin a new type of discussion about humans and their environments — one in which specialists can speak across disciplinary and professional boundaries; one in which which the methods and scholarship of each field informs the others. The Rivers of the Anthropocene Research Network recognizes that only by bringing together our areas of expertise — by bridging the humanities, human sciences, earth sciences — are we likely to discover sustainable solutions to the complex environmental problems that we face in the 21st century.

Rivers of the Anthropocene Projects


The Cultural Ecologies Project

The Cultural Ecologies Project is a public research, learning, and residency program of the IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute (IAHI). It asks the seemingly simple question, “How do cultural interventions transform cities?” We work with community stakeholders to both develop and examine the impact of the arts and humanities across multiple scales — from the personal to the neighborhood to the city level. We develop new platforms for collaboration as well as new models for formal and informal learning.   Our goal is to provide artists, cultural organizations, funders, policy makers, and others with:

  1. A central research center that can offer expertise in cultural planning, research, assessment, evaluation, and reporting.
  2. A suite of open access tools to help individuals and organizations continuously assess their cultural programming.
  3. Reports that contextualize Indianapolis’ arts and humanities environment within national and international conversations and practices.
  4. A model for cultural analysis and planning that can be replicated and scaled to meet the needs of other cities.
  5. An applied PhD program that supports the community by embedding students in cultural organizations and prepares them for jobs in the cultural sector.
  6. Residency programs that spark collaborations and investigate innovative approaches to equitable cultural action.
  7. Educational programs that develop new ways of thinking and doing.

Cultural Ecologies Projects