The Institute for American Thought is a unique research facility bringing to IUPUI and to Central Indiana an internationally acclaimed concentration of resources and scholarship that focuses on fundamental strongholds of American thought and culture.
The Institute unites the teaching faculty, editing specialists, and research holdings of the Peirce Edition Project, the Santayana Edition, the Frederick Douglass Papers, and the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies with related academic programs in American Studies, Professional Editing, and American philosophy. The Institute is structured around a public research center that supports the work of its academic programs and scholarly editions while providing a singular resource for students and scholars from Indiana and worldwide.
In contrast to centers that restrict their focus to the study of American political and economic thought, the Institute focuses more broadly on American contributions to philosophy and to the advancement of thought at the highest intellectual level of Western culture. Current scholarship within the Institute concentrates on the production of reliable new texts for seminal American thinkers, on the professional editing process that preserves their writings for future generations, and on the understanding and dissemination of American thought and culture through the promotion of related research, public lectures, and other scholarly activities.
The Institute administers an undergraduate minor in American Studies and an interdisciplinary graduate program in Professional Editing; it also is associated with the American Philosophy track of the Department of Philosophy’s master’s program. No other research institute in the country combines academic programs, textual scholarship, and a research agenda in such a comprehensive program with sizable archival and library collections documenting the major contributions of seminal thinkers to American cultural and intellectual history.
The significance and quality of the Institute’s holdings has consistently attracted international interest and brings many scholars of American thought and culture to central Indiana. International partnerships with scholar groups in Canada, Brazil, Finland and Germany are already in place, and others in China and Great Britain are being developed. A resident fellows program attracts researchers who are publishing and teaching in wide-ranging areas of American studies, textual studies, American philosophy and the history of science. The Institute is working to turn its interrelated programs into a national model for interdisciplinary research, teaching, and publication in support of America’s intellectual heritage.