What is Research? II

This course continues a sequence begun in Fall 2020 (488. What is Research?) and will continue through the opening of Utopias of Research in 2023. This year’s course, co-taught by Dean Miller and Arjun Appadurai, will carry on formulating the exhibition’s content and structure. Research will be put in a broad anthropological and sociological context and one that is both global as well as transdisciplinary in nature. The course will be organized around the needs of creating the exhibition at this stage in its lifecycle. The focus will be on outlining the “epistemic virtues” of research. These include curiosity, imagination, rigor, discipline, collaboration, and self-criticism. Students will help build out these categories, criticize them, add to them, or replace them. Students will also think about ways of representing these virtues in a gallery and seek out examples for the show. We expect regular presence in the classroom from the exhibition designer, Ghiora Aharoni, and Mark Dion, many of whose works on research will be exhibited. The course will itself be a collective research activity and we will explore means of incorporating this recursivity into the exhibition. 3 credits.