The New School for Social Research supports an array of centers and special programs that foster interdisciplinary research, fuel policy debates, and promote public discussion about pressing social issues. These centers and special programs address topics including global migration, democratic change, design and ethnography, and capitalism.

Three recent additions to the centers are:

The Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography & Social Thought

Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and based in the New School for Social Research, The Graduate Institute for Design, Ethnography & Social Thought incubates transdisciplinary ethnographic research at the intersection of social theory and design, and fosters wide-ranging dialogue on related themes across the University.

Drawing on the New School’s tradition of politically-engaged, historically-grounded, and theoretically-innovative social research, as well as on our strengths as a center of design thinking and practice, GIDEST annually supports five faculty and five doctoral fellows and provides members of the campus community with a lively and inventive research environment and a focused interdisciplinary space in which to develop their ideas.

Robert L. Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies

The Robert L. Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies brings together faculty and students for interdisciplinary conversations around theoretical approaches to –and analytic methods for – the study of capitalism in its myriad forms.  Affiliated faculty and students share commitment to critical thought, ethical reflection, and real-world relevance in their research.  Our graduate and undergraduate courses examine the basic logic of capitalism (as conceived by a range of theorists), its culturally and historically specific varieties, and its ability to structure our political possibilities and creative endeavors. Through interdisciplinary research and teaching, the Robert L. Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies aims to develop and to promote theoretical and analytic tools that can help us to envision and to instantiate different and better economies – local and global – for the future.

Institute for Critical Social Inquiry

The Institute for Critical Social Inquiry is designed to provide advanced graduate students and junior faculty from around the world with the opportunity to spend one week at the New School’s campus in Greenwich Village working closely with some of the most distinguished thinkers shaping the course of contemporary social inquiry. Each of these scholars will teach a week-long seminar on a foundational thinker or topic of contemporary concern in a series of hands-on, intensive, and intimate sessions.

The Institute is founded on the premise that responding to current and emergent problems requires developing our collective capacities to formulate new and better questions, rather than relying on the application of all too familiar ready-made theories. Yet, in the current landscape in which most of us work today, there is seldom the time or the opportunity for in-depth exploration of those modes of inquiry most relevant to our research agendas and developing projects.The Institute offers a unique and intensive opportunity for participants to pursue this charge in one of three, week-long seminars designed to cultivate styles of thinking and conceptual vocabularies that address the disparate sites and unequal conditions in which we live. Each morning over the course of a week, seminar attendees participate in a four-hour Master Class. Afternoon workshops are devoted to an exchange among seminar participants and engagement around their own projects.

The 2015 Summer Session (June 14-21, 2015) will include seminars taught by the following faculty: Simon Critchley (NSSR, Philosophy), Talal Asad (CUNY Grad Center, Anthropology) and Patricia J. Williams (Columbia University, Law).

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