Research Clusters

ICS coordinates and supports research clusters that serve a variety of purposes and take a number of forms depending on faculty needs and interests. They are intended to provide support for members' ongoing research projects; they are opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration; and they are forums for structured exchange of theories and methodologies across disciplines.  

Over the years, ICS research clusters have:

  • Provided an arena for discussion of new cultural theories
  • Facilitated faculty research by offering a forum for feedback and support of work-in-progress
  • Planned conferences, workshops, and symposia
  • Created opportunities for collaborative research and interdisciplinary projects

Clusters are also encouraged to develop innovative pedagogy and curriculum based on their collaboration. Regular participating members of ICS Clusters are eligible to apply fo financial support to co-teach a class. See the ICS Cluster Team-Teaching Webpage for more information.  

ICS welcomes applications for new research clusters. Please complete an ICS Research Cluster Proposal Form in which you describe the specific focus of the group, the rationale for it, the goals the group will aim to accomplish, a list of likely participants, and any financial needs the group anticipates. For guidance, feel free to look at this Cluster Proposal Model as an example of a proposal that fits well within the aims of ICS research clusters. Please submit completed proposal forms to BOTH AND


  • Latin American and Latino/a Studies Cluster: An interdisciplinary group of BGSU faculty members committed to developing the fields of Latin American and Latino/a studies. The cluster works to increase the visibility of Latin American and Latino/a studies on campus through programming initiatives, curriculum development, and research. Currently, faculty in History, World Languages and Cultures, Ethnic Studies, and Women's Studies participate in the cluster. Contact Francisco Cabanillas if you are interested in participating. As a result of this collaboration, we are hosting the next International Symposium of the Transcaribe Network February 22-24, 2018. Find more information about the Transcaribe Symposium at
  • Migration Research Cluster: In this interdisciplinary cluster, colleagues engage in a lively international and transdisciplinary exchange of ideas about issues related to migration. We examine contemporary themes related to current migrant culture as well as historical dimensions of migration. The members of this cluster draw in different ways on historical, literary, and socio-cultural approaches in migration studies. Our long-term aim is twofold: in order to promote a deeper understanding on the BGSU campus of the multiple facets of migration, we plan to organize an interdisciplinary conference here on this timely topic. Furthermore, we will consider interdepartmental curricular collaborations, i.e. formation of linked classes (Global A&S) at the undergraduate level. Contact Christina Guenther if you are interested in participating.
    • Members: Vibha Bhalla (Ethnic Studies), Kristie Foell (WRLD-German), Valeria Grinberg-Pla (WRLD-Spanish), Beatrice Guenther (WRLD-French, International Programs), Christina Guenther (WRLD-German), Nina Ha (English/ International Programs), Nicole Jackson (History), Becky Mancuso (History), Ryoko Okamura (WRLD-Japanese), Kefa Otiso (Geography), Michaela Walsh (Ethnic Studies), Min Yang (WRLD-Chinese).
  • Africana Diaspora Cluster: This group will share ongoing research interests and discuss and develop academic literature pertinent to the African Diaspora population and issues related to that community using philosophical, epistemological, and cultural frameworks. Contact Angela Nelson or Ewart Skinner if you are interested in participating. Africana Diaspora is defined as those individuals who have racial roots, lineages, connections, unities, identities, and/or ancestries to the African continent.
    • Members: Richard Anderson, Khani Begum, Amelia Carr, Fred Coleman, Lynda Dixon, Sherona Garrett-Ruffin, Rebecca Green, Nicole Jackson, Starr Keyes, Christina Lunceford, Wendy Manning, Amanda Muhammad, Angela Nelson, Apollos Nwauwa, Gary Oates, Kefa Otiso, Ewart Skinner, Dafina-Lazarus Stewart
  • U.S. Poverty Cluster: This interdisciplinary group is united around the problem of poverty in the United States. Cluster participants have individually published on poverty related issues ranging from food insecurity, bail, affordable housing, eviction, neighborhood poverty, architectural design for revitalizing impoverished neighborhoods, free health clinics, and the rhetoric and representation of the poor and marginalized groups in media. Given the broad range of capabilities scholars identify that are necessary for a life free from poverty, determining ways to measure and achieve these capabilities requires interdisciplinary understanding. In the short term, this cluster’s interdisciplinary approach is problem focused on poverty in NW Ohio. The group's initial focus will be on writing a needs assessment of poverty and poverty-related issues in the region. Long term, the cluster intends to use the needs assessment as a platform to conduct interdisciplinary research that is relevant to academic disciplines that study poverty. Contact Justin Rex if you are interested in participating.
    • Members: Michaela Walsh, Philip Welch, Ellen Gorsevski, Clayton Rosati, Andrew Schocket, Carrie Hamady, Sara Khorshidifard, Amilcar Challu, Kelly Balistreri, Steve Demuth, Abhishek Bhati, Tom Mscaro, Max Hayward, Raymond Swisher, Carolyn Tompsett, Karen Johnson-Webb, Justin Rex, Russ Mills
  • The Cultural Study of Sound Cluster: Sound studies scholars pursue a broad range of interests, including the cultural study of music, sound ecologies and sustainability, sound media, voice, sensory intersections in the perception of sound, theories and practices of listening, critiques of sonic violence, and the colonization and decolonization of sound. Sound studies might be considered not only an interdisciplinary, but also transdisciplinary inquiry. Our cluster members come from diverse disciplines to consider the roles that people give sound and music within their lives. Our group is also open to those scholars and artists who are creating and engaging sound—and, for some, music—in innovative ways that consider space, identity, and similar issues.

    • Members: Katherine Meizel (MUCT), Sidra Lawrence (MUCT), Megan Rancier (MUCT), Christopher Witulski (MUCT), Heather Strohschein (MUCT), Daniel Piccolo (MUSP), Jeremy Wallach (POPC), Esther Clinton (POPC), David Lewis (Sound Archivist, Jerome Library), Angela Ahlgren (Theatre & Film), Lucy Long (School of Human Movement, Sport, and Leisure Studies). Contact Katherine Meizel [link to ] if you are interested in participating.