The Center for International Studies began in 2000 as a result of President Nancy Vickers' Plan for a New Century. Other Centers included in this effort are the Center for Science in Society, and the Center for Visual Culture.
For the first four years of the Center, we have sought to construct bridges within social sciences and humanities and, most importantly, between these disciplinary areas. During this initial period, we have promoted these goals by funding faculty and student research projects and by sponsoring public lectures, round tables, research talks, and in-depth visits from experts in the international field. The most recent of these expert guests was Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah, the noted ethicist from Princeton University.
Additionally, we have sought and received funding for a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in International Studies, Professor Isabelle Barker, and we have instituted an International Studies Minor at the College.
The cross-disciplinary nature of our faculty membership holds rich promise for research and pedagogical innovations at the intersection of humanities and social science. Due to the very different methodologies and research agendas we espouse, it is crucial for us to take some time to discuss these differences, learn to understand them, and incorporate them in our planning. Our first success is, then, that we have been able to talk increasingly easily across these disciplinary boundaries and identify the topic of both our research and curricular discussions: "Border Crossings/Crossing Borders", which we mean in the international sense as well as in the disciplinary one. This has been a long-standing topic of interest to the Center.