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Centres & Institutes

Bertrand Russell Research Centre

Since Russell’s papers came to McMaster in the late 1960s, scores of books and hundreds of articles have been published using material from the Russell Archives (the most extensive collection of material by or about Russell in the world). The Bertrand Russell Research Centre takes responsibility for the publication of Russell material and has been a vibrant hub for fostering Russell research since its establishment in 2000. Bringing together an international network of research collaborators, the Centre has significantly expanded scholarship related to Russell’s philosophy and the history of analytic philosophy.

Centre for Advanced Research in Experimental and Applied Linguistics

The Centre for Advanced Research in Experimental and Applied Linguistics (ARiEAL) understands language, cognition, and brain function as a single, complex, and integrated system that allows for human comprehension and communication. The Centre’s goal is to investigate this fundamental system by fostering collaboration across theoretical and applied disciplines, bringing together researchers versed in experimental and applied methods, and behavioural and neurophysiological approaches to linguistics, language cognition, and cognitive neuroscience. The Centre will be uniquely positioned to investigate all elements of language structure and function, and changes in language ability due to developmental and life events. This collaborative approach to the study of language learning, language loss, and language recovery will allow ARiEAL members to make significant contributions to the Centre’s core areas of research, and enhance the public profile of McMaster as a hub for innovative, interdisciplinary research.

Centre for Ancient Numismatics

The Centre for Ancient Numismatics (CAN) will provide a locus for existing and new research projects on the coinages of various civilizations and time periods, focusing especially on the Greeks and Romans but also considering other Mediterranean and Near Eastern peoples. Researchers based in the Department of Classics presently work with the McMaster Museum of Art, which is home to an extensive collection of Greek and Roman coinage. Numismatics research crafts a life story of the artefact that reveals the choices behind its existence: the decision to create currency, the selection of types, the economic and political needs behind the coin, its circulation, archaeological recovery, and preservation until the present day are all considered. The mission of the Centre is to reveal, understand, and present that fascinating story for today’s students, researchers, and members of the community by engaging in activities that range from trans-disciplinary scholarly investigation to evocative presentation in public exhibitions.

Centre for Community-Engaged Narrative Arts

The Centre for Community-Engaged Narrative Arts (CCENA) understands society to be formed of various interpretive communities, whose outlooks and objectives are formed by the narratives through which they imagine themselves, their relationships, and their purposes. The Centre’s focus is guided by the goal of discerning, studying and building critical and cultural literacies in a way that is attentive to direct engagement and reciprocity with existing communities, both real and virtual. By thinking narrative alongside “arts” in the plural, we aim to attend to the ways in which imaginative, creative, expressive communities are composed in and through their relationships and responsibilities to one another.

Centre for Networked Media and Performance

The Centre for Networked Media and Performance (CNMAP) has as its mission the production, exploration and analysis of new forms of expression, communication and collaboration enabled by networks and networking technologies. The rapid proliferation of new information and communications technologies has raced ahead of the development and examination of the human uses and impacts of those technologies. CNMAP will bridge new media creation and artistic performance with the critical study and analysis of platforms, practices, representation and governance of our highly-networked cultural landscape. Humanities research has a special role to play in this context: Research and research-creation in the media and performing arts offer a setting in which new configurations of our networked landscape can be observed, imagined, actualized, evaluated and transformed in experimental ways.

Centre for Peace Studies

Established in 1989, the Centre for Peace Studies brings together values-based education and engaged scholarship from varied disciplines within the Faculties of Science, Social Sciences, and Humanities. Its teaching and research have historically focused on four themes: 1) peace through health; 2) human rights; 3) peace education; and 4) peace activism/advocacy. The Centre’s interdisciplinary selection of courses and undergraduate programs seek to create peace practitioners who have the knowledge, skills, and values essential to building a world in which nonviolence and justice can be achieved through humane and creative means.

Institute on Ethics and Policy for Innovation

The Institute on Ethics and Policy for Innovation (IEPI), based in the Department of Philosophy, is focused on applied ethics research. Its overarching goal is to work collaboratively with members of the global health community, viz. researchers, funders, policymakers, and affected communities, to overcome barriers and promote enablers of an ethical nature, so that life-saving innovations have a greater chance of reaching those that need them most. The Department of Philosophy has a strong tradition in applied and theoretical ethics. Additionally, there is a critical mass of scholarship in healthcare ethics, humanitarian health ethics, human rights, Indigenous health, and global health spread across campus in various Departments and Faculties. IEPI will leverage these strengths and facilitate collaboration to create a hub of interdisciplinary research excellence capable of serving a multitude of stakeholders at the local, national, and international levels.

Lewis & Ruth Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship

The Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship (SCDS) supports and promotes new collaborations in digital research and scholarship by bringing together researchers, librarians, archivists, technicians, collections, technologies, and services. It aims to be a campus-wide resource that fosters interdisciplinary digital scholarship through two key mandates: facilitation of research networks and digital research support. A generous $2.5million gift from the Lewis and Ruth Sherman Foundation enabled the Library and University to found the Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship in 2012 and continues to support its operation.

L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History

The Wilson Institute has as its mission the rethinking of Canadian History within a globalization framework. This perspective involves studying the ways in which Canadians have contributed to and been influenced by transnational or supranational phenomena such as international migration, Diaspora politics, religious movements, changing conceptions of human rights, gender and civil society, popular culture, epidemics, wars, and global finance and trade, to take just a few examples. The Wilson Institute is supported by a generous donation from Chancellor Emeritus Lynton R. “Red” Wilson and a grant from McMaster University.

McMaster Centre for Scholarship in the Public Interest

The McMaster Centre for Scholarship in the Public Interest (MCSPI) aims to foster research excellence in areas of pressing cultural, political, social and ecological concern by exploring the consequences of human innovation and change, while providing opportunities for collaborative and transdisciplinary insight, critical and creative thinking, and meaningful public engagement to be developed and integrated as core dimensions of academic pedagogy and practice in the 21st century.