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What We're Researching

In keeping with UChicago’s tradition of rigorous inquiry, the Institute brings together scholars, researchers, and educators from around the world to communicate across boundaries and develop new dialogues around knowledge in varying contexts. Our research spans histories, cultures, and disciplines. Click on an image to learn more about our research projects.

About IFK

Discover Our 5 Tenets in the Study of Knowledge

Curious about what it means to study the formation of knowledge? Read the 5 tenets that guide our research at IFK.

Meet Our Research Scholars

Get to know our people and their research, from our core faculty to our postdoctoral researchers.

Learn About the Institute

Our mission is to educate a new generation to approach contemporary problems with historical worldviews, interdisciplinary methodologies, and cross-cultural understanding.

Cross-unit, cross-university participation; creating an ecosystem of interdisciplinary and team-based thinking

IFK's interdisciplinary orientation modeling Richard Utz's perfect union of Humanities-STEM integration

For the Public

The McKeon Center at the Institute on the Formation of Knowledge Launching October 12

Join us to explore the intellectual legacies of University of Chicago philosopher, classicist, and human rights advocate Richard McKeon.

Fall enrollment open! Non-credit courses for learners of all ages

The Novel Knowledge Series engages lifelong learners in multi-disciplinary courses that challenge conventional perspectives and encourage new ways of approaching longstanding questions.

Capturing the Stars Exhibition

The Untold History of Women at Yerkes Observatory on view through December 15

KNOW Journal Vol 7.1(Spring 2023) Is out now!

KNOW: A Journal on the Formation of Knowledge investigates the construction, transmission, and contestation of forms of knowledge from antiquity to today. Read the Spring 2023 issue here.

For University Members

How do people, cultures and governments come to "know" things? Get in the KNOW with an IFK course this fall!

KNOW courses are interdisciplinary and offer a wide range of cross-listings, applicable to various programs of study - the perfect option to learn diverse topics while fulfilling core/major/minor requirements.

Ask bigger questions. Join us Sept 20 for an Open House on a Formation of Knowledge MAPSS program.

A Formation of Knowledge concentration is for students who seek rigorous raining in the social sciences and critical exposure across academic disciplines, cultures, historical periods, as well as experiential learning.

We're hiring student workers!

Join a creative team of administrators and communicators. Flexible hours, good pay, fun projects.

Get in the KNOW

Sign up here to learn about boundary defying courses, thesis award $, workshops, MAPSS/BA concentration in the formation of knowledge and more!

In the News

James Evans features in's article, Can AI predict who will win a Nobel Prize?

Prof. James Evans says that large language models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT and Claude, have the potential to become powerful prediction tools

IFK Faculty Prof. Patrice Rankine is interviewed by the Uchicago News in the article, 'The classics are everywhere; most of us are likely just not looking for them'

In Chicago, Ceres, the Roman goddess of grain, stands on top of the Board of Trade building. In popular music, the Weeknd sits near a statue of the Three Graces in Las Vegas in the “Heartless” video. Prof. Rankine states

Genevieve Lakier features in The New Yorker's article, The Evolving Free-Speech Battle Between Social Media and the Government

Earlier this month, a federal judge in Louisiana issued a ruling that restricted various government agencies from communicating with social-media companies. Genevieve helps demystify what this means for free speech

Rebecca Willett features in WBMM radio's episode, Is AI a friend or foe?

WBBM Newsradio's Rob Hart on Tuesday hosted a live forum with experts, including IFK Faculty Rebecca Willet, about the pros and cons of Artificial Intelligence tech, including the popular AI chatbot ChatGPT.

Jordan Bimm features in APnews' article, SpaceX giant rocket explodes minutes after launch from Texas

“It fell somewhere between a small step and their hoped-for giant leap, but it still represents significant progress toward a reusable super-heavy lift rocket,” IFK Postdoc Jordan Bimm said