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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

2022-24 Research Theme: Knowledge in Diaspora

Every two years IFK identifies a new research theme designed to shape some of the work undertaken at the Institute during that period, and to be the focus of our biennial conference.

Meet Our 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.

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.

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

Now Accepting Applications for the 2023-25 Postdoctoral Researcher at the Rank of Instructor Position

The Institute on the Formation of Knowledge at the University of Chicago invites applications for Postdoctoral Researchers at the Rank of Instructor, to begin on August 1, 2023.

Stay tuned for recordings from the Summit to be posted on IFK YouTube.

As AI continues to grow in its power and application, we plan to discuss the potential and limitations of AI knowledge, its origins and end-games, methods to ensure trustworthiness, and more.

"Not Another Politics Podcast"

IFK Faculty William Howell, Anthony Fowler and Wioletta Dziuda new podcast provides a fresh perspective on the biggest political stories by focusing on research and data, not pundits and politicians

How companies can be legal but unethical -- check out the highlights from the latest Meeting of the Minds event!

In collaboration with Chicago Booth, the latest Meeting of the Minds Event titled Corporations, Secrecy and Ethics explored how Delaware, developing markets and loopholes foster an unethical corporate environment.

Explore Formations | The IFK Blog

In our blog series, Formations, IFK's researchers explore the limits of empathy, how we visualize disease, what constitutes a person, and more.

For University Members

Jordan Bimm's Exploration of Mars class visits the Adler Planetarium's "Roving With Perseverance" exhibition!

Learn more about the Exploration of Mars course offered by IFK along with other upcoming KNOW courses

Congratulations to our 2021-22 IFK Thesis and Dissertation Award Winners!

Read more about the winning students and their theses on topics such as ancient Egyptian hieratic, the music industry, Wikipedia editors, and science in medieval southwest India

Check out Autumn 2022 courses offered with Iris Clever, Jordan Bimm and Brad Bolman!

Learn more about upcoming courses offered under The Novel Knowledge Series presented collaboratively by IFK and The Graham School at the University of Chicago.

Watch previous Cultures & Knowledge workshops on our Youtube!

IFK Postdoc Katherine Buse presenting "Immerseless Media: Climate Models, Science Fiction, and the Experience of Planetary Change"

IFK course Diasporic Narratives visited the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture

Check out our interdisciplinary courses with multiple cross-listings! Spring KNOW courses include Diasporic Narratives, Normal People, Gaming History, and more.

In the News

Jordan Bimm discusses the Artemis I launch with the Scientific American

"This is a big moment of truth for NASA," said Jordan Bimm in regard to the first flight test of the world's most powerful rocket.

Tom Ginsburg talks about the Supreme Court's power with the New York Times

“There is some accountability,” said Tom Ginsburg of the University of Chicago Law School. “If a court is too out of control, there is pressure to rein it back in.”

Michael Greenstone talks about China's environmental policy with the Times Magazine

The amount of harmful particulates in the air in China fell 40% from 2013 to 2020, according to the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute, which would add about two years to average life expectancy.

Jordan Bimm comments on diversity and access in space travel

“If we want the population of people getting to go to space to actually reflect human diversity on Earth, we need to rethink why we are going and who holds the keys.”

Genevieve Lakier on the current First Amendment landscape

"First Amendment politics are more complicated, uncertain, and, well, just plain weird than they have been in a long time”