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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

Science and Liberalism at IFK

This conference brings together scholars to explore the link between science & liberalism, examining how science has furnished the liberal world with key features such as individuality, diversity, autonomy, and security.

Women Capturing the Stars

Postdoc Kris Palmieri is reconstructing both the scientific contributions and lived experiences of women at the Yerkes Observatory through new archival research

IFK's joint project with Graham School, the Novel Knowledge Series, presents two spring courses: The Medieval Book and Desert Planet

Graham School's commitment to rigorous inquiry is at a crossroads with IFK's dedication to the discovery of knowledge. Check out our joint courses for the opportunity to satisfy to your intellectual curiosity

The McKeon Center at the Institute on the Formation of Knowledge

The IFK is launching a new center to explore the many intellectual legacies of the work of University of Chicago philosopher, classicist, and human rights advocate Richard McKeon

For University Members

IFK 2023-25 Faculty Research application portal is now open

The Institute on the Formation of Knowledge is offering two-year research grants to faculty at the University of Chicago interested in pursuing research on the process of knowledge formation.

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

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

Tom Ginsburg to chair new Center for Freedom of Expression

University of Chicago Forum for Free Inquiry and Expression will launch this fall

IFK's Jordan Bimm with CBS Chicago discuss the unidentified objects recently shot down over North America

Unidentified Objects: Here’s what we know. Watch the interview here

Institute director, Shadi Bartsch features in the Washington Examiner in an article on the role of Greek classics in China

Antiquity’s “dead white men” may have fallen out of favor on woke campuses, but philosophy is thriving in the Middle Kingdom.

IFK's Eve Ewing writes Marvel's Black Panther's new series

This June, T'Challa will return in a new 'Black Panther' series by writer Eve L. Ewing and artist Chris Allen.

2021-23 IFK Faculty Research Fellow Eve Ewing on learning to say no, writing Marvel comics, and being a fidgeter

Eve Ewing will also be presenting an IFK Cultures & Knowledge Workshop April 17: Public Schools, Public Knowledge: Understanding How Teachers Use Research. Be sure to check out our events page for more information