The Institute on the Formation of Knowledge at the University of Chicago was established in 2015 following several years of discussion among faculty seeking to create a non-departmental, non-divisional space for inquiry into the factors shaping legitimized knowledge, past and present.  It currently answers to the Provost of the University, and as such is not housed in any division.

Thanks to the establishment of the new University of Chicago Centers in Beijing and New Delhi, the founders of the Institute felt that the potential for our faculty to do in situ research and interact with local scholars engaged in the investigation of their own pasts was greater than ever before.  As such, the time seemed ripe for the foundation of such an institute that spanned not only divisions but continents in its search for how context shapes knowledge.

The residence of George Edgar Vincent in 1897