Public or Cross-Disciplinary Connectors


The African and African American Studies Outreach Center

The African and African American Studies Outreach Center has been located in its present home on Mount Vernon Avenue since 1985 and is “committed to service to the African American and African community in Ohio and beyond.” Most recently, the AAAS Outreach Center is undertaking its “Cultural Enrichment and Enhancement of Individual and Collective Health and Sustainable Well Being” initiative, while also serving as the home for the Ubuntu Brain Trust, African Diaspora Think Tank/ Research Institute, Near Eastside Roundtable and Ubuntu Legacy Leaders and Legends Collective. Its 2016 archive of activities gives a sense of the many ways this center engages with its community.

Appalachian Studies Network @ OSU

The mission of the Appalachian Studies Network @ OSU is to “provide and support opportunities for students, staff, faculty, and community members at OSU and beyond to create and foster complex interdisciplinary conversations, critical engagements, and community-led and community-focused projects in collaboration with Appalachians and the Appalachian region.” Material from the ASN is housed in the Center for Folklore Studies archive.

Arts Initiative

By managing the Hopkins Hall gallery and the Urban Arts Space, the Arts Initiative provides locations for faculty and students to interact with and collaborate with community partners, stating “The Arts Initiative establishes connections with local, national and international arts organizations, companies, institutions and professionals in order to advance the arts community in the greater Columbus area. These alliances provide opportunities for students, faculty, staff and artists to cultivate their own relationships and experiences beyond the university community.” Merijn van der Heijden (lecturer in the Department of Art) is director of the Urban Arts Space. 

Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise

Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise Interim Director, Dr. Christine Ballengee-Morris (Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy), articulates the Barnett Center's mission as to “educate and prepare students for successful careers in the arts and related entrepreneurial fields. The Center advances and increases students’ understandings of the business side of the arts and the worlds of arts management, policy, and culture by focusing on the entrepreneurial aspects of the arts.” 

  • Barnett Arts and Public Policy Symposium: Earmarked funding to support a biennial symposium that will “facilitate in-depth inquiry and analysis of public and not-for-profit sector policies and practices.” 

Center for Ethics and Human Values

The Center for Ethics and Human Values is part of the Department of Philosophy, and it “encourages research and facilitates public discussion on a wide range of foundational and applied moral questions that connect the research, teaching, and other work pursued at Ohio State. Recognizing that moral disagreements can easily become hostile and counterproductive, our work is to foster thoughtful conversations that promote free thought, reason, understanding, and tolerance.” The center is directed by Dr. Donald Huban (Emeritus, Department of Philosophy)

  • Conversations About Research Ethics: CARE is a year-long initiative from CEHV “to explore not only the ethical importance of research at The Ohio State University, but also the ethical problems that come up in the process of conducting research and the manner in which our university community members address these challenges across the disciplines.” Most salient for the SCCECP Area is this important observation from CARE: “ethical challenges arise out of the persistent social inequities that create vulnerable populations as well as in response to the demands of current funding structures, publishing practices, and norms of academic advancement.”
  • Conversations on Morality, Politics, and Society: COMPAS is a year-long series of events around a topic like “sustainability” or “inequality” organized by the Center for Ethics and Human Values. COMPAS is directed by Dr. Steven Brown (staff, Department of Philosophy). The COMPAS website notes “The program hopes to promote sustained reflection on the ethical challenges that unify various projects within Ohio State's Discovery Themes Initiative, which itself seeks to discover interdisciplinary solutions to the grand challenges of the 21st century. In doing so, COMPAS aims to provide a model of informed and constructive discussion that is too often absent from public discourse and that universities are in a unique position to promote.”


FolkOhio is a microsite that was developed by the Ohio State Center for Folklore Studies “as a teaching, research and outreach tool and as a service to our greater Ohio community.”

Humanties Institute

The mission of the Humanities Institute, directed by Dr. David Staley (Department of History), is “To facilitate emergent research collaborations between humanities faculty and others across the university, and to enable the humanities to act as a significant bridge to the University and the city of Columbus as well as the broader public culture. The Institute seeks to be an active community forum for exchange among scholars and citizens and a place where the University can think creatively about what it does.”

Innovative Interdisciplinary Directions in French, Italian, Francophone and Italophone Studies

This series “of six invited presentations, two cross-disciplinary OSU-based working groups, and a capstone iTunes U course aims to reconsider Francophone, French, and Italian Studies outside of traditional disciplinary boundaries.” Its invited scholars “began their careers in French, Francophone, or Italian Studies, and are now innovators in fields such as global, medical, digital, and environmental humanities, disability studies, animal studies, and ecocritical studies.” 

  • Interdisciplinarity in Action: Collaborative Projects in the Arts and Humanities at OSU and Beyond: This autumn 2018 working group, which was part of the above series, centered on questions like “how can our institution foster a productive dialogue between departments and create collaborative projects, beneficial to Ohio State, its members, and our larger community?” and featured work from Dr. Theodora Dragostinova (Department of History), Dr. Linda James Myers (Department of AAAS and AAAS Community Extension Center), Dr. Richard Samuels (Department of Philosophy), Dr. Lucille Toth (Department of French and Italian) and Professor Norah Zuniga-Shaw (Department of Dance).

Living Culture Initiative

The Living Culture Initiative was founded by Professor Ann Hamilton (Department of Art) and Professor Michael Mercil (Department of Art) in 2005 as a “loosely organized cluster of cross-campus partnerships that integrate a variety of contemporary arts disciplines into the core research framework of OSU."

Mershon Research Network in Cultural Resilience

The Mershon Research Network in Cultural Resilience is a new collaboration between the Center for Folklore Studies, the Department of Linguistics and the Mershon Center for International Security Studies. It builds on Ohio State's deep expertise in the cultural and political dynamics of traditionally plural societies, calling on ground-level perspectives to enliven an exhausted policy debate over threats to linguistic and cultural diversity.” It is coordinated by Dr. Brian Joseph (Department of Linguistics) and Dr. Dorothy Noyes (Departments of English and Comparative Studies).