A partnership between the Biodiversity Institute, the Hall Center for the Humanities, and the Spencer Museum of Art, The Commons is both a physical and intellectual space where people come together to establish common ground from which they may express and explore uncommon ideas for the common good. Commons activities can happen anywhere on campus, however, The Commons itself is housed in Spooner Hall. This is a vibrant and active space that can serve many purposes.
The programming theme at The Commons for 2013-2014 is Data & Democracy. Through presentations, Idea Cafés, Artist Talks, and other events, The Commons explores the current state of access to information and the consequences of such exposure. Data & Democracy programming seeks to investigate the ways in which humans create and manage information as well as the ways in which they are bound by it.
Idea CaféThe Idea Café features a guest speaker who introduces an idea with a fifteen-minute presentation. This is followed by audience response to the speaker and to each other. In this series we will strive to bring you ideas that provoke—those that challenge one or another tenet of your disciplined thinking. In convening an audience with broad disciplinary interest, we hope to elicit energetic exchanges between attendees, who inevitably, will respond differently to the topic at hand.
Coffee @ The CommonsIntended to provide a venue for conversation between interested members of the community and a visiting expert, Coffee @ The Commons is hosted in collaboration with departments across the University. It is an opportunity for more intimate dialogue with visitors whose work appeals broadly and has implications for many disciplines.
Red Hot ResearchDesigned specifically for research exchange, Red Hot Research features short, slide-based talks that introduce KU Researchers to the work of their colleagues. Red Hot Research aims approach questions within current research using the perspectives of many disciplines and to develop collaborative research teams as a result of overlapping interest & expertise.
Seed GrantsThe Commons Interdisciplinary Research Initiative in Nature and Culture is a KU-wide, competitive seed-grant program to nurture and develop interdisciplinary, collaborative research ideas at the conceptual stage. The Commons seed grant program supports research endeavors that bring together the sciences, arts, and humanities to explore the reciprocal relationship between natural and cultural systems.
Artist ProjectsThe Commons offers a platform for the creation and presentation of innovative, experimental, interdisciplinary installations, performances, or other artist projects. Because The Commons is envisioned as both a physical and an intellectual space for convergence of interdisciplinary inquiry, proposed projects should relate to The Commons both physically and intellectually.