The Trinity Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies

The Trinity Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (TIIS) provides support for faculty as intellectuals: to exchange ideas, discuss books, critique each other’s works-in-progress, and invite scholars to campus to engage in ongoing discussions.  TIIS was founded on the beliefs that many problems profit from being conceptualized in multiple ways, and that interdisciplinary dialogue will invigorate our sense of the many available dimensions of a given intellectual project.

The Institute’s interdisciplinary vocation is two-fold. First, TIIS will enable scholars within a given disciplinary field to converse with scholars working in other epistemological and methodological frameworks. Second, TIIS will promote a deliberate, robust, and conscious outreach to all faculty members at Trinity, of all ranks and statuses. TIIS facilitates the many interdisciplinary conversations already in progress on campus and off, and aims to initiate new ones.

TIIS offers numerous and varied programming throughout the year, from large public events to intimate discussions by invitation:

1. Trinity Workshops

TIIS sponsors at least four workshops over the course of the academic year. These workshops spark discussion and create connections over topics of interdisciplinary interest – both among Trinity faculty and with faculty from nearby colleges. These workshops are pitched as introductions to a topic, and are relatively informal in structure. Participants may begin each with a 5-10 minute presentation before inviting questions from the audience, or panels may take a round-table discussion format.  The workshop organizer consults with the other participants to select a brief reading that attendees should review in preparation for the workshop. The goal of these workshops is to identify local communities of scholars working on common projects across disciplinary borders, here on campus and at colleges and universities within a driving radius. These workshops generally take place during the College Common Hour (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:15 -1:05 pm), and students, faculty, and staff are all welcome to attend.

2.  Faculty Reading Groups

TIIS sponsors faculty reading groups that can meet over the course of either semester, the whole academic year, or even during the summer months. The goal of the reading groups is to enable small but sustained communities of scholars from Trinity to work together on particular problems or themes, with outcomes that might range from new or revised courses to published work inflected by the reading and discussions that have taken place.

3. Manuscript Fellowship Program

 TIIS sponsors a program for Trinity faculty members who are in the final stages of preparing a manuscript for submission to a press, or for publication. The faculty member who wishes to have such a manuscript read by a group of faculty would work with TIIS’s co-directors to select a small group of faculty from Trinity and one off-campus reader, all of whom would read the manuscript and meet for a daylong workshop to discuss it. Lunch and snacks are provided, and the participants receive a stipend.

4. Junior Faculty Research Fellowship

On the model of the CTL first-year pedagogy workshop, TIIS will pilot a fellowship aimed at providing junior faculty with a supportive interdisciplinary environment for pursuing their research during the academic year, when the demands of teaching and service are liable to push research to the background. Small groups of 3-5 junior faculty in their second to sixth year representing at least two departments may apply for one semester of support per academic year.​​​