Mission Statement and CIS Projects

Mission Statement

The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies focuses on the study of work and social capital, with particular attention to the role that social class, race, and gender play in structuring relationships in society.  Work is broadly construed to include activities beyond waged labor, including care work, family work, and other work that creates social value but is not compensated with dollars.  Social capital is the value that lies in networks of relationships, particularly trust and accompanying norms of reciprocity, altruistic behavior, solidarity, information-sharing, and cooperation.

Guided by an accomplished and interdisciplinary Advisory Board composed of faculty from a variety of disciplines at Washington University, the Center will sponsor scholarly roundtables, conferences, and speaker panels.  Its day-to-day focus will be upon research projects directed by affiliated faculty, which are expected to result in new courses,  scholarly gatherings, and interdisciplinary publications. The Center’s long-term goal is to enrich the research and learning of affiliated faculty and their students by connecting them with research on similar problems in other disciplines.  Ultimately, the Center seeks to deepen scholars’ insight into social problems and to produce more creative solutions.