Research Program in Arts and Humanities To Launch This Summer
The new Harvard College Summer Humanities and Arts Research Program, or SHARP, will launch this summer with the goal of filling a gap in research opportunities for students of the arts and humanities.
The 10-week pilot program will give approximately 12 students the opportunity to work on research projects, which emphasize direct collaboration between students and faculty members.
“Everybody seems to think that the focus is on science. Clearly, there are more options in science, because those options come from a lot of different places,” said Gregory A. Llacer, director of Harvard’s Office for Undergraduate Research Initiatives. “For the arts and humanities, even outside Harvard, there aren’t a whole lot of opportunities.”
SHARP is intended to level the playing field for students with diverse research interests. Interested students can apply to work on one of SHARP’s four interdisciplinary projects, which range from a digital mapping venture to the processing of a collection of informal publications at Widener Library.
In one of these projects, students led by philosophy professor Sean D. Kelly will design a philosophy curriculum for elementary and high school students.
Jeffrey Berg, assistant director at Harvard’s Office of Postgraduate and National Fellowships, said that Kelly’s project is intended to attract students interested in both philosophy and education. “Even the philosophy-focused project...isn’t just for philosophy students,” Berg said. “It’s for students who have an interest in philosophy but who are also looking to engage with elementary and high school students.”
Program officials said they hope SHARP students will engage with other undergraduate researchers on campus during the program.
“People are going to think about research in their own disciplinary field in a different way by virtue of having these really compelling experiences with people way outside their own discipline.” Llacer said.
Kelly said that although there is still work to be done in creating more research opportunities for students of the arts and humanities, he believes Harvard is moving in the right direction.
“I think that the administration and [Diana Sorensen, divisional dean of arts and humanities] are trying hard to make sure they support students in the arts and humanities,” said Kelly.
Llacer said he hopes SHARP will attract the interest of faculty and students, allowing for future expansion.
SHARP is a collaboration between the Arts and Humanities Division and the Office for Undergraduate Research Initiatives.
The fledgling program falls under the umbrella of Harvard’s Summer Undergraduate Research Village, which includes research programs such as the Behavioral Laboratory in the Social Sciences (BLISS), the Program for Research in Science and Engineering (PRISE), and the Program for Research in Markets and Organizations (PRIMO), catered to students interested in business research.
—Staff writer Brianna D. MacGregor can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @bdmacgregor.