GIAS Working Groups

Global Institute for Advanced Study (GIAS)

The Global Institute for Advanced Study (GIAS) is a nascent initiative at NYU that represents a significant University investment in research and scholarship. In 2015, faculty from Tisch School of the Arts submitted two separate requests for three-year GIAS Working Groups (described below) - and both were awarded full funding for activities launched in 2016. 

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Global Institute for Advanced Study

The main purposes of the GIAS are to facilitate collaborative research on an international scale, and to enable sustained attention to significant research programs that require work over several years.

The Institute will not be housed in any particular physical location, but rather will use the resources of the University’s entire global network as its research facility.

The Institute will consist of several working research groups, three starting in 2011/2012 and building up to a total of six per year.

Each working group will be based in an existing department, center, or school. Each working group will identify an important topic (which might, but need not be, interdisciplinary) that the participants of the working group will agree to work on for several years (normally three years).

The working groups will consist of approximately 10-15 individual scholars assembled from around the world. Such working groups might, but need not, include institutional participants as well, for example, departments and centers at other universities.

The faculty participants will commit to attending two short (two-three day) meetings/workshops per year, and to exchanging papers and views between meetings. Much of the work will be accomplished through these continuous proactive exchanges over the duration of the three years of the program. The institutional members might commit to hosting occasional meetings of the working group. Most of the meetings, however, will be hosted by NYU, at the Square, at Abu Dhabi, or at one of NYU's other global sites.

Each working group will work towards an "end product" on its topic, which may be, for example, a published volume, a public conference, and/or a website.

Each working group will receive significant and sufficient funding to cover the cost of travel, accommodation, meetings, video links and other research costs. Further sources of funding may also be available.

Awards will be made to a group leader and a particular project that he or she will lead. The selection of awardees will be made by the Steering Committee of the GIAS, in consultation with the Provost’s Advisory Group of academic leadership and (senior) vice provosts.

Deans and other members of the Provost’s Advisory Group will be invited to submit to the Director their nominations of strong candidates from the various schools. The Steering Committee will then select a certain number from among these nominees and invite them to work with the Director to develop a funding proposal.

GIAS Working Groups at Tisch

  • Miho Tsujii (APP '13) performing in the transforma symposium at NYU Shanghai

    Critical Collaboration

    Principal Investigator: Pato Hebert, Associate Arts Professor, Art & Public Policy

    Guided by Pato Hebert (Associate Arts Professor, Art & Public Policy), the Critical Collaboration Working Group will investigate the relationship between creativity and social change. The project is particularly interested in how critical collaboration might contribute to change at interpersonal, social and structural levels. We hope to better understand how such changes might be seeded through critical thinking and reflexive action that are developed in concert with others. Engaging emergent practitioners from the Tisch Art & Public Policy alumni network, along with NYU faculty members and practitioners local to five GNU sites (Abu Dhabi, Accra, Buenos Aires, Florence, Shanghai), the Critical Collaborations Working Group seeks to recognize and embody local dynamics with global implications. Practitioners are working in a variety of forms including performance art, photography, groundbreaking curatorial efforts and organization building. Their projects explore pressing issues such as gender-based violence, Indigenous aesthetic innovations, urban youth culture and art in the public sphere. Project Launch (by invitation only) took place April 14-15, 2016 in New York City.

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  • Photo by Cari Ann Shim Sham

    Translucent Borders

    Principal Investigator: Andy Teirstein, Arts Professor, Department of Dance

    Translucent Borders is an exploration of intercultural dialogue and practice, focusing on the role of dance and music at geographic and cultural borders. The Working Group comprises leading choreographers, composers from among NYU faculty and other institutions, and is led by Dr. Andy Teirstein (Arts Professor, Dance). The project has facilitated field encounters in Cuba, Israel, Palestinian Territories and Ghana--conducting interviews, convening knowledge-sharing circles, exchanging master classes, and holding improvisatory encounters. Significant encounters have been convened at Israel’s Vertigo Eco Village, Cuba’s Fidanz Festival, and the Ghana National Dance Theater and Orchestra. Culminating events in June, 2018 included a residency at the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival and presentations at the Lincoln Center Atrium and NYU’s Jack Jack Crystal Theater. Two reflective conferences are scheduled: November, 2018 at the Blue Mountain Arts Center, and February, 2019 at the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute. Project website:

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