The School of Critical Social Inquiry is united by a common commitment to understanding the processes of continually changing social and cultural formations and their implications for people's lives. We support a range of approaches, perspectives, and methods of inquiry, strongly emphasizing an understanding of race in the U.S.A. and non-Western histories, politics, social structures, and cultures.
Students put scholarship into action as they explore such issues as the struggle for human rights in Burma; the politics of East Africa; arms control, revolution, and social change in the Middle East; the politics of land use; poverty law; immigration policy; and child advocacy. Regardless of the particular approach, all of us in the school recognize the importance of integrating scholarship with social activism, thus enriching both.
Students put theory into practice through community-based internships and College-wide programs such as
Susan Darlington is dean of the School of Critical Social Inquiry and professor of anthropology and Asian studies. Her research, based on extensive fieldwork in Thailand, examines the work of Buddhist monks engaged in rural development, environmental conservation and other forms of social activism. The broader questions she addresses in her research and teaching include understanding the changing social, political, and historical contexts of religion, environmentalism and human rights, and the creative use of ritual for social change.