Research Clusters


Interdisciplinary Strategic Research Themes

NTU’s School of Humanities (SoH) promotes new interdisciplinary research and education programmes based upon the School’s comparative strengths, and leading-edge research trends in the international academe. Our five strategic research clusters are as follows:

The Environmental Humanities research cluster in the School of Humanities brings together a wide range of scholars whose research breaks down barriers between the human and nonhuman worlds. Researchers based in eco-linguistics, environmental anthropology, environmental history, environmental literature, and environmental philosophy, among other sub-disciplines, exchange findings revealing the environment’s impact on human activity and thought, and vice versa. This highly interdisciplinary scholarship often incorporates insights not only from other fields in the humanities and social sciences, but also from ecology, biology, and other hard sciences.

CoordinatorsMiles Powell (History)


Medical Humanities

The Medical Humanities research cluster is a vibrant interdisciplinary research cluster that focuses on the literary, linguistic, social, cultural, historical, and philosophical dimensions of health and sickness. We promote the contributions of the humanities to healthcare, medical practice, and the wider community and foster international collaboration among medical humanities scholars to address healthcare issues of urgent concern in South East Asia and beyond. We seek to expand our network across a wide range of disciplines and welcome applications for PhD research on topics related to health, culture, and society.

Coordinators: Graham Matthews (English)


Studies of forms of talk, communication and culture from the point of view of interactions between languages and cultures. Members of this research cluster explore together synergies among linguistics, literature, history and translation.

Coordinator: Randy LaPolla (Linguistics and Multilingual Studies)

Southeast Asian Studies

This research cluster focuses on the dynamic and fluid exchanges and networks which extend across the Southeast Asian region. Members represent a diversity of disciplines not limited to archaeology, art history, cultural studies, geography, history, international relations, and literary studies. Through shared themes which will be used to facilitate collaborative research and writing, and conversations, the cluster aims to bring together academics to contribute to new innovative ways of examining the region.

Coordinators: Goh Geok Yian (History) 

Gender and Diversity

The Gender Studies research cluster taps into the breadth of cross-programme disciplines within the School of Humanities and the School of Social Sciences to establish gender and sexuality as fundamental categories of social and cultural analysis towards studying the diversity of human experience.  Drawing on history, literature, language, psychology, philosophy, cultural studies and sociology, this cluster addresses the intersections of gender, sexuality with other dimensions of identity formation, such as class, race, ethnicity, age, nationality and transnational movement. ​​​​​​​​

Coordinators: Yong Wern Mei (English), Christopher Suhler (Philosophy)