The building entrance to Cupples II on the Danforth Campus.

A&S CREATES Cohort Experience

A unique transdisciplinary experience for doctoral students

A&S CREATES (Arts & Sciences Cohort Recruitment and Transdisciplinary Experiences) is a unique approach to academic growth that fosters an environment where doctoral students can collaborate across disciplines and move beyond traditional learning boundaries.

A new initiative of the Office of Graduate Studies in Arts & Sciences, this program redefines the academic journey, offering incoming PhD students in eligible programs an expanded, cross-departmental learning community and supercharged possibilities for research collaboration, as well as a platform to translate their scholarly research for new audiences.

Each year, A&S CREATES will introduce a new cohort theme selected and designed by faculty colleagues. Cohort themes are broad, though they align with areas of faculty strength; field trends or spaces for innovation; connect to the A&S Strategic Plan; and can enhance our doctoral programs’ distinction. Each cohort’s experiences will run for approximately two years. The first A&S CREATES cohort theme will be Public Scholarship.

Meet the Mentors

Ian Bogost, Professor and Director of Film & Media Studies and Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at WashU

Ian Bogost

Professor and Director of Film & Media Studies, and Professor of Computer Science & Engineering; Barbara David Thomas Distinguished Professor. PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, Comparative Literature, 2004. MA, University of California, Los Angeles, Comparative Literature, 2001. BA, University of Southern California, Philosophy & Comparative Literature, 1998.

Adia Harvey Wingfield

Adia Harvey Wingfield

Vice Dean of Faculty Development and Diversity, and Professor of Sociology; Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor of Arts & Sciences. PhD, Johns Hopkins University.

Christopher Schaberg standing in front of bushes on campus at WashU.

Christopher Schaberg

Christopher Schaberg, Director of Public Scholarship, is a writer, editor, and scholar of contemporary literature, environmental thought, and the culture of air travel. He has published nine books, including titles such as "The Textual Life of Airports: Reading the Culture of Flight" and "Adventure: An Argument for Limits." His work has gained significant recognition, inspiring exhibits and featuring in popular media outlets like "The New Yorker." Schaberg has a passion for public scholarship, having spent years teaching workshops on editing, publishing, and short-essay writing, and actively works to translate academic rigor into forms accessible to the public. He holds a PhD in English from the University of California, Davis, and previously served as the Dorothy Harrell Brown Distinguished Professor of English and Director of the Center for Editing & Publishing at Loyola University New Orleans.

The Inaugural 2024 Cohort Experience Theme: Public Scholarship

The graduate cohort in Public Scholarship will equip doctoral students with practical tools that will help them better disseminate their work and communicate the importance of their research to broad public audiences. Participants will gain real-world experiences that will run parallel to and be supportive of each student’s individual disciplinary research program. Under the mentorship of Ian Bogost, Adia Harvey Wingfield, and Christopher Schaberg, faculty and program directors within the new Arts & Sciences Program in Public Scholarship, students will learn to effectively communicate their research work to diverse audiences, forge meaningful collaborations outside the academic realm, and contribute to societal change.

The cohort experience offers a comprehensive program in public scholarship, featuring a graduate seminar, engaging activities, and valuable resources to support students' involvement in public-facing projects.

The upcoming fall 2024 seminar in Public Scholarship will encompass:

  • General introduction to public scholarship across Arts & Sciences
  • Weekly visits from faculty active in public scholarship
  • Visits from editors, publishers, and media professionals
  • A collaborative writing practicum, through which the cohort members will practice writing together for public audiences and publishing this work in respected public-facing venues
  • Interviews with public scholars
  • Profiles of public scholarly outlets and platforms
  • Local community outreach and education
  • Poster displays/panel presentations for discipline-specific conferences, promoting the work of public scholarship (and the Graduate Cohort at WashU)
  • Planning for future mergers of scholarship and public-facing opportunities

Through this enriched experience, students will benefit from enhanced writing quality, expanded knowledge, and strengthened connections in the realm of public scholarship.


Why Participate in the A&S CREATES Public Scholarship Cohort:

Scholarly work has many ways to make an impact with ripple effects that spread out farther than the campus or one’s discipline. This type of work can happen accidentally or spontaneously, but it can also become part of a scholar’s practice and training. Public-focused scholarly work is increasingly recognized by institutions, professional associations, and funding agencies. Learning how to apply your research skills in real-world contexts will enhance your future career.

You will also benefit from:

  • Transdisciplinary Learning: Collaborate across disciplines for a holistic learning experience that transcends traditional academic boundaries.
  • Become part of a cross-departmental community: Forge enduring connections and a robust peer network with students across Arts & Sciences.
  • Esteemed Faculty Mentorship: Learn under the guidance of highly regarded faculty members who provide support and mentorship throughout your academic journey.
  • Real-world Experience: Equip yourself with practical experience and robust communication skills to discuss your work confidently with diverse audiences.
  • Lasting Impact: Shape your future as a changemaker. Your work through A&S CREATES will have a lasting impact on not just your career but society as a whole.

How to join the Cohort in Public Scholarship?

To express your interest in participating, please contact the Director of Graduate Studies for your specific program. You can find the enrollment form in Slate, the graduate admissions application system.

Admitted PhD students in the following programs are eligible to take part in the A&S CREATES cohort experience:

  • Anthropology
  • Art History and Archeology
  • Chemistry
  • Classics
  • Comparative Literature
  • Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences
  • English
  • French Language & Literature
  • German / Comparative Literature joint PhD
  • History
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Sociology

Future Cohort Themes:

In the upcoming years, A&S CREATES aims to delve deeper into various socially relevant themes, each designed to offer a comprehensive transdisciplinary exploration of topical issues. Through these themes, we continue to foster a learning environment that transcends academic boundaries, making a real-world impact.

  • Race, Power, and Politics
  • Science, Medicine & Human Hopes
  • Cultural Patrimony & Global Exchange
  • Communication, Cultures & Creative Industries
  • AI & Society
  • Health, Democracy & (Mis)Trust

For additional information about the A&S CREATES program and upcoming themed cohorts, feel free to contact William Acree, Associate Vice Dean of Graduate Education, at