About hrafARC

Last modified by editors on 2022/04/03 11:38

The Human Relations Areas Files (HRAF) – an internationally recognized anthropological research organization at Yale University  – includes research institutes in the USA and Europe to promote comparative ethnographic research applied to complex contemporary problems.  More specifically, HRAF Advanced Research Centers (hrafARC) aims to  develop and apply new paradigms for comparative research to address outcomes emerging from human complexity and diversity. hrafARC has an overarching goal of expanding its reach and programs globally and invites other collaborations. 

At Yale, HRAF hosts its Advanced Research Center in the main HRAF building, and will gradually be increasing capacity to host researchers on site for longer visits.

hrafARC is presently conducting the final year of a project supported by the National Science Foundation. "Climate-Related Hazards, Disasters, and Cultural Transformations" has investigators from cultural anthropology, archaeology, psychology, geography and climatology, comparing worldwide samples of societies, archaeological traditions, and countries in their responses to hazards related to food production, storage, and availability. The PI for the grant is Carol R. Ember (HRAF), and the co-PIs are Benjamin Felzer (Lehigh University), Michele J. Gelfand (University of Maryland), Eric C. Jones (University of Texas-Houston), and Peter N. Peregrine (Lawrence University). The Senior Personnel are Teferi Abate Adem (HRAF) and Ian Skoggard (HRAF). More information about the project can be found at http://hraf.yale.edu/research/hrafarc/. hrafARC was established by Carol R. Ember, President of HRAF, and Michael D. Fischer, Vice President of HRAF.

hrafARC [EU] is initially developing research focused on the core themes of (a) food security and the sustainable organisation of agriculture and markets, and (b) the interplay of disjunctive narratives and discourses, with initial applications to reducing ethnic tension in the EU. hrafARC is seeking funding through ‘Horizon 2020’, the EU Framework Programme for research and innovation and other funding bodies. hrafARC [EU] was established by Michael. D. Fischer, Vice-President of HRAF and Co-Director Alan Bicker, Senior Research Fellow with broad experience in applied and pure research ranging from farming to use of theatre in local heritage, both recently retired from the School of Anthropology and Conservation at the University of Kent, UK. More information about these projects can be found at http://hrafarc.eu/.

We are very pleased to be working with HRAF on this exciting new approach to research. We are already engaged in investigating issues of food security within the EU and beyond. Indeed, it is our intention over time to establish HRAF-affiliated ARC Institutes in other EU countries, as well as East Asia and Japan. In so doing, we welcome collaboration with colleagues across the world, in an effort to address these key issues beyond the constraints of university systems.   Alan Bicker, Director, Europe

hrafARC is currently pursuing several research concepts including: 

  • Cross-cultural research based on primary and secondary data
  • If, when, and how invention and consequent emergent capabilities become pervasive choices
  • Human agency and its distribution as a key social and cultural resource and driver
  • Public involvement in the creation, use and distribution of knowledge
  • Emergent forms of local, global and trans-cultural organisation
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