ELL Launch! Here's What You Can Expect From Us In The Future

As of April 19, 4:00 p.m. (Atlantic Time) we have officially launched The Examined Life Lab!

As you will notice, our site very much remains a work in progress. But this is, of course, by design. This site will continue to grow as we gather more research and information and as we post more content and work toward more detailed understandings of research clusters. We will also add new projects and research clusters as well as new initiatives that showcase student work and that provide students with opportunities to acquire expertise in the kind of content creation, information analysis and evaluation, and in the forms of research practice that they will often be expected to engage in after graduation. 

For now, we invite you to browse through the beginning stages of the lab. You will find research clusters that are arranged around pressing topics of our time. In these clusters, you will also find a growing archive of sources, commentary, analysis, and so on, which is intended to serve as a one-stop-shop for those who are interested in better understanding the topics and research clusters we cover. Arranged around the information archives you will find student work: analyses of aspects of a specific research cluster, cultural critique, think pieces, and other commentary. Our aim is to facilitate sustained attention to particular topics, allowing future generations of students to see what their colleagues have already produced and researched and to formulate new projects that build on and add to existing work.

The ELL will allow students to put to use the skills that they acquire throughout their education in ways that transcend the limits of traditional assignments and term papers. Students will not produce isolated term papers for classes that no one will read again once they have been marked. Instead, they will produce analytical and critical writing and research projects that are part of an ongoing effort, of a long-term team project that strives to engage students actively in the attempt to create research projects that help us better understand complex cultural, social, and political issues of our time. In this way, students are able to contribute to an ongoing collective effort, and they are able to produce work that is meaningful to them, work that is not merely a university assignment but that continues to live on and that continues to assist and inspire future generations of students. New sets of students will be able to consult and benefit from existing student projects, and they will be able to further develop lines of inquiry or take projects into new directions. Visitors to this site are able to consult the growing archive of student work to gain a deeper understanding of a wide range of topics and to get a sense of how students think about some of the most pressing problems of our time.

To read more about our mission, check out the "About Us" section of this website.

Also be sure to visit the "Research Clusters" and "Student Projects" sections to see samples of the cornerstone content that students have produced over the course of the 2017/18 academic year.

A final note: everything you find on this website at the moment has been produced by two student assistants and by a dozen students who were enrolled in ENGL 318 ("Cultural Theory"). Isn't it impressive how far such a small group of students have already taken this project!? Stick around as future generations of students continue to develop this website and add new, exciting content and projects.

Mathias Nilges