25 Years

Our Mission

The Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change is a University of Minnesota campus-wide center that seeks to foster an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural community of faculty and students committed to supporting and advancing research, education and collaborative initiatives related to global change, with a focus on the global south.

About ICGC

The Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC), as part of the Global Programs and Strategy (GPS) Alliance at the University of Minnesota, seeks to foster an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural community of faculty and graduate students committed to studying global change, with a focus on the global south. ICGC’s scholarly activities address themes including justice; peace, conflict, and security; social and environmental change; human rights; development; and international cooperation. We understand the global south to include communities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America as well as communities in North America, Europe, and elsewhere experiencing marginalization or living precariously in the context of global change. We also emphasize transnational knowledge flows and production. ICGC’s philosophy focuses on interdisciplinary perspectives, globally engaged scholarship, and a recognition of the necessary connection of diversity and academic excellence.

ICGC provides intellectual and financial support for ninety graduate and professional students in several colleges of the University of Minnesota. Beyond our graduate fellowships (ICGC Scholar, ICGC Mellon Scholar, Global Food Security Fellows and Joseph E. Schwartzberg Fellows), the Center also provides enabling small grants to graduate and professional students for international internships and pre-dissertation fieldwork in the global south. Interdisciplinary faculty-student seminars and workshop series are organized around major theoretical, comparative, and methodological issues related to the global south; and formal public lectures and informal brown bag discussion series are presented by scholars, policymakers, and activists addressing issues related to themes of the Center. ICGC also supports interdisciplinary research circles on various themes, currently including water governance and access in the global south, transnational knowledge production, children’s lives and livelihoods in the global south, and global urbanisms.  

In addition, ICGC offers a two formal graduate education programs. Our graduate minor in Development Studies and Social Change offers a series of seminars on interdisciplinary approaches to global change, scholarship, and public responsibility, international research methods and ethics, and related themes. ICGC also jointly offers the Master of Development Practice (MDP) in international development degree program with the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and several other participating academic units.  Our graduate courses, research initiatives, and program governance are supported by an interdisciplinary group of seventy-eight affiliated faculty members from six colleges and schools across campus.

ICGC’s primary academic partner units on the University of Minnesota campus include the Colleges of Liberal Arts; Biological Sciences; Education and Human Development; and Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences; the School of Public Health; the Humphrey School of Public Affairs; the Office of the Vice President for Research; and the Office of Equity and Diversity. ICGC has a continuing collaboration in graduate education and faculty research with the University of the Western Cape (UWC) in South Africa. This partnership, based at the UWC Centre for Humanities Research and supported by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, includes faculty and student exchange as well as joint seminars, collaborative research, and publishing initiatives.