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Indiana University Bloomington

Fall 2013  Connectedness: Networks in a Complex World

Themester 2013 Overview

Call for Co-curricular Proposals - Final Deadline: April 12, 2013
Curriculum Bundle
Frequently Asked Questions

Themester 2013: Connectedness: Networks in a Complex World

From neurons to social relationships, tweets to trade agreements, literary structures to food webs, the idea of “connections” has become central to how we understand our world. We link to one another, to the virtual world, and to various environments through networks that exist at all levels of human activity. “Six degrees of separation,” “networking” and “social capital” have become part of our language and our daily lives.  By mapping the connections among multiple types and levels of “actors”, we have begun to understand the neural and protein networks that sustain life, the social bonds that support or dismantle solidarity in communities, and the political ties on which governments rise and fall.  Networks are more than neutral, random or sterile connecting structures. They can facilitate or deny access to a wide array of resources, and provide real intervention points for social, institutional and global change.

Themester 2013 focuses squarely on the role of connectedness as a force in society and in our lives as unique individuals, partners, citizens and members of a global community.  Whether particles, people or policies, human experience is embedded in dynamic streams of networks that shape our very existence.

Themester 2013 advisory committee:

Bernice Pescosolido, Sociology (Chair)
Lynn Beavin, undergraduate
Dana Anderson, English
Amber Hendricks, undergraduate
Armando Razo, Political Science
Olaf Sporns, Psychological & Brain Sciences
Elizabeth Stirrat, Fine Arts
Perry Metz, Radio and Television Services

Co-curricular proposals


The College is looking for scholarly and creative activities and events that engage the undergraduate population in the discussion and complement the preliminary Themester curriculum bundle.

Events and activities in the Themester might include:

  • Lectures and panel discussions
  • Colloquia and Workshops
  • Art exhibits
  • Museum programming and exhibits
  • Film screenings
  • Creative Performances


If faculty members in your department or area are interested in organizing an event, please direct these proposals to themes@indiana.edu.  Themester is meant to inspire discussion and reflection on important topics within and across disciplines. To this end, and to better leverage limited resources, multidisciplinary events and partnerships between departments and units are encouraged. 

Please include the following in proposals:

  • a description of the proposed programming and how it links to the theme,
  • a 100-200 word description for the purposes of promotion,
  • any direct or indirect curricular connection,
  • proposed date(s) and times,
  • a detailed budget,
  • the departmental or co-sponsoring unit’s financial contribution,
  • amount of Themester funding required,
  • any initiatives already taken with regard to the event,
  • expected audience (specific disciplines/majors? campus-wide? general public?),
  • publicity efforts that will be undertaken by you or your department,
  • the contact person for the proposed program,
  • and your fiscal officer’s name and contact information.

Contacts & Deadline

Submit proposal to:  themes@indiana.edu by Friday, April 12. This is the final deadline for funding.

If you have questions, please contact Tracy Bee, Director of Academic Initiatives at themes@indiana.edu.