Research from the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences is as diverse as the subjects contained within the School itself. From the study of materials and their degradation to deep dives into subject matter ranging from music, performance, social justice, and the environment, you’ll find that no subject exists in isolation, and instead, reverberates and impacts all facets of our perceived and physical reality. 

 Lined-up, small samples of bioplastics blocks

Bioplastics: Materials for a Sustainable Future

Cindie Kehlet and Helio Takai

School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Mathematics and Science

Bioplastics are the counterpart to the petroleum-based plastics made of biopolymers. They are biodegradable, made from renewable raw materials such as gelatin, starch, and other biopolymers. Although the materials are not new, we now have technologies and methodologies that can help us create everyday products out of bioplastics to replace traditional plastics.

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hands holding up clear film

Center for Material Science: Research Opportunities for Students

Cindie Kehlet, Enrique Lanz Oca, Mary Lempres, Helio Takai

School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Math and Science

The Center for Material Science is a new interdisciplinary initiative at Pratt. It focuses on research and applications of new materials aligning with an economic model that preserves the environment and respects social justice.

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text of “thinking, being, moving, otherwise” over reflecting water

Global South Center

Macarena Gómez-Barris

School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Social Science and Cultural Studies

Macarena Gómez-Barris is the Founding Director of the Global South Center. In this brief presentation, she conceptualizes the war against the Earth, naming the differential impact of climate crisis as the colonial anthropocene.

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Book cover for Red Gold

Red Gold: The Managed Extinction of the Giant Bluefin Tuna

Jennifer E. Telesca, PhD

School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Social Science and Cultural Studies

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) is the world’s foremost organization for managing and conserving tunas, seabirds, turtles, and sharks traversing international waters. Founded by treaty in 1969, ICCAT stewards what has become under its tenure one of the planet’s most prominent endangered fish: the Atlantic bluefin tuna. Called “red gold” by industry insiders for the exorbitant prize her ruby-colored flesh commands in the sushi economy, the giant bluefin tuna has crashed in size and number under ICCAT’s custodianship.

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two researchers kneel in front of an ancient wall painting; one holds a camera, one holds a light source.

The Search for Egyptian Blue

Eleonora Del Federico

School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Mathematics and Science

Egyptian Blue is the oldest synthetic blue pigment first prepared by the ancient Egyptians around 2800 BCE. Its use became widespread as the main blue in ancient Mediterranean art but mysteriously disappeared during the 3rd century CE.

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Three people hold up a puppet during a demonstration in front of a class

The Vision Room

Amy Guggenheim

School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Humanities and Media Studies

The Vision Room is an intimate global incubator for artists, designers, and theorists to nurture inquiry, transformative interdisciplinary exchange, and the seeding of new work informed by artistic innovation, intellectual rigor, and social engagement in response to the times.

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Book cover of “There’s No Place Like Home”

Transcending Tradition: The Role of Performance Art in Elementary Education

Martha Wilson

School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, History of Art and Design

Seed Grant 2019-2020

Artist, educator, and Franklin Furnace founder Martha Wilson’s Transcending Tradition assessed the impact of Naimah Hassan’s fifteen week performance art workshop for fourth graders at Brooklyn’s PS20.

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Group of people watch as glow from fluorescent bacteria is shown.

Understanding STEM Identity

Mark Rosin

School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Math and Science

Understanding STEM Identity explores how scientifically underserved people—those who feel like traditional access points to science like museums, newspapers, and documentaries are not for them—can become empowered to engage with science, and in turn, enrich their lives.

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Text over portrait of William Parker: “Universal Tonality: The Life and Music of William Parker by Cisco Bradley”

Universal Tonality: The Life and Music of William Parker

Francis ‘Cisco’ Bradley

School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Social Science and Cultural Studies

Since ascending onto the world stage in the 1990s as one of the premier bassists and composers of his generation, William Parker has perpetually toured around the world and released over forty albums as a leader. He is one of the most influential jazz artists alive today.

In Universal Tonality historian and critic Cisco Bradley tells the story of Parker’s life and music. Drawing on interviews with Parker and his collaborators, Bradley traces Parker’s ancestral roots in West Africa via the Carolinas to his childhood in the South Bronx, and illustrates his rise from the 1970s jazz lofts and extended work with pianist Cecil Taylor to the present day.

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