Cultural Heritage Research Center

West Fork of the White River, Anderson, Indiana
As part of a study of stakeholder-defined value of cultural heritage, the CHRC investigated a proposed Mounds Lake Reservoir which would have created a reservoir by damming the West Fork of the White River in Anderson, Indiana, and would have inundated a portion of Mounds State Park.

The Cultural Heritage Research Center in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI is a collaborative, multidisciplinary center conducting cultural heritage research and working with community partners to address critical needs.


The mission of the Cultural Heritage Research Center is to conduct multidisciplinary research to advance the understanding of cultural heritage and its role in society. The Cultural Heritage Research Center focuses its mission in three areas:

  • Research – undertaking research that creates new understanding of cultural heritage, explores new approaches in the field, and develops new tools, strategies, and resources for the study and stewardship of cultural heritage.
  • Civic engagement – working collaboratively with community partners to address relevant research questions and develop programs, tools, and other products that meet their needs.
  • Education – promoting public awareness of cultural heritage and fostering dialogue in cultural heritage issues.

To accomplish this mission, the Center facilitates collaboration among scholars conducting cultural heritage research in fields such as anthropology, archaeology, history, cultural geography, museum studies, informatics, material culture, education, art history, tourism studies, Native American Indian studies, and Africana studies. The Center supports partnerships with community organizations as well as collaborations across academic units and IU campuses. It promotes the production and dissemination of research in academic publications and in forms that are accessible and applicable to community needs. Administratively, the Center supports research through grant writing and administration, conference planning, research laboratory facilities, and project management.

Past CHRC projects and links:

Artists Fred Wilson speaking at the Art, Race, Space public conversation, January 25, 2013.

Art, Race, Space

Climates of Inequality exhibit, 2020
Climates of Inequality exhibit at the Indianapolis Central Library, January 2020

Climates of Inequality: Inequity Along the White River: Local Advocacyfor Change

States of Incarceration: Intersections of Mass Incarceration and Mental Illness: Why are Prisons the Nation’s Mental Hospitals?

Thinking critically about cultural heritage