Each year the Institute welcomes visitors from around the world to present their works-in-progress at the bi-weekly General Seminar, attended primarily by graduate students and faculty but open to the general public. Each Fall the seminar focuses on a theme; recent topics have included "Language, Power and Identity," "Contact and Conflict: Interethnic Relations in Local and Global Contexts," "Labor, Migrations and Identity," and "Constructing the Past: Explorations of Historical Consciousness." The Call for Papers for the Fall Seminar is announced in February. Scholars are invited to submit abstracts for consideration by June 30.
The Institute annually sponsors two Distinguished Lectures by internationally-renowned scholars to address issues of broad appeal for a university-wide audience. Distinguished speakers in recent years have included Ronald Takaki, Valentin Mudimbe, Evelyn Hu-Dehart, Benedict Anderson, Maurice Bloch, Doris Sommer, and Tzvetan Todorov.
The Institute offers summer travel research funding to Johns Hopkins graduate & undergraduate students. The grant competition is open to all graduate & undergraduate students associated with the Institute’s programs and who are engaged in crossdisciplinary research. In the spring semester following summer travel, grant awardees present a paper based on their research. The deadline for grant proposals is in mid-March in the preceding spring semester. Notification of awards are made by the beginning of April.
The minor in multicultural and regional studies offers Johns Hopkins undergraduates an opportunity to concentrate on a region, population or theme from a cross-cultural perspective. Created to enable students to pursue studies of non-Western societies, or aspects of American or European cultural pluralism, the minor is designed by the student in conjunction with a faculty advisor.
The Institute offers a summer travel fellowship for research abroad for Johns Hopkins University undergraduate minors in Multicultural and Regional Studies. The fellowship covers travel expenses and provides for a small living stipend. Recipients of the fellowship can enhance their in-class training with a culturally unique living experience. Beyond the financial award the Fellow earns credit toward the fulfillment of the minor requirements and presents her/his research findings at the Spring Seminar.