Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought

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Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought


ASPECT (the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought) fosters a critical engagement between domains of inquiry in the social sciences, humanities, and the arts. Our focus is on interdisciplinary theoretical research. In addition to offering a one-of-a-kind doctoral program, we serve as an intellectual hub for various activities, endeavors, and events of an interdisciplinary and theoretical nature.

Through its curriculum, research programs, pedagogical endeavors, and scholarly events, ASPECT brings together theoretical and empirical cross-disciplinary methodologies, concepts, salient issues, and analytical perspectives generated by ethical thought, cultural studies, political economy, social and political theory, intellectual history, critical world order studies, and aesthetics, performance arts, and visual studies.

Residing in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and working closely with other colleges, centers, and academic units at Virginia Tech, ASPECT is a scholarly alliance among various departments and programs. Four core departments (History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Religion and Culture) have been involved in the design and development of ASPECT, and faculty members from multiple fields of study and disciplines are ongoing participants in the alliance’s curricular programs, its day-to-day governance, its intellectual life, and in the mentoring of ASPECT students.


New Interdisciplinary Major Trains Students to Become All-Round Leaders in the 21th Century

Anticipation, adrenaline, confidence, hope, and a touch of anxiety fill the waiting room. A dozen well-suited, well-educated college graduates wait for an interview at a major Wall Street firm. But one candidate stands out among the intense competition, showcasing high-level critical thinking that arrives at solutions that are not only economically sound, but also socially, ethically, and politically informed.

A new interdisciplinary major at Virginia Tech prepares undergraduates for this post-graduation scenario. The philosophy, politics, and economics (PPE) major is a collaborative degree between the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Political Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and the Department of Economics in the College of Science. View more Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought stories.

Core Departments