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Request for Proposals: The Work of the Humanities in a Changing Climate
Deadline October 31st, 2016

The Humanities Without Walls consortium invites applications for funding from cross-institutional teams of faculty and graduate students wishing to collaboratively pursue research topics related to “The Work of the Humanities in a Changing Climate.” Note: UMN faculty project leaders and coordinators should contact IAS Director Jennifer Gunn (gunnx005@umn.edu) no later than October 1, 2016 with an email indicating intent to apply for this challenge, the project title, and all external collaborators and their institutions.

Call for Applications: 2017 Humanities Without Walls Consortium National Pre-Doctoral Summer Workshop

HWW invites applications for fellowships from pre-doctoral students to participate in a three-week intensive, residential summer workshop for individuals who are working towards but have not yet received a PhD in a humanities discipline, and who plan to continue their degree programs while also considering careers outside the academy and/or the tenure-track university system.

  • The University of Minnesota may nominate one graduate student for this program. Nominations are run through the IAS.
  • Applications from eligible doctoral students must be emailed to ias@umn.edu by midnight, Friday September 30. Applicants should submit the cover sheet, narrative, and 2-page CV, and have the two letters of recommendation sent to ias@umn.edu directly by their letter writers.
  • On the cover sheet, fill in Jennifer Gunn (gunnx005@umn.edu) in the space for “Humanities Center Director/Graduate College Dean”
  • The IAS is holding an application info session on September 15.

The Humanities Without Walls consortium links the humanities centers at 15 research universities throughout the Midwest and beyond.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded $3,000,000 to the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to fund the first two years of an extensive consortium of fifteen humanities institutes in the Midwest and beyond. By leveraging the strengths of multiple distinctive campuses, the initiative, titled “Humanities Without Walls,” aims to create new avenues for collaborative research, teaching, and the production of scholarship in the humanities, forging and sustaining areas of inquiry that cannot be created or maintained without cross-institutional cooperation.

The grant, led by IPRH Director and Principal Investigator Antoinette Burton, makes possible two initiatives: One supports the development of summer workshops for pre-doctoral students in the humanities who intend to pursue careers outside the academy; A second initiative funds cross-institutional teams of faculty and graduate students pursuing research that focuses on a grand challenge: “The Global Midwest.” The latter is intended to stimulate collaborative research that rethinks and reveals the Midwest as a key site—both now and in the past—in shaping global economies and cultures. The first pre-doctoral workshop took place in summer 2015; as second workshop is planned for summer 2016

The consortium includes 13 of the institutions that belong to the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC)—Indiana University, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Penn State University, Purdue University; and the Universities of Chicago, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin-Madison—plus the University of Notre Dame and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The humanities centers at the 15 consortial institutions will serve as the hubs for collaboration. The Chicago Humanities Festival and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are also serving as key intellectual and infrastructural partners for the project.

The 21st century presents a clear and pressing need to collaboratively mobilize the collective resources of the heartland’s institutions of higher education. This consortium of humanities centers will together advance innovative and experimental research and pedagogical practices by sharing unevenly distributed resources across institutional walls, and by testing new ideas at scale. Humanities centers can best undertake this work because they are already sites of innovation on university campuses, generating ideas and stimulating new knowledge on campuses through the creation and funding of major initiatives.

The Humanities Without Walls consortium is the first of its kind to experiment at this large scale with cross-institutional collaboration.