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Humanities for the Public Good Humanities Futures Graduate Fellow


Amount: $5,000

Term: AY 2019-20

Eligibility: Doctoral students in humanities and humanistic social sciences enrolled in a degree program in one of sixteen departments in the College of Arts & Sciences*

Application Deadline: Monday, September 23rd, 2019

Supervisor: Robyn Schroeder, Humanities for the Public Good Initiative Director

About Humanities for the Public Good Initiative

The Humanities for the Public Good Initiative is a Mellon Foundation-supported project of UNC’s College of Arts & Sciences, dedicated to promoting public scholarship in the arts & humanities, integrating digital and public humanities, and extending the impact of the public humanities in graduate study.

The Fellowship Project

The Humanities Futures Initiative intends to boost the advocacy and engagement skills of undergraduate students in humanities majors by making them partners in understanding the economic and historical contours of studying in humanities fields in the United States, here and now; and to offer them tools and support in building programs that invite others as co-investigators of the social, political, moral, financial, and personal value of building a life as a humanist; and thereby to make a set of positive interventions in broader public perceptions of majoring in the humanities in the 21st century.

To that end, the Humanities for the Public Good Initiative will recruit 10 – 12 undergraduate fellows (UFs) for a one-year term, offering $300 stipends and up to $300 in project support to each fellow. UFs will participate in a series of six 80-minute seminar-style workshops October 2019-January 2019, exposing them to topics including

  • the history of the “culture wars” and the backlash against the humanities
  • class, race, ability, and identity as humanities topics/as barriers to studying the humanities
  • available data on career and life satisfaction outcomes for humanists
  • meetings with Triangle-area cultural professionals working in diverse contexts
  • training for designing and implementing inclusive programs

In February-May 2020, UFs will be expected, with support from their graduate student mentors and the HPG Initiative, to implement projects or programs that intervene in the public idea of what it means to study in humanities fields now. Possible projects include inviting a humanities professor or graduate student to give a public talk in one’s home community; mounting a physical or digital exhibition on a topic relevant to studying the humanities at the university level; producing a social media campaign; or building a campus program, in a classroom or in a dorm, designed to provide a larger on-campus conversation space.

The Humanities for the Future Graduate Fellows

We are seeking one graduate fellow who will be part of a team of two graduate fellows working to support the Humanities Future Initiative undergraduates. The duties of the graduate fellow will include: weekly one-hour meetings with Dr. Schroeder; help designing and implementing the undergraduate fellow application process; assistance building and coordinating approximately six workshops schedule for October-January; and mentorship of half of the undergraduate fellows as they implement their public humanities projects in Spring 2020. A significant role in supporting undergraduate fellow projects as a substitute for designing an on-campus program of one’s own (a requirement of other graduate fellows in the HPG Graduate Fellow program).

The applicant should have an interest in teaching and mentoring, especially in regards to undergraduate students. We seek someone who has a desire to act as an advocate for the humanities at UNC-CH while developing their own knowledge and experience in the public humanities. In addition to these driving motivations the ideal applicant will have experience working in team based settings and be comfortable corresponding with other fellows and campus allies over email and in person

Through this program the graduate student fellow will be able to develop and refine skills in project management and implementation, undergraduate mentorship, communication to broad audiences and across disciplines. Additionally the fellow will gain knowledge of contemporary issues around the public humanities and receive mentorship and professionalization.

The Application & More Information

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Applicants must submit a cover letter explaining their academic background and professional qualifications, as well as their goals for professional development through this fellowship; a C.V.; and a letter of support from an advisor in their department or their Director of Graduate Studies. The completed application should be submitted to the HPG website no later than the end of the day on Monday, September 23, 2019.

Those with questions or feedback, or who are seeking advice for their applications are advised to drop in on Dr. Schroeder’s office hours in 207 Hyde Hall, on Wednesday 9/11 from 10 a.m. to noon; or Tuesday 9/17 from 2-5 p.m. Feel free to write in advance to reserve a time, or to request another mutually agreeable appointment slot.


*Eligible graduate programs will be affiliated with American Studies; Anthropology; Art & Art History; Classics; Communication; Dramatic Art; English & Comparative Literature; Geography; Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures; History; Linguistics; Music; Philosophy; Religious Studies; Romance Studies; and Women & Gender Studies. Graduate students within the College of Arts & Sciences who are not affiliated with one of these programs, but are pursuing a course of study which makes significant use of humanities methods or content, may write to Robyn Schroeder to petition for eligibility. Graduate students in programs outside of the College of Arts & Sciences are not eligible.