Grants | 9 October 2020

CFA: 2021 Humanities Without Walls Summer Workshop Fellowship



Humanities Without Walls 2021 National Predoc Career Diversity Workshop 

Deadline: October 31st, 2020

Humanities Without Walls (HWW) is a consortium of humanities centers and institutes at 16 major research universities throughout the Midwest and beyond. Based at the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), HWW has been funded by three successive grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

In summer 2021, HWW is holding its first online, national, virtual summer workshop for doctoral students interested in learning about careers outside of the academy and/or the tenure track system. Through a series of workshops, talks, and virtual field trips, participants learn how to leverage their skills and training towards careers in the private sector, the non-profit world, arts administration, public media and many other fields. All aspects of the workshop will be remote, virtual, and online in nature.

We invite applications from doctoral students pursuing degrees in the humanities and humanistic social sciences to participate in this three-week, virtual summer workshop. This is a limited-submission application. Eligible doctoral students must be nominated for this fellowship by their home institutions, and only one nomination may be made to HWW by each university. To be considered, interested doctoral students must submit their applications to The Humanities Institute by October 31st, 2020. Please do not submit your applications directly to HWW.

About the Workshop

The Humanities Without Walls summer workshop utilizes a fellow-centered approach to assisting humanities PhD students with the development of their careers. Our principles emphasize student agency while giving attendees space to reflect on values. We have learned that centering the needs of each fellow results in empowered PhD professionals ready to tackle the world which await them post-degree. Our sessions intentionally layer foundations for the fellows as they do the real-time work of discerning personal career values, building community within the fellowship cohort, and researching potential career paths. The workshop models effective strategies that enable our fellows to prepare for a successful job search today and for the career transitions which will come in the future.

The very concept of “humanities without walls” commits us to the work of racial and social justice in the context of career diversity programming. Therefore, we work to create sessions which help us grapple with the long history of implicit racial, gender, and class bias so often concealed in the guise of “professionalism.” HWW’s commitment to the values of reciprocity and redistribution allows our fellows an opportunity to thread the work of racial justice and social equity into their developing life and career goals and to think about inclusion by design as part of their work in the world, whatever shape that may take.

Launched in 2015 as an initiative of the HWW consortium, the workshop welcomes participants each summer from higher education institutions across the United States. HWW Summer Workshop Fellows work in a variety of academic disciplines. They are scholars and practitioners who come with experience in community building, museum curation, filmmaking, radio programming, social media, project management, research, writing, and teaching. They are typically invested in the pressing social justice issues of our time and are seeking ways to bring humanistic values, insights, and skills to their work lives, whether in the public and private sector.

In the spirit of practice-oriented learning, HWW has partnered with entities such as IDEO, a design and consulting firm, the Joyce Foundation, and the Canadian Museum of History, amongst others, to lead students in real-world problem-solving exercises around important contemporary issues. Recognizing that each fellow’s skillset has been primarily oriented toward an academic track, the workshop includes sessions on values-based career planning, resume and cover letter construction, networking, and social media strategies from experts in career development.

Graduates from the workshop will emerge with a network of contacts in a range of professional realms; a significantly broadened sense of the career possibilities that await humanities PhDs; a cohort of HWW Summer Workshop Fellows (and friends!) from whom they may draw support and advice; and a set of resources aimed at helping them advance into the various realms considered under the broad rubric of “the public humanities.”

Learn more about the Humanities Without Walls workshop.

Online. All workshop sessions will be virtual, taking place remotely via the Zoom video communications app.

Summer 2021—July 19th through August 6th. Online, virtual workshop sessions are planned for approximately four hours per day, to be scheduled between 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday, for three weeks. Synchronous and asynchronous programming will comprise the remaining four hours per day.

All applicants must be:

  • Enrolled in a doctoral degree program at UC Santa Cruz in a humanities or humanistic social science discipline in the Humanities Divisions, Social Sciences Division, or Arts Division. The term ‘humanities’ includes, but is not limited to, the study of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life.
  • Applicants may be at any stage of their doctoral work, but they cannot have already received the doctoral degree at the time the workshop takes place. Applicants cannot have a graduation date on or before July 1st, 2021.
  • International students are eligible to apply, but are responsible for confirming their registration and eligibility status at their home universities; HWW is not responsible for issuing visa paperwork.

Accommodation Statement
If you will need disability-related accommodations in order to participate in this program/event, please contact HWW’s Director of Operations, Jason Mierek, at 217-300-3711 or Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.

Fellowship Award
Each Fellow will receive a $5,000 award. All Fellows are expected to attend all online workshop sessions and be active participants in the asynchronous and synchronous elements of the virtual workshop for its entirety.

Application Requirements and Procedures
Interested doctoral students in the humanities should submit their applications to The Humanities Institute by October 31st, 2020. Eligible doctoral students must be nominated for this fellowship by their home institutions, and only one nomination may be submitted to HWW from any given university. Please do not submit your applications directly to HWW.

The application file should contain:

1. A completed application cover sheet

2. A narrative (1,000 words maximum) explaining the applicant’s intended career trajectory and addressing the following questions:

  • What does “career diversity” mean to you and what do you know about career diversity in graduate education?
  • Why are you interested in attending the workshop?
  • What kinds of knowledge and skills are you seeking from the workshop?
  • How do you envision sharing what you learn at the workshop with your colleagues, department, campus, and beyond?
  • What experiences have you had in applied or public humanities or public engagement?
  • What do you hope to achieve as a result of attending the workshop?

3.  CV (two pages maximum)

4. Two brief letters or emails of support are required. One letter should be from the applicant’s primary adviser/dissertation chair; both should emphasize the applicant’s fit for this workshop. Letters should be sent to by October 31st, 2020 endorsing the application, with the understanding that a full letter of recommendation will be requested if the student is selected as the campus nominee.


*PLEASE NOTE: You must be logged into your Google account to use this application form. Questions? Please contact Saskia Nauenberg Dunkell, Research Program Manager, THI;