Awards up to $210,000
Application Deadline – Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at 12 pm CST
The Center for the Humanities is pleased to announce, as part of our five-year initiative aimed at transforming humanities PhD training, a funding opportunity for tenure-track and tenured faculty. Generously supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Redefining Doctoral Education in the Humanities (RDE) studiolab Living and Learning Communities Grant will be awarded to an organizing team of two to three faculty members in the humanities and humanistic social sciences to pilot a yearlong interdisciplinary seminar. The humanities studiolab we envision draws inspiration from both the studio and the laboratory as pedagogical spaces. Its participants—a humanities scholar-in-residence, a two-year pre-doc/post-doc fellow, and an interdisciplinary cohort of graduate students—will work and (if personal situations allow) live together in the newly renovated Lewis Center. It is our hope that the studiolab will advance a new model for a learning community that undertakes innovative work in the humanities and trains post-docs and PhD students to be prepared for rewarding and important careers within and beyond the academy.
We seek proposals for a two-semester graduate course (fall 2020–spring 2021) that focuses on a theme or problem, and also develops capacities, beyond specific disciplinary skills, that are often neglected in graduate training: quantitative and digital skills, collaboration, writing for multiple audiences, public presentation, project management, and humanities pedagogy beyond the research university. Applicants are encouraged to think broadly and creatively about ways to explore and redefine what is possible in teaching and learning in the humanities at Washington University.
Fall 2018 will be the first of three funding cycles for this grant. One studiolab grant will be awarded per cycle. All three of these vertically organized studiolab communities will be piloted, one each year, in the newly renovated Lewis Center at 721 Kingsland Avenue, just off the Delmar Loop. This complex will provide housing for graduate students in the humanities and the arts, as well as housing for visiting humanities faculty and artists/scholars-in-residence, studio space, and a multipurpose exhibition/performance venue. The center consists of approximately 70,000 usable square feet, 20,000 square feet of which has been allotted for nonresidential use and 50,000 for residential space. With the move-in date scheduled for fall 2020, the renovation of the Lewis Center gives us an extraordinary opportunity to think about “space” and “community” as constitutive parts of the RDE initiatives we hope will transform graduate training in the humanities at Washington University.
As the studiolab is an ambitious and experimental model for transforming humanities doctoral education, it is designed with the following markers and consultative resources:
1. To ensure a successful living and learning community in the Lewis Center, the grant funds a year of development (spring 2019–summer 2020) preceding the opening of the studiolab. This substantial lead time will give the awardees an opportunity to assemble their team over the course of a full academic year. Planning goals include:
a. Developing a two-semester studiolab syllabus.
b. Selecting a pre-/post-doctoral fellow recruited from within Washington University who will be appointed during his or her final year of graduate school to assist faculty in the development phase and, in the following year, will serve in a post-doctoral capacity as the studiolab coordinator or project manager.
c. Securing a humanities scholar-in-residence from outside Washington University whose duration is to be determined and budgeted by the faculty organizers. We encourage applicants to envision their humanities scholar-in-residence as someone who not only has thematic or topical expertise, but experience with scholarly collaboration and innovation, as well as with public community engagement.
d. Hosting at least one external consultant from a humanities lab at another institution.
e. Recruiting an interdisciplinary cohort of graduate students, including during recruitment weekend and first-year orientation.
2. With the studiolab, we aim to bring a more public face to the humanities work we do. For this reason, the concluding project of the studiolab must be public facing. We encourage applicants to consider the range of forms that this might take, including performances, exhibitions, documentary films, and publications in popular and academic venues.
3. Over the duration of the grant, awardees will work closely with the RDE PI and Advisory Committee to ensure that support is consistent and, when necessary, to allow for revisions to be made during the studiolab’s development and implementation. In addition, we will work with the awardees to learn from the expertise generated from humanities labs at other institutions. In the creation of our studiolab, models included University of Michigan’s Humanities Collaboratory, American University’s Humanities Lab, the University of Chicago’s Chicago Design Lab, and the Nexus Digital Research Co-op, among others. The awardees will invite at least one external consultant from these institutions or others for an advisory visit in the year preceding the studiolab and for a final evaluation visit at the close of the studiolab.