2022-23 Society for the Humanities Fellowships, Focal Theme "Repair"
Cornell University, Society for the Humanities
Society for the Humanities Fellowships
The Society for the Humanities at Cornell University invites applications for residential fellowships from scholars and artists whose projects reflect on the 2022-23 theme of Repair. Up to six fellows will be appointed. The fellowships are held for one year (August through July). Each Society Fellow will receive $56,000.
Fellows include scholars and practitioners from other universities and members of the Cornell faculty released from regular duties. Fellows at the Society for the Humanities are “residential,” and will collaborate with one another and the Taylor Family Director of the Society for the Humanities, Paul Fleming, L. Sanford and Jo Mills Reis Professor of Humanities and professor of comparative literature and German studies. Fellows spend their time in research and writing during the residential fellowship, and are required to participate in a weekly Fellows Seminar workshopping each other’s projects and discussing readings based on the yearly theme.
The nature of this fellowship year is social and communal—fellows forge connections outside the classroom and the lecture hall by sharing meals following the weekly seminar and attending post-lecture receptions and other casual events throughout the year. Fellows live and work in Ithaca, NY, and are expected to be in their offices on campus frequently. All applicants for Society Fellowships should share in this commitment to creating a supportive and intellectually stimulating community.
Fellows teach one small seminar during their fellowship year appropriate for graduate students and advanced undergraduates. Though courses are designed to fit the focal theme, there are no additional restrictions on what or how the course should be taught. Fellows are encouraged to experiment with both the content and the method of their seminar particularly as it relates to their current research.
2022-23 Focal Theme: REPAIR
When ruptures, fissures, and breaks can no longer be ignored, it’s time for repair. Repair calls to mind practices of care, craft, and conservation as well as the exigencies of restoration and reparation. Repair invites reflection on how things fall apart and thus on how objects, relations, and histories are made, as well as how they can be re-made, made differently.
In our quotidian visits to cobblers and mechanics we engage in repair, while culturally, repair shapes our archives, museums, and collective histories. Any scholar faced with a fragment confronts the aesthetics of repair: toggling between what remains and what is frayed so as to induce or imagine a ‘whole’. Corrupt traditions or canons entice us to revise and reframe. “Reparative reading” (Sedgwick) forsakes suspicion in the name of solidarity and generosity. At the same time, acts of reconstructing and mending promise restoration while also threatening erasure. In this way, the question of who decides on the work of repair – not only its ‘how’ but its ‘why’ – becomes critical.
The domain of repair is as global and vast as damage and hurt. From reparations that seek to address the ongoing violence of colonialism and slavery to environmental restoration in the face of extractive economies, repair is essential, even an act of resistance. The transformative possibility embedded in the theme of repair is, however, also a potentially coercive space, implying a solution when none exists or is appropriate. Are some things irreparable? When repair fails our futures, we welcome its critique and reimagining.
The Society for the Humanities invites applications from scholars and artists who are interested in participating in a productive, critical dialogue concerning the topic of repair from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.
Fellows should be working on topics related to the 2022-23 theme of Repair. Their approach to the humanities should be broad enough to appeal to students and scholars in several humanistic disciplines.
Applicants must have received the Ph.D. degree before January 1, 2021. The Society for the Humanities will not consider applications from scholars who received the Ph.D. after this date. Applicants must also have one or more years of teaching experience, which may include teaching as a graduate student. International scholars are welcome to apply, contingent upon visa eligibility.
1. A curriculum vitae
2. A one-page abstract describing the research project the applicant would like to pursue during the term of the fellowship (up to 300 words)
3. A detailed statement of the research project (1,000 – 2,000 words). Applicants may also include a one-page bibliography of the most essential materials to the project.
4. A course proposal for a seminar related to the applicant’s research. Seminars meet two hours per week for one semester and enrollment is limited to fifteen advanced undergraduates and graduate students. The course proposal should consist of:
- A brief course description suitable for the University course catalog (50-125 words)
- A detailed course proposal (up to 300 words)
- A list of the essential texts for the course
5. One scholarly paper (no more than 35 pages in length)
6. Two letters of recommendation from senior colleagues in your field (from any institution) to whom candidates should send their research proposal and teaching proposal. Letters of recommendation should include an evaluation of the candidate’s proposed research and teaching statements. Please ask referees to submit their letters directly through the application link. Letters must be submitted on or before September 20, 2021.
The deadline to apply is September 20, 2021. Awards will be announced by the end of December 2021.
Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University's heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. If you need accommodations in order to complete the application, please contact Society for the Humanities staff at email@example.com
Note: Extensions for applications will not be granted. The Society will consider only fully completed applications. It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure that all documentation is complete and that referees submit their letters of recommendation to the Society before the closing date.
For further information:
Society for the Humanities:
The Society for the Humanities was established at Cornell University in 1966 to support research and teaching in the humanities. It is intended to be at once a research institute, a stimulus to educational innovation, and a continuing society of scholars. The Society and its Fellows have fostered path-breaking interdisciplinary dialogue and theoretical reflection on the humanities at large.
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Society for the Humanities
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