Public Humanities

2017 Humanities Without Walls Consortium Pre-Doctoral Summer Workshop

Call for Applications

Humanities Without Walls, a consortium of humanities centers and institutes at 15 major research universities throughout the Midwest, invites graduate students in the humanities to apply to participate in a three-week, intensive, residential summer workshop in Chicago.  This workshop is designed for students who are working towards but have not yet received a PhD, and who are considering careers outside the academy or the tenure-track university system.

The summer workshop will instruct students in the various ways they can leverage their skills towards the pursuit of careers in the public humanities and the private sector. Fellows will take part in sessions directed by leaders from the non-profit world, the private sector, government, public media, and arts administration. Graduates will emerge from the workshop with a network of contacts in a range of professional realms, a broadened sense of the career possibilities that await humanities PhDs, and a set of resources aimed at helping them advance into the various realms considered under the broad rubric of the public humanities. 

Where: Chicago, Illinois.  Most workshop events will take place at the Genevieve and Wayne Gratz Center, Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut St.  Some will take place at other sites in and around Chicago. All participants in this residential workshop will stay a few blocks east of the Gratz Center at DeWitt Place (900 N. DeWitt Pl., Chicago, IL) in fully furnished, private apartments which are included in the fellowship.

When: Summer 2017—Dates to be determined, most likely July 17th through August 5th. The workshop will take place all day, five days/week for three weeks. There are no events scheduled during weekends, but CHF will circulate a list of interesting and exciting activities happening around Chicago that students are welcome to explore on their own. 

Eligibility: All applicants must be enrolled in a PhD-granting program in the humanities at one of the HWW consortium institutions.  You may be at any stage of your doctoral work, but cannot have already received your degree.

Award: Each fellow will receive at $5000 stipend intended to cover travel to and from the summer workshop, most meals, and all incidentals. The fellow is expected to arrange and pay for their own travel using this award. The Chicago Humanities Festival will be arranging housing for all fellows at the DeWitt Place apartments in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. All fellows will be expected to attend the entire workshop for the entire three weeks.

Application Requirements:

-          A completed application cover sheet

-          A narrative of no more than 1,000 words explaining the applicant’s intended career trajectory and addressing the following questions: 

  •           Why do you want to attend the workshop?
  •           What are the most important pieces of information you want to walk away with?

-          A two-page cv

-          Two letters of recommendation, including one from the applicant’s primary advisor/dissertation chair, and both emphasizing the applicant’s fit for this workshop

Application Procedures:

-          Applications should be submitted as a single PDF to by Friday, October 14, 2016

-          Letters of recommendation should be submitted directly to by Friday, October 14, 2016

-          The Director of the Center for the Humanities at UW-Madison will nominate one finalist from the applications received and submit it to the central competition no later than November 1, 2016

 -          Announcement of fellowship awards will be made by the end of January 2017

 Based at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the consortium is funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional partners include the Chicago Humanities Festival office, and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at UIUC.