Heyman Center Public Humanities Fellowship

2017-18 Public Humanities Fellowship 

2018-2019 Heyman Center Graduate Student Public Humanities Fellowship, in Partnership with Humanities New York

The Heyman Center for the Humanities and Humanities New York (HNY) announce the call for applicants for the 2018-2019 Graduate Student Public Humanities Fellowship.

The Graduate Student Public Humanities Fellowship was developed by Humanities New York in partnership with several New York research universities to bring humanities scholarship into the public realm, encourage emerging humanities scholars to conceive of their work in relation to the public sphere, develop scholars’ skills for doing public work, and strengthen the public humanities community in New York State. The yearlong Fellowship provides training in the methods and approaches of the public humanities to assist Fellows in developing an individual public project related to their own scholarship in partnership with a community organization.

The skills and experiences afforded by the Fellowship are intended to serve scholars who have a record of working with the public as well as those who are starting to explore the public humanities. It is equally valuable for scholars who plan to pursue careers within the academy and those who plan to pursue other career paths.  


Fellows are required to attend a two-day orientation run by Humanities New York at their New York City office on Monday, August 20 and Tuesday, August 21, 2018.
During the Fellowship year, the Fellow will develop a plan to implement a public humanities project and work with community partners on that project.
The Fellow will participate in workshops scheduled for December 2018 and June 2019.  
The Fellow will present the outcomes of their research and public work to the university community in coordination with the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities and will submit a final report to Humanities New York.

As part of the Heyman Center community, Public Humanities Fellows are required to attend the Thursday Lecture Series of the Society of Fellows in the Humanities (Thursdays from 12:15-1:45), which run for most of the academic year.

During the course of the Fellowship, Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in events sponsored by Humanities New York. Fellows are also eligible for project funds from HNY to support public programs developed during the course of their Fellowship. Throughout the Fellowship, Fellows are encouraged to work collaboratively with HNY to identify community partners, explore public humanities methods and programs, and share findings as their research progresses. 

Heyman Center Public Humanities Fellows will be part of a cohort from these eight other New York universities: The City University of New York Graduate Center, Cornell University, New York University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Binghamton, the University of Rochester, and Syracuse University.

ELIGIBILITY: Applicants for the Heyman Center Public Humanities Fellowship must be residents of New York State and enrolled Columbia University graduate students or else recent doctoral recipients in a humanities discipline, broadly defined, employed by the University (Core Lecturers, for example, are eligible to apply).  Applicants must have completed the MA degree, and preference will be given to those who have completed the M.Phil degree.

DURATION & STIPEND: Duration of the Fellowship is August 2018 to June 2019, including mandatory attendance at a two-day orientation on August 20-21, 2018 in New York City and subsequent workshops. The Fellowship stipend is $8,000, plus a $500 travel and research stipend. The Fellowship is supported by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

TO APPLY: Interested applicants should submit an online application, including a resume/CV and two references, by Friday, February 16, 2018. The online application can be accessed through Humanities New York’s program management platform, found here: https://www.grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=nyhumanities. Applicants will need to create an account in the system, even if they’ve applied in prior years.

Applicants will be notified of final decisions by Friday, April 20, 2018. 

CONTACT: Humanities New York Program Officer Adam Capitanio (212-233-1131 / [email protected])

ABOUT THE HEYMAN CENTER FOR THE HUMANITIES AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY:  The Heyman Center for the Humanities provides the intellectual and physical space for interdisciplinary discussions among members of the Columbia community and the New York City public. It brings together faculty and students from across the university—from the humanities, social and natural sciences, law, medicine, journalism, and the arts—to share thinking, debate ideas, and collectively consider methodological, conceptual, and ethical issues of common interest and concern.  It sponsors public programming—lectures, poetry and fiction reading, workshops, conferences, symposia, seminars, and performances—and fosters scholarly and artistic collaborations.

ABOUT HUMANITIES NEW YORK: The mission of Humanities New York is to help all New Yorkers become thoughtful participants in our communities by promoting critical inquiry, cultural understanding, and civic engagement. Founded in 1975, Humanities New York is the sole statewide proponent of public access to the humanities. The Council is a private 501(c)3 that receives Federal, State, and private funding.

The 2018-2019 Heyman Center Public Humanities Fellows are:

Therese Cox will curate a project called You Are Here: Girls Map New York City. Together with local teaching artists and community partners, young women from New York City’s public schools will explore histories of the city, the politics of map-making and zoning, and issues of public space, race, and gender. The project will explore art, storytelling, poetry, and creative cartography as empowering practices, culminating in an exhibition and reading.


Katryn Evinson will engage senior citizens in Ithaca NY to explore new ways of creative coexistence with technology. In the first part of the project, she will invite them to share their stories in order to reshape our narratives about technology and old age. In the second part, in collaboration with a reuse center inn Tompkins County, they will develop unusual uses of machinery through broken and obsolete devices, producing artistic pieces that challenge our ideas of instrumentality. 




The 2017-2018 Heyman Center Public Humanities Fellows are:

Leah Pires' research centers on questions of power, institutions, and critique as they have been engaged by artists since the 1960s, and her dissertation focuses on New York artist Louise Lawler and her collaborators. As a 2017-18 Public Humanities Fellow at the Heyman Center, Leah is continuing her work with the Center for Justice's Justice-in-Education Initiative by developing a workshop that shares exhibitions from New York museums with young women at the Rose M. Singer Center on Rikers Island.


Elliot Ross is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. His dissertation examines narratives of the Kenyan War of Independence and its afterlives, and considers questions of        historical reparation, anti-colonialism and human rights. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, Al Jazeera, Washington Post, and many other publications. He worked for five years as senior editor of the website Africa is a Country. As a  Public Humanities Fellow, Elliot will facilitate a series of podcasts in which New York public high school students interview scholars on a politically meaningful topic of their expertise.


The 2016-2017 Heyman Center Public Humanities Fellows are:

Natacha Nsabimana  will engage young women at the Rose M Singer Center for Women on Rikers Island to produce a literary journal discussing social justice issues such as racism, slavery, incarceration and sexual violence through the prism of art.




Sahar Ullah will curate an interactive public arts project that includes the works of Muslim storytellers, poets, and visual artists with a special attention to North American minorities and immigrants with roots from regions largely portrayed as conflict zones in U.S. media outlets. Sahar is the recipient of the 2017 Presidential Teaching Award for Graduate Student Instructors! Three graduate student instructor (teaching assistant) recipients are recognized each year during the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Convocation ceremony in May. Winners receive a certificate signed by President Bollinger, a formal citation written by their department, and an honorarium of $8,000. Additionally, the winners may also be recognized in University-wide and departmental publications.





The 2015-16 Heyman Center Public Humanities Fellows are:

Liane Carlson, who will create a philosophy curriculum for GED students.

Nicole Gervasio (Columbia University, English & Comparative Literature), who will bring together high school students from diverse backgrounds for reading and writing workshops aimed at bridging divides between them.






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