Call for Proposals (printable)
Call for Proposals
Humanities for Life
With the support of a Mellon Presidential Discretionary Grant that President Kington has devoted to the humanities at Grinnell, the members of the Mellon-Humanities Advisory Board are seeking proposals for the 2012-13 academic year. These Humanities for Life grants will give members of the Grinnell community an opportunity to illustrate how the practice of humanistic inquiry takes place within and well beyond the walls of the academy. It is expected that 3-5 grants will be given for 2012-13 from a total pool of funds amounting to $25,000. A second round will take place in 2013-14. Grant budgets may include requests for different kinds of expenses including, but not limited to travel, research expenses, meetings to bring collaborators together, stipends or course releases; proposals should justify the level of time and effort needed to carry out the project in making such a request.
In order to affirm the relevance and importance of the humanities at Grinnell, and to support a broader understanding of what it means to be a public intellectual, the Humanities for Life grants will involve teams made up of one or more faculty members working on a year-long project. We strongly encourage proposals that involve work with current students and/or alums. Teams may include any combination of the above, although for administrative purposes a faculty member will serve as a point of contact and be responsible for submitting the proposal and reporting on it. Eligible projects may involve research, pedagogy, performance, and exhibition, or some specific form of public engagement. The common features that will unite them are, first, an explicit frame of and responsibility to a humanistic perspective and, second, an attempt to reflect on one or more of the following areas:
- How an education in the humanities at Grinnell impacts the lives of our students after they leave the College, no matter where their careers take them
- How the humanities affect the way people engage in ethical reflection, and inform the way they lead their lives as citizens
- Practical ways that study of the humanities influences occupations/careers outside of academic pursuits
- The role of humanities in an increasingly global world
While these areas are not mutually exclusive or exhaustive, they underscore recent national discussions about the place of the humanities, particularly in institutions of higher education. Humanistic inquiry enables more complex historical, political and critical perspectives, and produces knowledge that informs and fosters a view of the world that values an array of human experience often embodied in different cultures, religions, and ways of being. These features of the humanities are not limited to the study of classical texts and literatures. They also play a role in many academic disciplines and, beyond the academy, in all areas and industries including policy, business and medicine.
A successful grant application will underscore the importance of a self-consciously humanistic orientation and its relevance for life beyond the academy, and mobilize support for humanistic inquiry. Awarded grant projects will think creatively about furthering humanistic inquiry on campus and beyond, and make a strong case for doing so.
At the end of the 2013-14 academic year, all awardees will present their work to the college community. This event will feature exhibits, performances, and panel discussions that demonstrate concrete ways of thinking about how the humanities impact all constituents, both intellectually and professionally. This event will allow successful grant recipients to share the results of their inquiry, with the goal of invigorating the campus with innovative ideas about how to advance humanistic inquiry at Grinnell. This event will also include outside speakers, including alumni/ae, to provide further focus on the various ways in which humanistic inquiry affects contemporary social issues, such as policy debates, medicine/medical ethics, immigration, etc.
The application process is in two stages.
Interested individuals are asked to submit a 1-2 page proposal that provides brief, but detailed information about your project by February 29. These will be reviewed by a panel of Center for the Humanities Advisory Board and the Mellon-Humanities Advisory Board members. Submissions should be made by email to email@example.com. This initial proposal should respond to the following questions:
- a. Who will be involved in the project? If students or alums are involved, how will they be selected, and how will alums be integrated into the project?
b. What is the expected time commitment of the faculty member coordinating the project? This may range from merely serving as a liaison for a largely alumni/ae run project to a level similar to a faculty-to-faculty tutorial; if a stipend or course release is requested, indicate how this is justified. (A course release should be budgeted at $6000.)
c. What other expenses are likely to be incurred? A full budget is not required at this time, but a general idea of the cost will help the selection committee decide now many grants can be awarded.
d. How does the project further one or more of the four aims listed above?
e. What is a likely form for the final product of the project to be showcased at the final symposium (e.g. talk, an exhibition, a panel, a performance)?
If the committee selects your application for review, individuals will be asked to submit an expanded application by April 13. This will include concrete arrangements and a more detailed budget. We expect final decisions will be made by exam week in May. If you are a faculty member requesting a course release, and are asked to submit an expanded application in the second round, you will also be expected to provide a signed letter from the chair of your department agreeing to the course release, and offer details about how your course will be covered in your absence. Some possible models of projects can be found on the Dean’s webpage at http://www.grinnell.edu/offices/dean/supfac/sampleprop.