Each year the Humanities Research Center’s Residential Fellowship Program gives four faculty members who are working on related topics release from all teaching responsibilities in the Spring Semester so that they can focus on their individual research projects and at the same time engage regularly with each other. The goal is to foster intellectual exchange and to enhance the quality of research at VCU by exposing faculty to different perspectives and methodologies. Applicants need not be working collaboratively, but they must be open to thinking about their own projects in new ways and to asking new questions of their material as a result of engaging with colleagues who are considering similar issues in different contexts and/or using different methodologies. Fellows will meet as a group once a week to discuss their own work-in-progress and readings of common interest. Fellows will be required to give public presentations about their projects during the academic year following their center residency.

Applications for Spring Semester 2018 Residential fellowships

All tenured and tenure-track members of faculty in the humanities at VCU are eligible to apply. Members of faculty can apply in groups of four or individually. Please be aware that individual applications will succeed only if they happen to fit well with other individual applications; given that the objective is to put together four faculty working on related topics or issues, you will have a much higher chance of succeeding if you apply as part of a group. At least two departments must be represented in each group application. Groups that include colleagues at different stages of their scholarly careers are especially welcome.

Applications are due November 21, 2016. They will be reviewed by a peer committee of faculty chaired by the center director.

A complete application will consist of the following:

  • A completed coversheet for the group as a whole, including a description of the theme or topic that brings the group together, along with its significance to the humanities
  • A completed individual coversheet for each group member
  • A detailed proposal from each group member, not to exceed three single-spaced pages, that explains (a) the goals, methods, and significance of the applicant’s individual project, and (b) the impact that the project will have on the candidate’s discipline and the humanities in general
  • A current Curriculum Vitae for each group member

Individual applications will not include the first item on this list.

Please click here for application forms

Residential Fellows for Spring Semester 2016:

Claire Bourne, English:

Carolyn Eastman, History:

Katherine Nash, English:

Gregory Smithers, History:

The 2016 Fellows are working on book projects that coalesce around the theme “Cultures in Transition: Orality, Performance, and Print.” Spanning a wide range of subjects, sites, and chronological eras—the early modern English theater and book trade, early American oratory, Native American environmental practices, and the British women’s rights movement—their projects overlap with one another in productive ways. All four are interested in crucial methodological issues, including how to illuminate the ephemeral practices at the heart of social, cultural, political, and aesthetic experience, as well as how to explain why these practices matter. They are all addressing the challenge of how to recapture that which is, by its nature, difficult to record—theatrical performance, oratory, political tactics, and the features and uses of the natural landscape.

Residential Fellows for Spring Semester 2015:

Leigh Ann Craig, History: “Obsessed, Vexed, and Frenzied: Diagnoses of Senselessness, 1240-1500”

Christine Cynn, Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies: “The ABCs of United States Funded HIV Prevention Media in West and east Africa“

Kathryn Meier, History: “The Contested Civil War Soldier Body”

Sachi Shimomura, English: “Gendered Memories, Gendered Communities: Viewing Holy Bodies in Anglo-Saxon England”

The 2015 Inaugural Fellows are working on books projects that coalesce around the theme “Authorizing Health: Community Interpretations and Regulation of the Gendered Body.” Their individual projects span eight hundred years, three continents, and three disciplines. Professors Craig, Cynn, Meier, and Shimomura have a common interest in examining how bodies have been characterized as sick, injured, or non-normative, as well as in the practices that have determined their diagnoses, perception, and treatment. Their projects demonstrate that close study of narratives of illness and healing make visible wider historical, social and cultural tensions, especially around gender. They expose political and ideological conflicts over interpersonal relationships, community expectations, and the constitution of proper scientific, medical, or religious authority. Their dialogue across fields, theoretical frameworks, and periods will enable the fellows to engage with and learn from research and approaches outside their own specializations and so enrich their understanding of their own sources. More broadly, this dialogue will contribute to and expand upon humanities-driven approaches that elucidate how larger social, political, and gendered structures frame individual and public health.