Faculty Fellowships

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Society for the Humanities Faculty Fellowships 2020-21

The Society for the Humanities at Cornell University invites applications for residential fellowships from scholars whose research projects reflect on the 2020-21 theme of FABRICATION.

Four full-year Faculty Fellowships are awarded to Cornell faculty each year by our External Advisory Board. Fellows' appointments are subject to the consent of their department chair and the approval of the Dean. Applicants must be in at least their second year of tenure-track employment in order to apply for a Faculty Fellowship. Tradition has restricted fellowships to professors in humanities departments of the College of Arts & Sciences, though faculty members holding regular appointments elsewhere in the university are welcome to apply if their work is closely related to the year's theme and if their Dean is willing to provide their salary during their appointment at the Society.

Faculty Fellows receive leaves of absence from their departments, but not from Cornell; the College of Arts & Sciences allows the time spent as a Faculty Fellow to count in computing regular sabbatic leave. A Faculty Fellow is paid through his or her department the salary they would have received, plus Cornell's contribution to fringe benefits. (Applicants should inform their department chair of their intention to apply and receive a brief letter of support committing to prior release from teaching and advising. Where necessary, departments negotiate with the Dean for funds to help provide replacement tqeaching.) Office space and light administrative support in matters related to Fellows’ research are provided in the A. D. White House.

Department Chairs and the Dean have agreed to excuse Faculty Fellows from their usual teaching and “heavy” administrative responsibilities during your year-in-residence. The definition of “heavy” varies across departments, and we recommend that applicants clarify expectations with their Chairs and/or Dean prior to accepting the fellowship.

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, 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 participating in lively discussions on 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.


Application Procedures

Please email the following application materials to Kina Viola, kv89@cornell.edu, by OCTOBER 31, 2019. Please email materials in a single PDF in the order listed below with the subject line “FACULTY FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION - Last Name.” Note especially item 5.

  1. A curriculum vitae
  2. List of the leaves and fellowships you have held in the past three years (including study leave)
  3. From the Department Chair, a brief letter of support committing to prior release from teaching and advising upon receipt of a fellowship
  4. A one-page abstract describing the research project the applicant would like to pursue during the term of the fellowship (no more than 300 words)
  5. 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.
  6. 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:
    1. A brief course description suitable for the University course catalog (50 - 125 words)
    2. A detailed course proposal (up to 300 words)
    3. A list of the essential texts for the course
  7. No more than three of your articles
  8. The name of a referee who will supply a letter, who should be a scholar at another institution. Please inform your referee of our focal theme, your proposed plans for teaching and research, and ask them to send their letter electronically to kv89@cornell.edu by October 31, 2019.

We must stress the importance of our being able to supply all these materials to the External Advisory Board; it should be obvious that letters from distinguished referees at other institutions are extremely important. We might add that the Board generally gives special weight to candidates' descriptions of their proposed research and the contribution it might make to our understanding of the year's theme.