Faculty writing groups encourage interdisciplinary research and collaboration

Spring 2023 grants deadline: March 24

The Society for the Humanities runs several grant competitions in the Fall and Spring as part of our commitment to fostering path-breaking multidisciplinary dialogue and theoretical reflection on the humanities at large at Cornell (and beyond). Society grants are available for undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty members in the humanities. 

Among the opportunities available are interdisciplinary reading groups that engage faculty members from different humanities departments and support their book projects.

Reading group meets in AD White House library

The Interdisciplinary Monograph Writing group is an experimental initiative designed for faculty writing monographs. One applies as an individual. Successful individual applicants are then grouped by the Society into a cohort of 3-5 people that will meet regularly to discuss work-in-progress. Funds for the Interdisciplinary Monograph Writing Group are intended to support activities related to writing and publishing the proposed monograph.

Members of the Monograph Writing Group are eligible for a grant of up to $1000 per participant. Depending on demand and funds, the Society may fund a second Monograph Writing Group. All Cornell faculty are eligible to apply; preference will be given to assistant and associate professors.

Parisa Vaziri (Comparative Literature, Near Easter Studies), member of a 2020-21 Monograph Writing Group, was able to make significant progress on her book project despite the group meeting remotely as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic: “The interdisciplinary writing group both gave me concrete deadlines for finishing book chapters and also created a valuable support system. Finally, the ability to speak to colleagues outside of my field about my work was also very useful in terms of rethinking questions of audience.” Her monograph, Racial Blackness and Indian Ocean Slavery: Iran's Media Archive is forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press.

Brett de Bary Interdisciplinary Writing Groups are designed for humanities faculty members working in tandem with graduate students either in their department or others. For this writing group, members must apply as a group centered around a focal theme. Two grants of up to $5,000 per year will be made available to each writing group. Past Brett de Bary Writing Groups have pursued research on topics such as “World Gender in Translation” and “The Body as a Medium: Trauma, Transmission, Testimony.” 

Roger Mosely (Department of Music), participant in a 2017-18 Bret de Bary Writing Group titled “Cultural Acoustics,” described his experience in as “extremely stimulating,” and found himself thinking about music, sound, space, and communication in new ways. Jeremy Braddock (Department of Literatures in English), a member of the same group, drafted two book chapters and was able to use funds from the group to perform research at the Columbia Records archives in New York City. Braddock commented that the conversations among group members helped him understand his own intellectual investments: “this was among the most rewarding experiences I've had at Cornell.”

"This was among the most rewarding experiences I've had at Cornell."

Purple flower in foreground, A D White House in background.

For updates on grant competitions, sign up for the Society’s email newsletter. Questions? Contact Kina Viola, Program Coordinator for the , at kv89@cornell.edu

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Faculty members gather to discuss research