Public Humanities Fellowships

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Society for the Humanities Graduate Student Public Humanities Fellowships in Partnership with Humanities New York

The Society for the Humanities and Humanities New York announce the call for applicants for the 2020-21 Graduate Student Public Humanities Fellowship.

The Graduate Student Public Humanities Fellowship was developed by Humanities New York in partnership with nine 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 year-long Fellowship will involve a combination of training in the methods and approaches of the public humanities and work by the Fellow to develop a 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. 


  • The Fellow is required to attend a two-day orientation run by Humanities New York at their New York City office on Monday, August 17 and Tuesday, August 18, 2020.
  • 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 2020 and June 2021.  
  • The Fellow will present the outcomes of their research and public work to the university community in coordination with the Society for the Humanities and submit a final report to Humanities New York.

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 should work collaboratively with HNY to identify community partners, explore public humanities methods and programs, and share findings as their research progresses. 

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

ELIGIBILITY: Applicants must be enrolled as a graduate student in a humanities discipline, broadly defined, at one of these nine universities: The City University of New York Graduate Center, Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Binghamton, the University of Rochester or Syracuse University.

DURATION & STIPEND: Duration of the Fellowship is August 2020 to June 2021, including mandatory attendance at a two-day orientation on August 17-18, 2020 in New York City and subsequent workshops. The Fellowship stipend is $8,000, plus a $500 professional development fund. The program also reimburses expenses for travel to Fellowship workshops, as well as provides the opportunity for up to $2,000 in seed funding for Fellows' projects. 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 Monday, February 17, 2020.  The online application can be accessed through Humanities New York’s program management platform. 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 17, 2020.

CONTACT: Humanities New York Program Officer Adam Capitanio (212-233-1131 /

LEARN MORE: By visiting the Public Humanities Fellowship website.

ABOUT THE CORNELL SOCIETY FOR THE HUMANITIES:  Cornell's Society for the Humanities was established in 1966 as one of the first humanities research institutes in North America. Located in the historic home of Cornell's first president, Andrew Dickson White, the Society brings distinguished visiting fellows, Cornell faculty, and graduate student fellows together each year to pursue research on a rotating interdisciplinary focal theme. In addition to participating in our legendary Wednesday fellows seminar, fellows offer one experimental, innovative seminar on their research topic and present their work at the yearly conference.  The Society's presence at Cornell has fostered path-breaking multidisciplinary dialogue and theoretical reflection on the humanities at large with our internationally recognized fellows. The Society is proud to sponsor numerous internal grants, workshops, and funding opportunities for Cornell faculty and graduate students in the humanities as well as host over 100 annual lectures, workshops, colloquia, and conferences organized by Cornell's distinguished humanities faculty.

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.