The Humanities without Walls consortium invites applications for funding from cross-institutional teams of faculty and graduate students wishing to collaboratively pursue research topics related to “The Work of the Humanities in a Changing Climate.”
This new research initiative continues to link the consortium partners in a common commitment to intellectual exchange and dialogue, this time around a broad question that resonates with many contemporary humanist scholars—namely, what is the work of the humanities in a changing climate? This rubric is intended to be both intellectually focused and capacious. In its narrowest interpretation, it calls for collaborative work on climate change, arguably the most pressing grand challenge of our time. We seek collaborative research in the field of environmental humanities, broadly conceived, as well as the development of new humanities-centered paradigms for thinking through the limits and possibilities of climate change policy. We do so out of a conviction that the current climate crisis has deep historical roots yet to be fully tapped; that it calls for new philosophies and theories of the human and the anthropocene; that its fictions and visual cultures bear mightily on its material consequences, past, present and future; and that collaborative research on these questions and more is indispensable to scholarly expertise on the subject, in the humanities and beyond.
As a metaphor, climate change is pluripotent: it offers humanists the opportunity to think expansively about the meanings of “climate” and “change” as they manifest in their own research, and to bring their contributions to bear on cognate questions in the present. Thus “The Work of Humanities in a Changing Climate” also hails scholars who wish to consider the pressure of other forms of contemporary “climate change” on their fields of inquiry—from a changing racial climate to a changing economic climate to the changing notion of “the public” and what it means for the intellectual work environments of humanists.
These criteria are in addition to the expectation that all eligibility requirements have been met by the applicants.
General Guideline: Overall, the committee should aim for a fairly even distribution of funding awards across the consortial institutions if at all possible.
- What is the research question? Is it self-evident in the proposal?
- What are the research outcomes, for the collaboration and the individual scholars? Are these outcomes visible? What is their impact?
- Overall excellence of the proposed research project
- Productivity track-record of the applicants (how likely are they to produce outcomes within the grant period or a reasonable period thereafter?)
- Is the work plan realistic/practical/realizable within the time frame of the grant?
- Is the budget carefully constructed and reasonable for the proposed work?
- Do the qualifications of the applicants match the proposed work to be conducted?
- Does the proposed project rely on cross-institutional collaboration, or could this project be conducted without consortial collaboration?
- Does the proposed project demonstrate innovative methods of research that are specific to the collaborative nature of this initiative?
- Are the proposed outcomes realistically formulated, and are they of demonstrable impact? Is the intellectual contribution of clear significance?
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