Call for Applications: 2021–22 NEHC Faculty of Color Working Group Mellon Faculty Fellowship

With the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the New England Humanities Consortium’s Faculty of Color Working Group is pleased to accept applications for two (2) Mellon Faculty Fellowships in the Humanities and Humanistic Social Sciences for the 2021–2022 academic year. The fellowship is intended for full-time faculty members from historically disadvantaged racial groups or those whose projects specifically confront institutional blocks for BIPOC faculty.

Applicants are limited to faculty from NEHC member institutions, which include Amherst College, Brown University, Colby College, Dartmouth College, Middlebury College, Northeastern University, Smith College, Tufts University, University of Connecticut, University of New Hampshire, University of Rhode Island, University of Vermont, Wellesley College, and Wheaton College.

Applicant eligibility is determined by the following criteria:

  1. Must be faculty at a NEHC member institution
  2. Research must have high relevance for addressing the support needs of and/or issues and obstacles faced by BIPOC faculty at PWIs
  3. Demonstration of a viable research project
  4. A research project in the humanities/humanistic sciences

Criteria for successful applicants include, but are not limited to: quality of research proposal; strength of reference letters; stage of tenure/promotion dossier preparation and fulfillment of tenure and promotion requirements; scholar’s support needs to fulfill these requirements; likelihood of support or failure thereof related to scholar’s professional advancement at home institution; likelihood of applicant to contribute to a larger support network for faculty of color in the region and/or to understanding and addressing the impediments to success for FOC in higher education. Fellows should not teach during the fellowship year.

The Mellon Faculty of Color Fellowship program seeks to relieve scholars of these institutional hindrances by providing resources to reduce many of the barriers that make it difficult for faculty of color to research, think, and engage in their transformative work at their home institutions. These fellowships will provide resources that will allow them the time and space to focus on their scholarship away from the typical demands levied on their own campuses. Fellows will spend their fellowship year at a NEHC host institution with opportunities to interact with a broad and relevant intellectual community.

The Mellon Faculty Fellows will receive a stipend of $40,000 and a $2,500 moving expense if needed. The award funds will be remitted to the successful applicant’s home institution (the institution that formally employs them as faculty), who will use the funds to offset the fellow's salary and benefits. Fellows will be in residence at a host institution (the institution at which the fellow spends the fellowship year). Both institutions must be NEHC members. While the host institution does not pay salary or benefits to the Fellow while they are in residence, they are expected to provide the professional amenities to the visiting Fellow typically granted to visiting faculty and scholars.

The Mellon Fellows will be expected to give at least one public lecture or its equivalent at the hosting institute or center. The lecture will be publicized by the FOCWG and the NEHC.

Each application must contain:

  1. A Short Curriculum Vitae (3 pages max.)
  2. A Proposal Narrative (3 pages/1500 words max.)
  3. A Letter from a NEHC Institute/Center Director indicating support for hosting the fellow during the fellowship year.

To receive full consideration applications should conform to our application guidelines..

All documents must be submitted to Interfolio by February 1, 2021 at 11:59 pm (EST).

Applicants to this position receive a free Interfolio Dossier account and can send all application materials, including confidential letters of recommendation, free of charge.

Faculty of Color Workshop 2019. Photo of all participants posing for pictures on the main front steps of a building.

UConn Humanities Institute Awarded Mellon Grant to Expand the Faculty of Color Working Group

humanities.uconn.edu

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a three-year grant of $750,000 to the University of Connecticut for the Humanities Institute to expand the New England Humanities Consortium (NEHC) Faculty of Color Working Group (FOCWG). The thirteen member institutions of the Consortium support programming in humanities fields such as history, politics, language, art, literature, and philosophy.

Following a 2018 Mellon Foundation $100,000 grant that permitted a pilot phase, faculty of color at NEHC member institutions created and led the Faculty of Color Working Group (FOCWG) for the purpose of increasing mentorship, community building, and dedicated time for scholarly production among faculty of color. Coupled with the development of the NEHC’s social media and publicity, through cross-institutional networks, research and teaching mentorship, and fellowships, the Mellon Foundation grant enables FOCWG to bolster faculty success across schools in the region and the nation.

The Principal investigator for the program is Michael P. Lynch, director of the UConn Humanities Institute, director of NEHC and Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, Philosophy. Co-principal investigators are Melina Pappademos, director of the UConn Africana Studies Institute, associate professor of history, and director of the Faculty of Color Working Group; and Alexis L. Boylan, director of academic affairs of the UConn Humanities Institute and associate professor of art and art history and Africana Studies.

“With generous support from the Mellon Foundation, this initiative recognizes the environmental obstacles and, at times, outright hostilities to professional advancement that faculty of color face at predominantly white institutions. FOCWG seeks to address these institutional failures by enabling scholarly productivity and professional relationships, even self-care, as safe-guards for aggregated individual success,” says Pappademos. “The FOCWG challenges institutions to dismantle rather than uphold their inflexible structures designed and defended to advantage some faculty members over others.“

In addition to UConn, the consortium includes Amherst College, Colby College, Dartmouth College, Northeastern University, Tufts University, University of New Hampshire, University of Rhode Island, University of Vermont, Wellesley College, and Wheaton College.

The FOCWG provides an urgently needed pathway for faculty of color to navigate the particular challenges they face in academic life. As part of a large network of institutions, the FOCWG grant will develop collaborative fellowship and mentoring opportunities to produce outcomes unachievable by any single institution.

The core activities made possible by the grant include:

  • Organizing an annual conference for faculty of color that will be the centerpiece of activities and outreach, which will include crucial professional dialogues on panel topics such as publishing, tenure and promotion and the challenge of transitioning into administrative roles. The conference will include pre-conference and post-conference interviews and surveys.
  • Development of a mentorship program to identify and train senior faculty mentors throughout the New England Humanities Consortium to offer a resource for faculty of color at all stages of their careers, including those holding administrative positions, in the region.
  • Establishment of The Mellon Faculty of Color Fellowship program, that will create opportunities for faculty to spend a year as a research fellow at another Consortium institution’s humanities institute or center contributing to cross-pollination across the Consortium while furthering faculty’s individual research.

There will also be increased support for NEHC administrative functions including a separate FOCWG website, expanded social media presence and creation of an Instagram account to attract younger generation students and scholars, particularly those who attend liberal arts institutions.

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