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Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Graduate Fellowships
at the Society for the Humanities
2017-2018

The Mellon Foundation has made available two fellowships for graduate students to become Fellows of the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University during the 2017/2018 academic year. Graduate Fellows will not teach courses. Graduate Fellows will be invited to all events at the Society for the Humanities.

The Fellowship includes a College of Arts & Sciences graduate tuition waiver, a $26,000 stipend, and health insurance. The two Graduate Fellows will share an office at the A.D. White House during the academic year.

Qualifications
Cornell University graduate students in the humanities who are working on topics related to the year's focal theme are invited to apply. Applicants must have completed the A exam and all requirements for the degree other than the dissertation before the application deadline on November 1, 2016. Awards will be restricted to students entering their 4th, 5th or 6th year of study at the time the Fellowship begins.

Application Procedures
The following application materials must be emailed to humctr-mailbox@cornell.edu by November 1, 2016. Please email materials in a single PDF in the order below with the subject line “GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION_Last Name”.

Order of Materials:

1. A cover page with:
     - Full name and net ID
     - Home department
     - Proposed project title
     - Recommenders’ names and emails

2. A curriculum vitae.

3. A one-page dissertation abstract in addition to a more detailed statement of the research project the applicant will pursue during the fellowship year (1,000-3,000 words).

4. A Cornell University etranscript (for instructions, visit http://transcript.cornell.edu/ ).

5. One writing sample (published or unpublished) that is no more than 35 pages long.

Sent under separate cover:

6. Two letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation should include an evaluation of the candidate's research proposal. Please ask referees to send their letters directly to
humctr@cornell.edu. Letters must be received on or before November 1, 2016.

For further information:
Phone: 607-255-4086
Email: humctr@cornell.edu

Awards will be announced by the end of December 2016.

Note: Extensions for applications will not be granted. The Society will consider only fully completed applications. It is the responsibility of each applicant to ensure that ALL documentation is complete, and that referees submit their letters of recommendation to the Society before the closing date.


The Society for the Humanities Focal Theme, 2017-2018:
CORRUPTION

The Society for the Humanities at Cornell University seeks interdisciplinary research projects for residencies in 2017-2018 that reflect on the theme of corruption. The Society is looking for scholarly approaches that seek to trace the consequences of corruption for humanistic and artistic thinking and practice, whether from philosophical, aesthetic, political, ecological, religious, legal, psychoanalytical or cultural perspectives.

Considerations of corruption have a long lineage in philosophical, theological, critical, and political thought. We welcome global approaches to understanding corruption in political, legal, and institutional terms, as a symptom of disorder or, alternatively, a means of asserting order, such as in a government, university, or institution. In moral or religious spheres, corruption often marks the “fallen” or what is other to an original or desired soul, life, or society of perfection. How might the theme of corruption broaden out into “pollution” (whether sacred or environmental) or degeneration (vis ŕ vis cultural practice)? In what way does corruption affect standards of artistic or literary genre or form?

A lively subject of representation across the broadest of artistic, literary, and musical traditions, corruption has been mobilized as an ambiguous force that either limits or liberates. Consider how the same antitheatrical traditions that denounce the moral corruption of theatre, the novel, opera, and cinema often serve as the most articulate indicators of the passions, gestures, sounds, and sights most fundamental to aesthetic production. Conversely, how might the humanities appreciate the formal qualities of corruption that are inherent and essential features of transmission and form, from the production and recording of musical sound to the natural or evolutionary changes of artistic practice to avant-gardist corruptions of conventional forms of art and expression? How might Fellows examine the "transmission of information,” such as corrupt computer files, viruses, glitches or noise, and even "corrupt readings," whether of ancient and medieval manuscripts or via the deep data sets of the digital humanities?

How does the lens of corruption impact recent studies of the Anthropocene, ecological stability, preservation of cultural heritage, precarity, economic disparity or social injustice? Applicants might consider the mobilization of social anxieties about pollution -- miasma, infestation, poisoning, dissolution, and dissipation -- to frame theories of race, sexuality, queer or (trans)gender, miscegenation, or ideologies and rhetorics of collective or ethnic purity. What about notions of the integrity of social units and systems, such as the family, the nation, the university or corporation? Might corruption reflect the deformation of “master” discourses, such as capitalism and psychoanalysis or the West and the Rest?