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Call for proposals: Whiting Public Engagement Fellowships and Seed Grants 2020-2021

Faculty who are interested in being nominated for the Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship or Seed Grant may submit proposals to the Willson Center by March 29.

The Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship and Seed Grant programs are intended to celebrate and empower early-career faculty who embrace public engagement as part of the scholarly vocation. Both programs support ambitious projects infusing into public life the richness, profundity, and nuance that give the humanities their lasting value. The stage of a project will determine the relevant program.

The Public Engagement Fellowship ($50,000) is for projects far enough into development or xecution to present specific, compelling evidence that they will successfully engage the intended public. For the strongest Fellowship proposals, both the overall strategy and the practical plan to implement the project will be deeply developed, relationships with key collaborators will be in place, and connections with the intended public will have been cultivated.

The Public Engagement Seed Grant (up to $10,000) supports projects at a somewhat earlier stage of development than the Fellowship, before the nominee has been able to establish a specific track record of success for the proposed public-facing work. It is not, however, designed for projects starting entirely from scratch: nominees should have fleshed out a compelling vision, including a clear sense of whose collaboration will be required and the ultimate scope and outcomes.

Nomination and Guidelines: Partner schools are invited to nominate one humanities faculty for each of the two programs. See the guidelines for further details about both programs.

Eligibility: To be eligible for either program, nominees must be full-time humanities faculty at an accredited US institution of higher learning as of September 2019; they must be early-career, defined as pre-tenure, untenured, or have received tenure in the last five years. Full-time adjunct faculty at an equivalent career stage are eligible.

Submission and deadline: Interested faculty who meet the conditions above should submit a proposal (1-2 pages) that briefly addresses:

  • Project overview:
    • Identify the program (Fellowship or Seed Grant) relevant to your proposal and provide a summary of your public-facing project.
  • Logistics:
    • Speak to the complexities of public-facing work including realistic assessments of time and effort required of different participants.
  • Public engagement:
    • Address how the project will reach the public and encourage participation
  • Collaborators:
    • Describe others who will participate in your public facing project (teachers, community leaders, designers, museums and historical sites, technologists, nonprofit organizations, curators, scholars in other disciplines, filmmakers, etc.).
  • Context and landscape:
    • Address the context of your project in terms of how much the public is likely to know about your topic and where within that topic its interests likely lie, and how that affects your starting point.
  • Skills required:
    • Specify the technical skills required for success and indicate how you either have mastered them or will collaborate with someone who has.

Faculty should submit their proposal and CV to Dr. Lloyd Winstead, Senior Associate Director at the Willson Center, at by March 29. Faculty will be notified regarding selection in April.

Remembering Christy Desmet

Christy Desmet, a beloved and highly accomplished member of the UGA department of English faculty for more than three decades, passed away on July 25. The following tribute was written by her dear friend, longtime collaborator, and fellow professor of English, Sujata Iyengar.

Willson Center, Franklin College join with Notre Dame to host seminar in Berlin

Scholars, policy experts and journalists from around the world will meet in Berlin this month to consider issues related to contemporary transnational Europe, thanks to a new joint initiative by the University of Georgia and the University of Notre Dame. The inaugural Berlin Seminar in Transnational European Studies, which will be held from May 27 to June 2, is made possible in part through support from the Max Kade Foundation as well as by a State-of-the-Art Conference grant from the Office of the Provost at UGA.

The seminar is directed by Martin Kagel, A.G. Steer Professor of German and associate dean of the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences; William C. Donahue, the Rev. John C. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Professor of the Humanities and chair of the department of German and Russian languages and literatures at Notre Dame; and Nicholas Allen, Franklin Professor of English and director of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts at UGA.

“Our goal in creating the Berlin Seminar was to provide a professional development opportunity for UGA and Notre Dame faculty and graduate students centered around European studies,” Kagel said. “Our hope is that we can bring both the focus and energy of our discussions in Berlin and the ideas that emerge from the meeting back to campus to continue the conversation here and have the experience result in instructional innovation and new research projects.”

UGA participants include Ph.D. students and faculty from three different colleges and seven different departments.

In addition to six days of programs for registered participants, the seminar will include two public events: a conversation on “Transatlantic Relations in a Trumpian World” led by Cas Mudde, associate professor in UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs and a columnist for The Guardian, with Sudha David-Wilp, deputy director of the German Marshall Fund, and CNN European correspondent Atika Shubert; and a lecture on “Brexit and the Crisis of Belonging” by writer Fintan O’Toole, winner of the 2017 European Press Prize for commentary.

A complete schedule and details for the seminar are available here.