Current Initiatives

Pre-Doctoral Career Diversity Summer Workshops

This project aims to help prepare doctoral students for careers both within and outside the academy through a series of summer workshops. Graduate students selected for this program will engage in intensive discussions with organizers of public humanities projects, leaders of university presses and learned societies, experts in the various domains of the digital humanities, representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations, and holders of important non-faculty positions in colleges and universities. In the summers of 2017 and 2019, this project expanded its reach beyond the consortial partner universities by drawing on a national applicant pool of humanities doctoral students.

Pending further funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we presently plan to host future workshops in the summers of 2021 through 2024, with more details to come.


Grand Research Challenge: “The Work of the Humanities in a Changing Climate”

This research initiative links 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. 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.

Past Initiatives

Grand Research Challenge: “The Global Midwest”

This project links the consortial partners in a common commitment to research and dialogue around a set of important, mutually articulated problems of broad public interest. Its principal long-term objectives are to reveal and rethink the Midwest as a major force in this century’s global economy and culture and to demonstrate how the “applied humanities” can contribute to the work on grand intellectual challenges.