Current Initatives

Humanities Without Walls' next chapter

In the final phase of the HWW grant, new programs and opportunities will be introduced, while others (such as the Summer Career Diversity Workshop) will conclude. New HWW initiatives will be geared toward the production of publications, toolkits, and other data collection efforts in order to communicate recommendations and lessons learned for those who are interested in the future design and implementation of programming for career diversity and the publicly engaged humanities.

HWW University Presses Retreat

The HWW University Presses Retreat will be held at the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign on July 22-23, 2024. The goal of this event is an exchange of ideas about how the community-based humanities research of HWW Grand Research Challenge (GRC) teams might find a home in book format. The retreat sessions will be geared toward providing faculty PIs and their community partners with the opportunity to learn more about the publication process (both academic and trade).

Press representatives from the University of Illinois, the University of Iowa, the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and Northwestern University will participate in this retreat.

Theory of Change Workshops

In Spring of 2024, in collaboration with Four Corners Global Consulting Group, HWW will support 2-3 consortium centers to participate in workshops in order to design of a “Theory of Change” for their respective programs and initiatives. The Theory of Change exercise is a strategic planning, decision-making, measurement, and communications tool, allowing project leaders and managers to clearly and logically articulate goals, objectives, intermediate results, and activities for their organizations.

HWW Toolkits

In order to share important recommendations and lessons learned from coordinating programs for publicly engaged research and career diversity over the last decade, HWW staff will produce and circulate three HWW Toolkits on the design and implementation of: methods-based and community engaged research projects, summer internship programs for doctoral students, and career diversity workshops for graduate students in the humanities.

2024 Postdoctoral Fellowships

HWW will support two Postdoctoral Fellowships for recent PhDs interested in designing and implementing publicly engaged humanities research and programming. One will be hosted by the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and the other by the Humanities Institute of Penn State University.

These fellows have been selected. Please watch this space for more information.

Career Diversity Initiatives

Summer Bridge Program 

Designed in collaboration with We CU and Assistant Dean for Career Development at the Graduate College, Derek Attig, and introduced in the summer of 2021, the HWW Summer Bridge Program provides funding and mentorship support for humanities doctoral students at the University of Illinois to work with a local non-profit organization over eight weeks in summer. The Bridge Program will continue into 2024.

Employer Survey

The National Survey of Employer Perceptions on the Value of Graduate Degrees will conduct a survey of employers assessing perceptions, knowledge, and understandings on the value of graduate degrees. The survey will document the hiring protocols of over 500 human resource professionals from organizations across the United States and will assess employment opportunities for students earning advanced degrees. Expanding upon the National Association of Colleges and Employers's assessment, this survey fills a critical gap necessary for future graduate academic program design. We intend to use the survey’s data to inform national career diversity programming development and seek to learn best practices by utilizing employer perspectives.

Book Project

“The Histories and Futures of Career Diversity” book project seeks to assess the history, impact, and lessons learned from the last fifteen years of national career diversity projects. Maggie Nettesheim Hoffmann and Derek Attig are co-editing a collected volume exploring career diversity, higher education systems change, and future pathways building graduate student programming and will invite leaders from a variety of national projects to participate in this book initiative.

Alum Engagement Project

The alum engagement project will research, develop, and host a convening of the HWW Career Diversity Fellowship alums to connect the nearly 230 fellows with one another following the end of the consortium’s grant funded work. It is HWW’s goal to bring the alums together to design an effective way to keep the alums in contact with one another after HWW sunsets in 2025. This project will seek the input of the alums directly through a survey and focus groups to assess their preliminary interest in attending a “homecoming” event in Chicago in 2025.