Pre-Doctoral Career Diversity Summer Workshops
Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Current Fellows

Future Applicants

General Information


What is the Humanities Without Walls Pre-doctoral Career Diversity Summer Workshop?

The Humanities Without Walls (HWW) Pre-doctoral Career Diversity Summer Workshop is an intensive three-week interactive experience for PhD students in the humanities that is facilitated and curated by the HWW team based at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and Marquette University. It is designed to help participants explore diverse future careers, particularly those outside of academia and/or the traditional tenure-track university system. Through a series of virtual workshops (synchronous and asychronous) participants learn how to leverage their skills and training towards careers in the public humanities, the private sector, the non-profit world, arts administration, public media and many other fields.

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Is the workshop like a graduate seminar?

The workshop has been intentionally designed to be as unlike a graduate seminar as possible. There are no grades, little required reading, and no written assignments, though some presenters may ask participants to fill out a short worksheet or survey. The only required homework assignment is for each fellow to schedule an informational interview. All of this information will be provided in more detail for those accepted to the workshop. For the virtual version of the workshop in 2021, we will create small reflection groups to help build community amongst the fellowship cohort in the absence of an embodied workshop experience.

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How is the workshop structured?

While the overall structure of the workshop stays the same from summer to summer, specific programming differs from year to year due to a variety of factors. These factors include the intellectual, academic, and professional interests of the incoming cohort. Some sessions that take place every year include panels on working at foundations, nonprofits, and making a career out of freelance or project-based work. Typically there are workshops on how to write a resume and cover letter, develop a social media presence, or expand a professional network. In prior years, field trips have included visits to some of Chicago’s most iconic cultural institutions, including the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Theaster Gate’s Stony Island Arts Bank, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Please take a look past syllabi and presenter bios to get a better sense of the workshop structure and content.

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Will I have time to work on my dissertation, journal articles, or other non-HWW related projects?

In short, no.

The workshop is intensive, approximately running from 9:00am to 5:00pm every weekday, and so participants will likely be too tired to do other work. Consequently past Fellows advise incoming participants not to plan to work on dissertations or papers. Participants are encouraged to block the full three weeks for the workshop. Arranging travel or additional Zoom conferences is strongly discouraged if it will involve missing any sessions.    

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What universities belong to Humanities Without Walls?

Indiana University Bloomington, Marquette University (joined in 2020), Michigan State University, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Penn State University, Purdue University; and the Universities of Chicago, Illinois at Chicago, Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Iowa, Michigan, Notre Dame, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin-Madison.

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How does Humanities Without Walls define the “humanities”?

Humanities Without Walls uses the definition of the humanities taken from the 1965 National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act:

“The term ‘humanities’ includes, but is not limited to, the study of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life.”

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Current Fellows


How should I list the fellowship on my curriculum vitae?

Please list this fellowship on your curriculum vitae as:

Fellow, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/Humanities Without Walls Pre-Doctoral Career Diversity Summer Workshop

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How will I receive my award payment?

Marquette University, on behalf of Humanities Without Walls, will issue award checks directly to each of the Pre-Doctoral Fellows via U.S. mail. Award payments will be issued in late July.

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Future Applicants


If my university is not part of the HWW consortium, can I still apply for the workshop?

Yes!! 

Doctoral students at non-consortial schools may apply in fall 2021 for the 2022 summer workshop, which will be hosted by the University of Michigan. This will be a limited submission competition that draws upon a national applicant pool. Please check the eligibility section of the call for applications to learn more about the eligibility for the upcoming workshop.

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Can social scientists apply to the workshop?

Doctoral students in social sciences who use humanistic methods or who focus on humanistic subjects of research may apply for the summer workshops.

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Can international students apply to the workshop?

International doctoral students currently enrolled at educational institutions in the United States (who will also be enrolled at the time of workshop) can apply for the summer workshop.

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Do both letters of recommendation need to be from faculty members at my home university?

No. One of your letters of recommendations should be from your primary adviser or dissertation chair, but the second letter can either be from another faculty member from your home university or from an outside mentor who can speak to your present non-academic engagements. All such outside recommenders should explain who they are and their relationship to the applicant and provide contact information.

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Can I send additional updates to my CV or other application materials after my application has been submitted?

No. Application materials may only be submitted once. Please ensure that you submit the most up-to-date and accurate information.

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When will I hear if I have been awarded the fellowship?

Fellowship awards will be announced by February 2022 at the latest.

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