Announcing CHR's 2024-25 theme, call for residential fellowship applications

Announcing CHR's 2024-25 theme, call for residential fellowship applications

 


 CHR Residential Fellowships Fall 2024 and Spring 25- Call for Applications 

Open to Tenured/Tenure-track Faculty and Advanced Doctoral Students at George Mason 

 

Annual Theme: humanity and its others 

In a world increasingly hostile both to the humanities and to the maintenance and flourishing of humanity, this year's annual theme calls for critical engagements, across different periods, places, and disciplines, with the qualities and category of "humanity" and with the borders, limits, doubles, analogues, antitheses, and "others" of these things. 

Humanity has been imagined both as a quality intrinsic to human beings and as an acquired characteristic, something that must be cultivated and nurtured, an ideal toward which humans strive. Though at times conceived in relation to what transcends it (gods, heroes, superhumans), a sense of the value of humanness has led to critiques of human degradation, that is, of dehumanization, of subhuman subordination, of "crimes against humanity." 

Some thinkers have elevated humanity over other forms of being, giving rise to doctrines of exceptionalism, extractivism, and imperialism. Moreover, the classification of humans on the basis of religion, race, nation, gender, class, education, intelligence, neurodiversity, criminality, morality, talent, beauty, and other normative qualities has often imposed hierarchies of humanness. Other thinkers have sought to dissolve the boundaries between humanity and its others and to examine the entanglement of humans with non-human "nature,” supernatural/superhuman beings, and manifestations of the divine. 

More recently, the impending possibility of artificial general intelligence, alongside advances in genetic engineering and robotics and the pressures of anthropogenic climate change, raises new questions about the future of humanity. What kinds of transhuman or posthuman, hybrid, collaborative or competitive possibilities are there for humans? Is “humanity” a concept and a value that we wish to discard or to protect? 

We seek proposals that interrogate, decenter, redefine, or traverse the boundaries between humanity and its “others” -- that investigate and analyze how humanity has been conceived and contested, how it has been nurtured and sustained or deformed and denied, how it has served as an essential value or as an evaluative yardstick, how it has helped to construct worlds that are hospitable or inhuman. 

Applications are due at noon on Thursday, December 7, 2023.

Please submit the entire application as a single PDF file (clearly labeled with your last name leading- ex. "Smith CHR Fellowship Application") to chr@gmu.edu. 

These are semester long, residential fellowships. Further details and instructions below.

We will reach out in January 2024 with news about your application status. 

Faculty: 

  • To apply, submit a brief, 2-page proposal, outlining the larger project, its relationship to the theme, specific plans for the fellowship; a single page-CV (including all previous research leaves); and a statement of acknowledgment or support from your chair or program director.
  • You may indicate a preference for fall or spring in your application, though we may not be able to honor it.
  • Tenured and tenure-track faculty across the university are eligible to apply. This fellowship is not considered a formal study leave; however, junior faculty may not take pre-tenure study leave in the same academic year as the CHR fellowship.
  • Faculty will be released from teaching obligations (2 courses) for the semester of their fellowship so that they may focus on writing and on participating actively in the intellectual life of the CHR.
  • The fellowship requires residency at the center (including participation in regular meetings with the cohort of fellows, public presentation of research, and attendance at all center events). 
    We will accept fellows from as wide a range of disciplines, departments, and programs as possible working on projects related to our theme. 

Advanced doctoral students: 

  • To apply, submit a brief, 2-page proposal, outlining the larger project, its relationship to the theme, and specific plans for the study leave; a single page-CV; and a brief letter of support (this can take the form of a brief email, it is NOT a formal recommendation letter) from your dissertation director. Please indicate if you’ve received any other fellowships or grants.
  • You may indicate a preference for fall or spring in your application, though we may not be able to honor it.
  • The fellowship covers one credit of in-state tuition, one semester of health insurance (for those who are previously/continuously enrolled and meet other requirements set by the Graduate Office), and a stipend of $12,000.
  • The fellowship requires residency at the center (including participation in regular meetings with the cohort of fellows, public presentation of research, and attendance at all center events).
  • We will accept fellows from as wide a range of disciplines, departments, and programs as possible working on projects related to our theme.