Fellowships to support the development of emerging areas in the humanities.
In January 2015, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded a grant of $2,050,000 to IPRH to support the development of emerging areas in the humanities. The funds will be used to support fellowships for Illinois faculty and graduate students, and undergraduate interns. The grant also provides support to bring post-doctoral fellows to the university, creating robust research groups in three areas: Bio-Humanities, Environmental Humanities, and Legal Humanities. These complex areas of inquiry require applications of historical, literary, and visual thinking to advance knowledge across cultures and time. These fellowships will permit both artists and humanists to engage in research that more firmly links them to studies of the biological/medical world, in-depth intellectual involvement with ecological and environmental issues, and the intersection of the humanities with the law.
The initiative launched in the fall of 2016. The first cohort of fellows and interns was appointed through competitive processes in the lead up to the 2016–17 academic year. Working together, these inter-generational and multi-disciplinary groups of scholars and students work to form new intellectual partnerships that bridge traditionally understood areas of expertise. The grant provides opportunities for the research groups to engage with the exceptional resources of our campus to advance research and pedagogical practices in the three defined areas, and to contribute through their collaborative endeavors to the formation and broader understanding of these trans-disciplinary fields in the humanities and arts. These groups will also serve as models for cross-generational collaborations, and will create new curricular opportunities for undergraduates on the Illinois campus to engage in these areas of the humanities inquiry through the creation of undergraduate certificate programs.