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Humanities Fellows Program

Explore, Imagine, Connect

The Humanities Fellows program is a selective, close-knit, and interdisciplinary community of students and scholars investigating critical and contemporary questions about human experience from diverse perspectives. Sophomores excited about humanities fields have the opportunity to explore their interests while developing skills that matter in and out of the classroom and preparing to live productive and purposeful lives. In 2019–2020 our focus will be on Human Migration: how the movement of peoples and contacts between cultures shape and define our complex world.

The program combines an interdisciplinary humanities seminar and field experience in Washington, DC (Spring 2019) with mentored summer research and continued professional mentorship, career development and community.

Humanities Fellows:

EXPLORE the central questions about human experience that define humanistic inquiry in an interdisciplinary seminar that develops students' skills in critical thinking, argumentation, and written and oral communication.

IMAGINE a focused and immersive humanities research project under the close guidance of a faculty member and prepare to pursue that project in a paid summer fellowship.

CONNECT with each other, mentors, UR alums, and career advisors to investigate internship, fellowship, and post-graduate opportunities while learning to match and market their skills to future jobs and careers.

Applications for the 2019 Humanities Fellows Program are no longer being accepted.

How does the program work?

Spring 2019
The program begins with a 1-unit spring seminar that explores how humanists examine and research a critical question of human experience. Our theme in 2019 is Human Migration. Through a range of case studies encompassing a diverse range of voices from different historical eras, geographic locations, and cultural traditions, fellows will learn how different humanities fields approach big questions: Why do people migrate? What happens when peoples and cultures encounter one another? How do humans negotiate their differences while recognizing their commonalities? They will also learn critical humanities research skills and experience the range and depth of humanistic inquiry while exploring an issue of critical importance to our contemporary world.

Summer 2019
Building off of the work of the seminar, Fellows will apply for a fully-funded, summer fellowship exploring a research or creative project of their own design. Under the close guidance of a faculty mentor, Fellows will develop skills in project development and execution, independent thinking and working, and can apply to present their results at national undergraduate conferences.

Fall/Spring 2019–20
In either fall or spring of 2019-20, Fellows will complete a half-unit independent study with their mentor to bring summer efforts to fruition and prepare to present at the A&S Symposium. Students will also work with their Career Services representative on how to research and apply for shadowing opportunities, summer jobs, and internships, match and market their new skills to future careers, participate in A&S Next, and learn about post-graduate fellowship opportunities.

What takes place in the classroom?

In a collaborative and collegial seminar led by dedicated faculty, Fellows will discuss and dissect ideas both big and small, read classic and cutting-edge work in the humanities, improve their research and writing, and reflect on the key role the humanities play in understanding contemporary issues.

What takes place outside of the classroom?

A site visit to Washington DC puts classroom training to work and links theory and practice by teaching students to "read" a metropolitan capital through the lens of human migration. This trip includes an event with UR alums where students will learn about the varied postgraduate paths available to humanities majors and gain practice articulating the skills and competencies being built in the Fellows program.

Who can apply?

The program is open to sophomore students.

How to apply

Applications are no longer being accepted for 2019. Contact Dr. Abigail Cheever for information about the program.

What are the humanities?

Literary scholar Helen Small defines the humanities broadly as “the meaning-making practices of human culture, past and present.”

The humanities are practiced in many disciplines and departments including:

Art and Art History
Classical Studies
Latin American, Latino and Iberian Studies
Modern Literatures and Cultures
Political Science
Rhetoric and Communication Studies
Religious Studies
Sociology and Anthropology
Theater and Dance
and many interdisciplinary programs.


Questions about the Undergraduate Humanities Fellows Program can be directed to Dr. Abigail Cheever.

Student Stories

Read more about humanities fellow Hannah Maddy's research looking for poetry in the ruins of ancient Pompeii.

Read more about humanities fellow Victoria Charles' work constructing a historical narrative of the black student experience at the University of Richmond.

Read posts from Spider Diarists Hunter and Cory  about their experience in the program.