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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 2022-2023 our focus will be on Recovery and Repair.

The program combines an interdisciplinary humanities seminar and field experience in Washington, D.C. (Spring 2022, depending on health and travel guidelines) with the opportunity to apply for 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 apply 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 2022 Humanities Fellows Program are due on October 25th at 5:00 p.m. Application will be posted soon.

Information sessions will be held:

Why is the theme Recovery and Repair?

This theme allows for at least three types of projects: 1) work that explores the conditions and practices of recovering from pandemics, disasters, and crises, which may include work in the medical humanities, or work that assesses philosophical and ecological questions about situated reconfiguring of economies and communities; 2) methodological practices of recovering lost or forgotten texts, traditions, and artifacts; and 3) inquiries into speculative projects that address the ongoing violences of slavery and its afterlives (often gathered under the heading of “reparations”), settler colonization, and anthropogenic climate change. These three broad sub-topics are not meant to be exhaustive, but rather to offer a quick sense of the diversity of projects we hope to gather under “Recovery and Repair.” We invite Fellows to approach the theme creatively and to propose projects that address the theme in unexpected ways, both directly or obliquely.

How does the program work?


Spring 2022
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 2022 is Recovery and Repair. 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 humanities fields approach big questions: How have individuals and groups recovered from disasters, crises, and pandemics? What scholarly methods have developed to recover texts from the past that have been forgotten, lost, or neglected? How do humanistic approaches to recovery and repair allow us to speculate about worlds that aren’t as sutured to the violences of slavery, colonization, economic inequalities, and ecological devastation? Fellows will 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 2022
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 2022–23
In either fall or spring of 2022-23, 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 that the humanities play in understanding contemporary issues.

What takes place outside of the classroom?

If health and travel guidelines permit, the Fellows visit to Washington, D.C. puts classroom training to work and links theory and practice by teaching students to "read" a metropolitan capital through the lens of recovery and repair.

How do I come up with a research area?

The Fellows discover their topics in a variety of ways. Some students come to the course with an idea from a class they’ve previously taken and others discover a new area of interest while working in the seminar. Don’t worry if you don’t have a topic: we don’t expect students to come to the program with anything other than an enthusiasm for learning new skills and approaches and a deep curiosity about how individuals and cultures evolve.

Will the interdisciplinary seminar count towards my major or minor?

Individual departments and programs have to determine whether or not the combination of an interdisciplinary seminar and summer research project can be applied to a specific major or minor. If you are interested in pursuing this option, reach out to the director of the Humanities Fellows Program. She can help you approach the department or program.

Who can apply?

The program is open to sophomore students.

How to apply

Applications for the 2022-23 Fellows Program are due on October 25th at 5:00 p.m. Please contact Nathan Snaza for information about the program. APPLY HERE.

2022 Humanities Fellows Program

Applications are now open for the 2022 Humanities Fellows Program. Submit your application here by October 25th at 5:00pm.

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. Nathan Snaza.

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.