Graduate Seminars on the Humanities and Changing Conceptions of Work

On behalf of the University of California Humanities Network, the UC Humanities Research Institute invites proposals for graduate seminars on the Humanities and Changing Conceptions of Work, to be held during the 2012-13 academic year.

Who Can Apply: UC Faculty and lecturers
Level of Award: Up to $10,000 per seminar
Funding Source: UC Humanities Network (Mellon Foundation grant)

Deadline: 5:00 pm PST on Thursday, January 19, 2012 (FastApps opens on November 21, 2011)

 The UC Humanities Network expects to fund three proposals for graduate seminars (either one quarter or one semester long) to be taught by a UC faculty member – ladder-track or lecturer – in the humanities or humanistic social sciences.  Proposals for team-taught courses also will be considered.

The seminars should focus on the theme of “work” in and beyond the academy. The proposed course can include a focus on “work” as itself a topic of research or an engagement with the work of the humanities, including:

  • expanded notions of literacies (linguistic, cultural, media, technological), including the work of world-building and knowledge production;
  • intellectual histories or theories of creativity and/or productivity;
  • perspectives on the emergence of new notions of work across different historical periods and geographical locations;
  • changing conceptions of work in the face of recent global economic, technological, and social developments, and the implications for the humanities;
  • how humanities practitioners can prepare students for the work that awaits them in 21st-century global society;
  • the research and pedagogical practice of “doing” the humanities, and the ways that changing conceptions, modalities or technologies of work have impacted teaching, research, working conceptions and conditions across the university in general and for the humanities in particular.

Seminar proposals must include a syllabus of readings and an overview of the required coursework and papers.


Seminars will be awarded up to $10,000 to support the course. Funds may be allocated for research support, course materials, honoraria and expenses for visiting speakers, and other course-related expenses. Up to $7k may be used for research support for the instructor(s) of record, either as direct research funds or toward a graduate research assistant. Up to $7k may also be used, with approval from the department chair and/or dean’s office, toward course release or replacement costs.

Prior to submission, applicants should consult their department chair and/or dean’s office to secure permission to include the proposed course in the department’s offerings. If selected, instructors must provide written confirmation of permission from department chair and/or dean’s office within 5 days of notification of selection.

Please provide a proposed budget indicating how the course funds will be spent.


The primary considerations for funding will be the degree of interdisciplinarity and the breadth of the proposed seminar and its perceived appeal to students. Seminars should be designed to attract graduate students from a broad range of departments and disciplines. Curricula for the seminars will be placed on the UC Humanities Network website as a teaching resource.

Proposals will be reviewed and selected by the UC Humanities Consortium.


Applications from prospective seminar instructors are accepted exclusively online via UCHRI's FastApps system. The seminar instructor must be a UC faculty member who will be responsible for the organization and execution of the proposed course.

Required documents include:

  • Course Abstract with Seminar Title (200 words max.)
  • Course Syllabus and Course Description (2,000 words max.)
  • Proposed Seminar Budget with a brief narrative justification.

The course description should address a core research question or problem statement, and the short-term and long-term significance of the topic or issue to the theme of the humanities and changing conceptions of work. It should also clearly articulate the theoretical and/or practical justifications for the course design and selected readings.

All materials should be submitted to UCHRI via FastApps no later than 5:00 pm PST on Thursday, January 19, 2012.

Questions about the application process should be directed to Suedine Nakano, UCHRI program manager, at

For general questions about the grant and proposal development, please contact the director or staff of your campus humanities center or Jennifer Langdon, UCHRI associate director, at