The Altman Fellows Program is the signature program of the Miami University Humanities Center. Its goal is to foster collaboration, pedagogical innovation, and new research across the humanities and beyond.
Each year, the Humanities Center Steering Committee selects two Altman Fellows to plan a year of inquiry into a topic of their own design or, on occasion, into a special topic of particular urgency. Altman Fellows help to recruit a cross-disciplinary team of faculty and student fellows to join the program, and they work with the director and steering committee to plan and coordinate a year-long interdisciplinary exploration of the topic.
The Altman Program includes a bi-weekly faculty seminar; an advanced undergraduate course on the annual theme, team-taught by faculty fellows; a student fellows program to enhance graduate study, undergraduate research, and public humanities work; and a substantial program of public events. Public events are supported with Humanities Center funding and typically include a dozen distinguished lectures, readings and artist talks, works-in-progress presentations, and a spring symposium.
About the Altman Fellows Program
Each year, the Humanities Center's steering committee invites teams of faculty to propose programs of interdisciplinary collaborative inquiry into topics of critical importance in the humanities. On occasion, the steering committee specifies an especially salient topic in advance. Potential Altman Fellows are invited to apply jointly or contact the director of the center for advice on potential collaborators. Finalist teams are sometimes invited to meet with the center's steering committee to discuss the possible program details prior to selection. The steering committee selects a team in the fall semester and program planning begins shortly thereafter. Working with the steering committee and director, the Altman Fellows help to recruit and select a team of six or more Altman Faculty Scholars, one or two Altman Graduate Fellows, and six Geoffrion Undergraduate Fellows to join the program. The Altman Fellows work with the director to plan all elements of the program: a substantial series of public events, including lectures, a spring symposium, and co-curricular programming; a bi-weekly faculty seminar; and a new, team-taught undergraduate course on the program theme. During the fellowship year, they work with the staff of the Humanities Center to host events, foster university-wide engagement in the program theme, present their own research to the community, and ensure the success of the program .
Each Altman Fellow receives a two-course teaching reduction during the program year and a professional development fund of $2,500.
Duties of the Altman Fellows
How to Apply for the Altman Faculty Fellowship
The center invites applications from pairs of tenure-line faculty representing different humanities disciplines. Applications should outline the scope, significance, and salience of the topic, the major questions to be addressed, and how the program might address the needs of the humanities, the community, or the university. Applications should sketch the following: key intellectual issues of the proposed topic; their contemporary public relevance and their appeal across diverse disciplines or publics; possible features or initiatives of the proposed program, including possible visiting speakers and/or other special opportunities, events, or structures; the applicants’ qualifications, including past, ongoing or proposed research; the broad outlines of a proposed, team-taught course for advanced undergraduates; a list of Miami faculty, in and beyond the humanities, whose work might intersect with the topic and who might be valuable contributors to the program. It is not necessary to contact or recruit facult in advance, only to suggest that the topic could attract a critical mass of participants. Applicants are encouraged to review previous programs, but the Altman Program is intended to encourage creativity and new programs need not replicate previous ones in structure. Junior faculty applicants should seek approval of their chairs and briefly address potential concerns that the program could slow their progress toward tenure. Interested faculty are strongly encouraged to meet with the director of the Humanities Center to discuss their ideas for the program or to gain advice on potential collaborators. Applications should be submitted as a single PDF document titled “[Applicants' Last Names] 2020 Altman Application.pdf” to email@example.com by the deadline specified on the Faculty Opportunities page.
How to Join the Altman Program as an Altman Faculty Scholar
Once an Altman Program topic and Altman Fellows have been selected, the center issues a call for applications for Altman Faculty Scholars interested in joining the program's intellectual community. Altman Scholars are critical to the work of the programs' year-long, interdisciplinary faculty seminar. Six or more are selected. Each receives a $2,500 professional expenses account and is expected to do the following: attend all Altman events and seminars; collaborate with other program faculty and students: present some research or creative work on campus during the year of the program; link their courses to the lecture series and public events of the program; and offer input on program events beginning in spring 2020. Applicants should be aware that most Altman Program events occur weekdays at 5 p.m. and that the faculty seminar usually meets Fridays around lunchtime. Selected faculty will be encouraged to request teaching assignments that do not conflict with these times. The program is open to tenure-line and TCPL faculty.
Interested applicants should reald the annual call for applications and provide the Humanities Center Steering Committee with a c.v. and a 1-2 page statement indicating how their research and teaching might contribute to, and benefit from, the program. Applicants must also provide the name of one or more outstanding students who could benefit from participation as undergraduate or graduate fellows. These students will be invited to apply.
Applications should be submitted as a single PDF document titled “[Applicants' Last Names] 2020 Altman Application.pdf” to firstname.lastname@example.org by the deadline specified on the Faculty Opportunities page.
The Miami University Humanities Center invites faculty applications for a special 2021-2022 Altman Fellows Program on “Race & Racism” or some variant of that topic. Ordinarily, the Altman Program topic is proposed by faculty members from different disciplines. This year, however, the urgent need to address racial injustice and the opportunity to amplify the program through collaboration with a new university-wide initiative motivated the center’s Steering Committee to adopt a topic in advance.
Two Altman Faculty Fellows will be selected to plan and lead a campus-wide program including a faculty seminar, a series of eight or more distinguished lectures, special classes, research collaborations, and co-curricular opportunities. Over the course of the academic year, the Altman Program typically engages thousands of faculty, students, and community members.
In 2021-2022, the Altman Program will be interwoven with a new university initiative called the One Year / One Theme Program. Coordinated by the Office of the Provost, this program will replace Miami’s existing Summer Reading Program with a yearlong array of thematically linked lectures, readings, films, courses, community projects, and co-curricular events. Like the Altman Program, the One Year / One Theme Program aims to forge collaborations that engage our community in rigorous, sustained inquiry into scholarly questions of major consequence to society. The Humanities Center has been selected to coordinate the inaugural One Year / One Theme Program on the topic of race and racism. The Altman Program will provide a core of public programming on the topic. The One Year / One Theme Program will augment this programming, weaving it into other university speaker series, undergraduate courses, campus life activities, and co-curricular opportunities within the Honors Program and the new Prodesse Scholars Program. Collaboration between the Humanities Center and the Provost’s Office will allow Miami to offer a more sweeping and thoughtful investigation of racial injustice, featuring talks by major public intellectuals and engaging larger audiences. There may also be opportunities for community engagement and institutional self-examination.
Altman Faculty Fellows receive $2500 in professional expenses and a two-course teaching reduction for 2021-2022. After being selected by the Humanities Center Steering Committee, they will work during the current academic year to plan public events and recruit a team of Altman Faculty Scholars and student fellows for the program.
The Altman Fellows Program is the largest initiative of the Miami University Humanities Center. A yearlong, themed inquiry program, its goal is to foster collaboration, pedagogical innovation, and new research across the Humanities at Miami. The program typically includes a bi-weekly faculty seminar, a series of 10 distinguished lectures, an undergraduate fellows program, a team-taught senior course, a first-year seminar, and links to dozens of other courses. Each year, the program brings together 10 faculty members, eight student fellows and roughly 10 visiting speakers. Its public events draw a total audience of 2,000-3,000. Past programs have included: Migrations, Time & Temporality, Truth & Lies, Urban Futures, Medicine and the Humanities, The Senses, The Anthropocene, Globalization and Belonging, The Human and the Nonhuman, and Networked Environments. A 2015 external review of the Humanities Center said “the Altman Program is one of the best imagined, designed and run initiatives at any university in the world.”
The center invites applications from pairs of tenure-line faculty representing different humanities disciplines. Faculty uncertain about potential partners are welcome to submit individual applications. Applications of up to four single-spaced pages should sketch the following: proposed approach to the topic of race and racism; key intellectual emphases, questions, and methodologies; strategy for engaging diverse disciplines and publics; specific features or initiatives of the proposed program, including desirable visiting speakers, special opportunities, events, or co-curricular activities; the applicants’ qualifications, including past, ongoing or proposed research; the broad outlines of a team-taught course for advanced undergraduates, to be offered in fall 2021; a list of Miami faculty, working in and beyond the humanities, whose work might intersect with the topic and who might be valuable contributors to the program. It is not necessary to contact or recruit potential faculty participants in advance, only to demonstrate that the topic could attract a critical mass of participants.
Strong applications usually articulate a clear sense of the public and institutional value of the program, the salience of its major questions, and its contribution to the humanities, the community, or the university. Applicants are encouraged to review previous programs. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the director to indicate their interest, request a sample application, or seek help identifying potential collaborators. Junior faculty applicants should address how participation in the program might affect their progress toward tenure. Applications should be submitted as a single PDF document titled “[Applicants' Last Names] 2020 Altman Application.pdf” to email@example.com by midnight, Friday, September 18, 2020.