The Altman Fellows Program is the largest program of the Miami University Humanities Center. Its goal is to foster collaboration, pedagogical innovation, and new research across the humanities at Miami.

Each year, the Humanities Center Steering Committee selects a team of two Altman Fellows to cultivate interdisciplinary inquiry into a topic of their own design. Altman Fellows work with six or more Altman Faculty Scholars, distinguished visiting scholars, and select graduate and undergraduate students in a year-long interdisciplinary exploration of key issues in the humanities.

The program includes a faculty seminar, which meets roughly five times per semester; a new upper-division course on the annual theme, team-taught by faculty fellows; an undergraduate fellows initiative, designed to promote excellence in undergraduate research; and a substantial program of public events.  Public events are supported with Humanities Center funding and typically include distinguished lectures, works-in-progress talks, and a major symposium or conference.

Application Information

Altman  Fellows Applications are due Friday, November 6, 2020.
Altman Faculty Scholars Applications are due Friday, January 8, 2021.
Altman Graduate Fellow Applications are due Sunday, February 28, 2021.
Geoffrion Family Student Fellows are due Sunday, February 28, 2021.

Apply for the Altman Fellowship

Each year, the Humanities Center's steering committee selects a team of two Altman Fellows to plan a program of interdisciplinary collaborative inquiry into a topic of their own design. Participants are selected and program elements are planned in the year prior to the program. Working with the steering committee, the Altman Fellows assemble a team of six to ten Altman Faculty Scholars and six or more Graduate and Undergraduate Fellows to join them in an interdisciplinary seminar the following year. The Altman Fellows also work with the director and steering committee to plan a substantial program of public events, including distinguished lectures and a spring symposium. The program includes a faculty seminar, which meets roughly five times per semester; a new upper-division course on the theme, team-taught by the faculty fellows; and an undergraduate fellows initiative, designed to promote excellence in undergraduate research. Altman Fellows receive a half-time teaching load during the program year and devote the rest of their time to event planning, Humanities Center outreach activities, and independent research. The Humanities Center supports this teaching release by providing replacement salary (plus benefits) to the fellow’s home department or program. Each Altman Fellow also receives a professional development fund of $2,500. 

Duties of the Altman Fellows
Work with the Humanities Center Steering Committee to recruit and select a diverse group of Altman Faculty Scholars and Altman Student Fellows who will enhance the program.During the spring of the application year and the summer prior to the fellowship year, work with the Humanities Center Director to plan the Altman program, including the faculty seminar; a program of visiting lectures, symposia, workshops, and other intellectual events; and a new advanced undergraduate course related to the program.  Fellows team-teach this course during the fellowship year as part of (not in addition to) their half-time teaching load.During the year of the fellowship, team-teach the undergraduate course, run the faculty seminar, continue to assist with public programming, and serve on the Humanities Center Steering Committee.Offer a public lecture or performance to the university community.  This presentation may occur during a program symposium or conference with other speakers.Help supervise the research and public humanities projects of the Altman Undergraduate Fellows. 

Application Process
Applicant teams, consisting of tenure-line faculty, should represent different humanities disciplines and should explain how their proposed topic will interface with the larger humanities community or the university. Applications of up to three single-spaced pages should sketch the following: key intellectual questions 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, whether individual or collaborative broad details of the proposed Altman undergraduate course a list of Miami faculty, working in and beyond the humanities, whose work might intersect with the topic and who might consider applying.  It is not necessary to contact or recruit faculty, only to demonstrate that the topic will attract a critical mass of participants. Applicants are encouraged to review details of previous programs, but also to propose new ideas. The Altman Program is intended to encourage creativity and need not replicate previous programs in its structure. The program is open to tenured and tenure-track faculty. Junior faculty applicants should 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. Applications should be submitted to no later than the deadline, November 6, 2020.

Apply to be an Altman Scholar

The Humanities Center invites applications from faculty interested in joining the 2020-2021 Altman Fellows Program, “Migrations.”  The Center will appoint six or more Altman Faculty Scholars to take part in this program, which is described in detail below. The program will be led by two Altman Fellows, Professor Zara Torlone (Classics) and Professor Mila Ganeva (German).Altman Scholars will join Zara and Mila in a year-long, interdisciplinary faculty seminar.  Altman Faculty Scholars are expected to attend all Altman events and seminars, to collaborate with each other, to present some of their own research or creative work on campus during the year of the program, to link their courses to the program, and to help plan 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.  Each Altman Scholar will receive a $2,500 professional expenses account for use during the 2020-2021 academic year. The program is open to tenure-line and TCPL faculty. To apply, please read the program description below and provide the Humanities Center Steering Committee with a c.v. and a 1-2 page statement indicating how your research and teaching might contribute to, and benefit from, the program. Please also include 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. Please submit your application in a single PDF document titled “[Yourlastname] 2020 Altman Application.pdf” to by 5 p.m. Friday, January 8, 2021. Please direct questions to Tim Melley, Director of the Humanities Center, at

The 2020-2021 John W. Altman Fellows Program in the Humanities MIGRATIONS2020-2021
Altman Fellows: Professor Mila Ganeva and Professor Zara Torlone

“Displacement and misplacement are this century’s commonplace,” wrote the Nobel Prize laureate and Soviet exile Joseph Brodsky in 1988. Thirty years later, human migration seems an even more visible sign of our times. The number of refugees and forcibly displaced persons worldwide, the United Nations reports, is now the highest on record since World War II. Yet migration is not always driven by crisis. It is an enduring feature of human history, cultural identity, and artistic expression from antiquity through the middle ages and into the present. Migration is a complex and politically challenging topic. People leave their homelands for many reasons—the desire for freedom or a better life, exile, removal, or a flight from war, ethnic or religious intolerance, environmental devastation, or poverty. The effects of migration are both immediate and lasting. It can be a source of both hope and agony, political strain and social strength. Over the centuries, human migration has inscribed the map of the world with rich diasporic traditions and cultural intermixtures. Understanding this phenomenon will require the expertise of scholars and artists from a wide array of fields. The 2020-2021 Altman Program invites the Miami University community to explore the geographical, artistic, psychological, cultural, and linguistic aspects of human migration. What are the causes—economic, religious, ethnic, political, environmental—of exodus and resettlement? What can we learn from those who have left, or been driven from, their homelands? Whose stories of migration gain traction, and what are the politics of its representation? What new aesthetic formations result from migration? And how can modern societies use the history of global migrations to chart ethical solutions to the challenges of the present?  

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