College of Arts & Science
Call for Applications

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 10, 2020.

Please direct questions to Tim Melley, Director of the Humanities Center, at

The 2020-2021 John W. Altman Fellows Program in the Humanities


2020-2021 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?