Receive the Help of a Research Apprentice

This program places undergraduates into one-on-one collaborations with faculty. Each fall, faculty members apply for funding to hire student research apprentices. Awards are made on a rolling basis, starting in late September. As awards are made, the Humanities Center advertises research apprenticeship opportunities and students are invited to apply directly to faculty members. Faculty members can select their apprentices beginning in the second week of October.

Interested faculty should send a 1- to 2-page application describing 1) an ongoing or planned research project; 2) how an undergraduate might contribute to some aspect of the project; and 3) any qualifications the apprentice should have. Faculty may apply after the deadline, but the steering committee will begin to select suitable projects shortly after the deadline. In the past, most awards have been made in September, and once funding is exhausted, no more projects will be approved for the current academic year. To apply please send your proposal to

All faculty awards for 2018 have now been made. Review of faculty applications will begin on September 17, 2019. Early submission is highly recommended.

If you are interested in past apprenticeship projects please visit our archival page.
All 2017-2018 Research Apprentice Positions have been filled at this time. Please check back in early October 2018 for open positions for the 2018-2019 academic year.

2018-2019 Apprenticeships

All 2018-2019 Research Apprentice Positions have been filled at this time. Please check back in September 2019 for open positions for the 2019-2020 academic year. If you are a student and would like to be notified when apprenticeships are announced please register your interest HERE.

Russia on the Verge of Politics: Public Opinion during the Putin Era

Hannah Chapman

A research apprentice is sought to aid in the development of a book manuscript entitled Russia on the Verge of Politics: Public Opinion during the Putin Era. This book examines the development of public opinion during the first decade of Putinism: from Vladimir Putin’s initial ascendancy to power in 2000 through the tumultuous election season and subsequent protests in 2011-2012. The book manuscript will be based on original focus group and survey data collected by one of the authors. Responsibilities include:

 1) Analysis of focus groups transcripts. The research apprentice will be expected to readRussian-language focus-group transcripts and analyze their tone and content along a variety of themes laid out by the author. Intermediate to advanced knowledge of written Russian is required.

2) Preparation of a detailed annotated bibliography. The book examines public opinion along a variety of themes. The research apprentice will be expected to read and synthesize academic books and articles on these themes.

Apprentice: Sofiya Kryvoruchenko

Discourses of Migration in Spain

Marisol del-Teso-Craviotto

A research apprentice is sought for an ongoing project on the discursive construction of the migration imaginary in Spain (1880-2015). I have a collection of different materials (newspaper articles, personal narratives, pictures, creative writing) that need to be uploaded to NVivo, a software used to store and organize data from different audiovisual and textual sources for qualitative and mixed-methods analysis. My goal during the next year is to transfer my data to the program and conduct an analysis of personal narratives and experiences of migration. The research apprentice should have an advanced level of Spanish, some course work on linguistics, and the ability to pay attention to details and make connections. In the process of this apprenticeship, the student will:

1) Transfer data into the NVivo software.

2) learn to apply a mix-methods approach to the analysis of discourse.

3) Take reflective notes on the ongoing categorization and analysis of the data, and the research process itself.

Apprentices: Berenice Acevedo and Nicole Rosiello

Germany’s Weimar Republic: An Introduction

Erik Jensen

An undergraduate research apprentice is sought to help frame a textbook overview of Germany’s Weimar Republic (1918-1933, ending with the Nazi regime) for an audience of undergraduate students who may have little or no familiarity with this period in German history.  The Research Apprentice would serve as a focus group for my manuscript and need not have any familiarity with German history at all, since most of the book’s ultimate readership will not, either.  

 Above all, the apprentice must be someone with an eye for clear writing and a willingness to point out its opposite.  The Research Apprentice would assist with the following: 

1) Reading the manuscript for clarity and offering suggestions for making it more engaging to novice audiences as well as more comprehensive, within the strict word limit set by the publisher

2) Assisting in the completion of the“Chronology” and the “Glossary,” which would entail highlighting important dates, names, events, pieces of legislation, regions, and terms that appear in the manuscript and might. warrant inclusion in these separate sections.

3) Advising on the selection and editing of the“Primary Documents” section, which would entail reading through a number of possibilities that I have compiled and ranking them by relevance and interest.

4) Reading my translations of primary documents for clarity.

Apprentice: Kierra Sondereker

Altitude Affects Attitude: The Politics of Belonging in a Western North Carolina Town

Sheila Croucher

This research focuses on identity politics and sociocultural relations in Asheville, North Carolina. A mid-size Appalachian town, Asheville has undergone rapid change in recent decades as amenity migrants seeking retirement or vacation homes and Latino migrants seeking work settle in a city with an already complicated history of race and ethnic relations between blacks, whites, and indigenous peoples. Asheville navigates this evolving socio-cultural terrain just as the city confronts the vagaries of a shifting global economy that rewards some economic sectors and disadvantages others.  

An undergraduate student interested in migration, identity politics, and narratives of place and community is sought to assist with online searches of three local newspapers. Specific foci will include: Latino immigration into the New South, and its implications for race and ethnic relations in Asheville, the politics of queer identities in a southern Appalachian town, narratives of place-making and community belonging, and the gentrifying effects of a growing population of“lifestyle migrants”settling in Asheville.

The candidate should possess strong organizational and information literacy skills: the ability to identify information needs, search for and retrieve appropriate sources, evaluate information critically, synthesize information gained, and present ideas clearly.

Apprentice: Emily Pate

Tracking Islamophobia in Western Europe: A Study of Recent Hijab Bans in Selected Countries

Liz Wilson

Seeking a research apprentice to collaborate in the development of an annotated bibliography on religious dress bans targeting Muslim girls and women in Western Europe. The research apprentice selected will read and annotate a list of recent secondary sources in English and will search scholarly databases for newspaper articles and government documents to add to the bibliography.

The assistant selected will know the difference between primary and secondary sources, will be able to identify and summarize key ideas clearly, will have strong reading comprehension of primary source materials (in English) and interdisciplinary secondary sources, and will be familiar with standard databases in relevant fields such as the ATLA religion database.

Apprentice: Margaret Hamm

Patriarch Tikhon Bellavin and the Orthodox Church in America and Revolutionary Russia, 1865-1925

Scott M. Kenworthy

The project involves the writing a biography of Patriarch Tikhon, who became head of the Russian Orthodox Church at the same time that the Bolsheviks seized power. The Bolsheviks were militant atheists who sought to turn Russia into a purely secular society by both propaganda and persecution. An apprentice is sought who will examine a concrete body of sources primarily in English, produced by Americans who were in Russia during the Revolution. These Americans were representatives of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) who were sympathetic to and developed close relations with the Russian Orthodox Church. They were in Russia in 1917-1918 during the Revolution, and some returned again as part of the American famine relief to the Soviet Union in 1922. They paid close attention to the Soviet persecution of the Church. These individuals, such as Donald Lowrie and Ethan Colton, wrote reports back to the central YMCA on what they observed of the situation in Russia and the Soviet Union. Moreover, they also wrote diaries and personal letters and, later, memoir accounts of their experiences. These materials, which remain unpublished, are held in the Kautz Family YMCA Archives of the University of Minnesota Libraries. I was able to spend several days researching in this archive, and during that time made over 800 digital photographs. The majority of these materials are in English, a few are in Russian; most are typed, some were printed for internal circulation, a few are hand-written. The apprentice will be one of the first persons to read these documents and gain access to a valuable but as yet virtually unknown witness to one of the twentieth century’s most important events.

The research assistant’s main task will be to read through these materials and provide summaries of their contents, paying particular attention to the topics and people that are most directly relevant for my research project. Knowledge of the Russian language is preferable. Students with an interest in Russian studies, religion and/or history will benefit from this project by learning how to do original research with primary sources consisting of archival documents.

Apprentice: August Hagemann and Zach Martin

Projecting Miami’s History in Public Art

Annie Dell'Aria

This project involves collaboration with a visiting artist, Tiffany Carbonneau, to produce an original public artwork on campus in May 2019. Carbonneau’s practice employs projection mapping, a technology that projects a clear image onto an irregular surface, to illuminate and animate architectural facades with material gleaned from local histories and archives. The Research Apprentice will conduct research in relevant university archives and assist in the projection of the work at the upcoming ARTECHA festival on campus in May and engage viewers and passersby during the run. The Research Apprentice should be familiar with archival research, interested in contemporary or public art as well as Miami and Oxford history, and available to help with the projectors and equipment for the completed artwork during the festival on May 5-7. The Research Apprentice does not need to have specific knowledge in studio art or media production, but an interest in media art and a willingness to learn new programs and adapt as the project progresses would be appreciated.

Apprentice: Elizabeth Grace Huddleston

Urban Masquerades in an African City

Jordan Fenton

The project is an ongoing monograph, Masquerade Currencies: Performing Space, History and Money in a Nigerian Metropolis. The book is an effort to examine the broad masquerade culture by exploring the six prominent masquerade societies currently thriving in Calabar, an emerging city located in southeast Nigeria.

This project seeks an undergraduate research student to help with 1) qualitative analysis of extensive field notes, interviews, and recorded songs sung during performances as well as digitalizing these materials, and 2) analysis and editing of a portion of HD video footage of masquerade events, rituals and ceremonies for the production of digital scholarship for teaching purposes as well as creating online, multi-media videos to accompany the monograph. Students interested in Art History, Anthropology, and for the research concerning digital scholarship, those with knowledge of Adobe Premier Pro and video editing, are encouraged to apply.

Apprentices: Celia Bugno, Faith Walker, and Nina Grotto

Pop Islam: American Muslims and Popular Media

Rosemary Pennington

Pop Islam: American Muslims andPopular Media is a book project which explores recent positive representations of Muslims inAmerican media. Historically, Muslims and Islam have been framed as threats toWestern societies; Pop Islam considers how the representation of Muslims in media such as the Ms. Marvel comic book series, women’s popular magazines, and sports reporting challenges that framing.

An ideal research apprentice would be interested in questions of representation and have enthusiasm for media studies, though would not necessarily need experience in producing academic research. An apprentice would help gather background research for several chapters, monitor news reporting about Islam and/orMuslims, and help choose images and figures to illustrate important points in chapters. As I hope at least one of the chapters will become a conference presentation, an undergraduate apprentice who contributes to a chapter accepted or presentation will be listed as a co-author in recognition of their work.

Apprentices: Sabrina Herman and Nellie Given

Chinese-language Scholarship on the Kirghiz Epic Tradition (Year 2)

Daniel Prior

The goal of this project is to survey Chinese-language research on the Kirghiz (Central Asian Turkic) epic tradition. I have a general sense of the field in China, but lack the linguistic skills necessary to form a detailed view of the scholarship. The apprentice or apprentices will help me survey the literature, then work on their own to produce English translations and/or summaries of key works. These will typically be articles in Chinese academic journals and monographs published by Chinese presses. Other tasks may arise as the work progresses. Knowledge of both Chinese and English (native Chinese and good English, or native English and excellent Chinese) is required; some interest in literature, history, oral tradition, or the minority nationalities of China is desired.

Apprentice: Dan Luo