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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 read 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 email@example.com by the deadline specified on the Faculty Opportunities page.
The Humanities Center invites applications from faculty interested in joining the 2021-2022 Altman Fellows Program, “Race & Racism: The Problem of Persistence.” 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 Faculty Fellows, Professor Stefanie Dunning (English) and Professor José Amador (Latin American Studies).
Altman Faculty Scholars will join José and Stefanie in a year-long, interdisciplinary faculty seminar. Altman Faculty Scholars are expected to attend all Altman events, collaborate with each other, present some of their own research or creative work on campus during the year of the program, link their courses to the program, and help plan program events beginning this December, 2020. Applicants should be aware that most Altman Program events occur weekdays at 5 p.m. and that theFaculty Seminar usually meets Fridays around lunchtime. Scholars must be available at these times and are expected to request teaching and service assignments that allow them to participate.
Each Altman Scholar will receive a $2,500 professional expenses account for use during the 2021-2022 academic year.
To apply, please read the program description below and provide the Humanities Center Steering Committee with ac.v. and a 1-2 page statement indicating how your research and teaching might contribute to, and benefit from, the program. Applicants must also include the names of one or more outstanding undergraduate or graduate students who could benefit from participation as student fellows. These students will be invited to apply. Please submit your application in a single PDF document titled “[Yourlastname] 2021-22 AltmanApplication.pdf” to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. Sunday, November 15.
Please direct questions to Tim Melley, Director of the Humanities Center, at email@example.com.
2021-2022 Altman Fellows :
Professor José Amador and Professor Stefanie Dunning
“The problem of the twentieth century,” W. E. B.Du Bois famously declared in 1903, “is the problem of the color-line.” In the context of American history, these prophetic words now seem a terrible understatement. The color-line has been the problem of every American century, including our own, and institutional racism haunts societies around the globe. From its origins in colonialism and enslavement to its modern consequences in cycles of poverty and social segregation, racism has persisted in the face of efforts to end it. It is woven today into systems of law and criminal justice, medicine and health, housing, education, media representation, and more. As recent protests in the United States demonstrate, racism is neither past nor elsewhere; it is part of the historical terrain we inhabit, a system that continues to shape our thinking, our work, and our lives. And yet, despite the glaring inequities it produces, racism’s origins, legacies, and structural logics are often obscured by institutional complexities and tangled in values such as merit, citizenship, freedom, and law.
The 2021-2022 AltmanProgram invites the Miami University community to explore the persistence of racism in its cultural, political, and institutional forms. What is the history of race as an idea and a social category? How did it transform systems of law, administration, and representation into vehicles for subjugating entire groups of people? How does racism work today? What is its relation to systems of caste and meritocracy? To citizenship and mobility? How can emerging humanities scholarship help us interrogate its evolution and frustrating persistence? And what measures can we take to create a more inclusive and equitable society?