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Call for Applications: 
The 2021-2022 John W. Altman Scholars Program in the Humanities


The Problem of Persistence

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 by 5 p.m. Sunday, November 15.  

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

The 2021-2022 John W. Altman Scholars Program in the Humanities


The Problem of Persistence

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?

Application Information

Altman  Fellows Applications are due Friday, September 18, 2020.
Altman Faculty Scholars Applications are due Sunday, November 15, 2020.
Altman Graduate Fellow Applications are due Sunday, February 5, 2021.
Geoffrion Family Student Fellows are due Sunday, February 5, 2021.
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