College of Arts & Science

The Miami University Humanities Center invites applications for a new program that integrates faculty research and teaching in innovative ways. Humanities Labs aim to bring together faculty from the humanities and related disciplines in student-engaged research projects organized around a central theme. Embracing the true sense of laboratory experimentation familiar to the sciences, Humanities Labs will promote skill-building, hands-on experimentation and outcomes communicable to the Miami community and beyond.

The Humanities Labs involve three related parts:


  • Faculty pairs are invited to propose a research theme, method, practice, or problem that would benefit directly from a collaborative and experimental approach. This topic should develop from a shared research interest that faculty approach from different disciplinary and methodological perspectives.
  • Examples of themes might be “Narrative,” “Democracy,” “Health Humanities”, and “The History of Big Data” although these examples are not meant to be prescriptive. (These examples are from Duke University’s Franklin Humanities Institute and Indiana University’s Experimental Humanities Lab.)


  • During the fall semester of 2019, each faculty member will commit to teach a separate course in their field. Both courses are to be linked by their common research theme.
  • These courses may already exist. “Special topics” courses might also be an opportunity in the curriculum to develop a Humanities Lab course.
  • These courses will be offered simultaneously to facilitate interaction.
  • Department chairs will need to approve this teaching assignment and guarantee that it will be within load and will not require additional resources to cover the course.


  • The faculty team will also co-lead a one-credit humanities lab experience with students from either course that will put theory into practice through experimentation and a meaningful public project.
  • The lab will run as an eight-week sprint course that starts the seventh week of the term.
  • Not all students in the related courses need be part of the lab.
  • Faculty will apply to the Liberal Education Council to count the lab toward the Experiential Learning Requirement in the Global Miami Plan.

   Labs might involve the following:

  1. Curating an exhibition of objects in Miami University’s material collections related to the lab’s topic
  2. Producing a series of podcasts addressing the lab’s topic
  3. Developing a smartphone app that guides its audience on a tour of a site of cultural importance
  4. Contributing to an ongoing digital mapping or digital humanities project
  5. Interacting with a public community that could be directly affected by the lab’s topic
  6. Producing a digital archive of oral histories or primary sources about the lab’s topic
  7. Developing a performance or collaborative publication.

Each faculty member will be awarded $2500 in professional expenses. Each Humanities Lab will also be awarded $5000 in lab fees to support materials, production, travel and other expenses associated with student participation in the lab project. Humanities Labs are funded initially for one year but should be envisaged as a sustainable program that could potentially result in multi-year investigations about important topics in the humanities.

To apply: Applications are DUE November 29, 2019.

Interested faculty are strongly encouraged to meet with the Humanities Center’s Associate Director (Pepper Stetler) to discuss their ideas for the program. Applications should be no more than two single-spaced pages and should also include faculty applicants’ CVs.

Applicants should submit a proposal that explains:

  1. the lab’s topic, its relevance to current issues in the humanities, and how it would benefit from this collaborative and experimental approach;
  2. the courses taught by each faculty member and their contribution to the overall goal of the lab;
  3. the one-credit lab, including the approach, activities and intended outcome(s), possibly including a schedule and timeline of lab meetings.
  4. a note of endorsement from the department chair specifying how the proposed course fits into the applicant’s teaching load.

Successful applications will demonstrate: 1) a persuasive and coherent description of the topic and its relevance to current research in the humanities; 2) the creative and innovative qualities of their project; 3) a well-defined plan for the lab including how the lab funds will be used; and 4)an excellent plan for inventive outcomes that contribute to pioneering new research and teaching methods in the humanities.

Please submit your final application via email to by the deadline. Please type “TEACHINGLAB” in the subject line of your message. Your message should contain your application document in the form of a PDF attachment named "[your last names] TEACHINGLAB_Application.pdf."