Wednesday, September 1, 2021
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Launched in 2015 as an initiative of the Humanities Without Walls (HWW) consortium, this annual workshop welcomes 30 participants each summer from higher education institutions across the United States. HWW Summer Workshop Fellows work in a variety of academic disciplines. They are scholars and practitioners who bring experience in community building, museum curation, filmmaking, radio programming, social media, project management, research, writing, and teaching. They are invested in issues of social justice and seek ways to bring humanistic values, insights, and skills to the public and private sectors. In the spirit of practice-oriented learning, HWW partners with entities such as IDEO, a design and consulting firm, to lead students in real-world problem-solving exercises around important contemporary issues. Recognizing that each fellow’s skillset has been primarily oriented toward an academic track, the workshop includes sessions on values-based career planning, resume and cover letter construction, networking, and social media strategies from experts in career development.

Graduates from the workshop will emerge with a network of contacts in a range of professional realms; a significantly broadened sense of the career possibilities that await humanities PhDs; a cohort of HWW Summer Workshop Fellows (and friends!) from whom they may draw support and advice; and a set of resources aimed at helping them advance into the various realms considered under the broad rubric of “the public humanities.” 

University of Michigan is site of 2022 workshop

In summer 2022, the workshop will be held in Ann Arbor, MI, from June 17 to July 1, and will learn about the rich humanities landscape in that community and nearby Detroit. Selected participants are expected to be in residence in Ann Arbor for the duration of the workshop, to attend all workshop activities each day and be active participants in the program for its entirety. Students located in the Ann Arbor area will stay in their resident housing in the area. Students located outside the Ann Arbor area are required to stay in the housing arranged and provided through the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities.


All applicants must be enrolled in a doctoral degree program in a humanities or humanistic social science discipline at a PhD-granting institution within the United States. Applicants may be at any stage of their doctoral work, but they cannot have already received the doctoral degree at the time the workshop takes place. Applicants cannot have a graduation date on or before July 1st, 2021. International students are eligible to apply, but are responsible for confirming their registration and eligibility status at their home universities; HWW is not responsible for issuing visa paperwork. 

Fellowship award

Each Fellow from outside the Ann Arbor/Detroit Metro area will receive a $4,500 award, Ann Arbor resident Fellow will receive a $3,500 award. All Fellows are expected to attend all workshop sessions and be active participants in the program for its entirety. Lodging, ground transportation to and from Detroit Metro Airport, and some meals are provided through the workshop. The stipend difference is intended to support flight/mileage transportation costs to and from Detroit Metro/Ann Arbor. The stipend is provided as a participation award and to support meals not otherwise provided, parking if needed, and any other expenses not otherwise provided directly through the workshop.

Application process

Interested doctoral students in the humanities should submit their applications to the Obermann Center by November 1, which will forward one name to the HWW selection committee. Please combine and submit all application materials as a single PDF file. Do not submit your applications directly to HWW or the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities.

The application file should be submitted to the Obermann Center ( by November 1 and should contain:

  • A completed application cover sheet.
  • A voluntary self-identification form.
  • A narrative (1,000 words maximum) explaining the applicant’s intended career trajectory and addressing the following questions:
  • What does “career diversity” mean to you and what do you know about career diversity in graduate education?
  • Why are you interested in attending the workshop?
  • What kinds of knowledge and skills are you seeking from the workshop? 
  • How do you envision sharing what you learn at the workshop with your colleagues, department, campus, and beyond?
  • What experiences have you had in applied or public humanities or public engagement?
  • What do you hope to achieve as a result of attending the workshop?
  • CV or resume (two pages maximum).
  • Two confidential letters of recommendation. One letter should be from the applicant’s primary adviser/dissertation chair; both should emphasize the applicant’s strengths and fit for this workshop. Letters should be submitted confidentially and separately to the application contact at your home universities (humanities center director, graduate college dean, or equivalent contact). 

This is a limited-submission application. Eligible doctoral students must be nominated for this fellowship by their home institutions, and only one nomination may be made to HWW by each university. To be considered, interested doctoral students must submit their applications to the Obermann Center ( by November 1, 2021. Please do not submit your applications directly to HWW.

View program details on the HWW website.