The University Record, October 30, 1995

Humanities Institute offers fellowships to study images and the imaginary

By Elizabeth Woodford
Institute for the Humanities

 The Institute for the Humanities invites applications for Graduate Student and Faculty Fellowships for 1996-97, when the annual theme will be "Images and the Imaginary." U-M Faculty and Graduate Student Fellows will join distinguished Visiting Fellows to explore how various cultures have sought to make the invisible visible. The theme statement emphasizes the political and cultural dimensions of those efforts in literature, music, and the plastic and graphic arts, including mapping, charting and diagramming.

It invites applicants to consider some basic and difficult questions: Are images pre-verbal or do they presuppose language? What is the relationship between imagination, especially imagination defined as visual thinking and rationality?

Founded in 1987, the Institute promotes interdisciplinary research and discourse in the humanities and the arts through seminars, forums, a Tuesday brown-bag series and presentations by visiting scholars. Graduate Student and Faculty Fellows play important roles in the life of the Institute, both by contributing to explorations of its annual theme through research and discussion, and by shaping the Institute's public program.

Faculty and Graduate Student Fellows are in residence for a year and meet weekly for a Fellows Seminar, in which they present their work to each other and discuss other theme-related topics. Each Faculty Fellow offers one seminar or course. The course may be offered at any level, from first-year seminar to the graduate level, and may be offered under departmental auspices, subject to normal approval processes, or under the auspices of the Institute.

Criteria for the selection of Faculty Fellows include:


The promise of the specific research project being proposed.


The quality and significance of the applicant's prior work.


The relevance of the research project to the theme.


The likelihood of the applicant's contributing to interdisciplinary discussion.

Faculty applications are due Dec. 1, and applicants will be notified in early February.

U-M students who have achieved candidacy---and have not held a Rackham predoctoral fellowship---are eligible for Graduate Student Fellowships. Selection criteria include the promise of the dissertation project and strength of academic record. Interest in interdisciplinary work, as evidenced by the dissertation project and by academic experience, also is important. The Graduate Student Fellows' own work need not be closely related to the Institute's current theme but should benefit from interaction with an interdisciplinary community.

Graduate student applications are due Jan. 12.

Faculty and graduate student fellowship applications are available at the Institute, Room 1512, Rackham Building; by phone, 936-3518; or via e-mail to