The Center for Humanities & the Arts invites all Assistant, Associate, and Professors working in the humanities and the arts on the Boulder campus to apply for the CHA Faculty Fellowship during the  academic year. Fellowships consist of a two-course teaching reduction. The selection committee will consider the intellectual merit of the project, its connection to the arts and humanities, the overall excellence of the applicant’s academic record, and the timeliness of the project in the applicant’s career.

Congratulations to the 20-21 CHA Faculty Fellows!

Aun Ali (Religious Studies) Why Hadith Matter: The Evidentiary Value of Hadith in Shii Law (7th/13th to 11th/17th Centuries) is the first systematic study of Shii Muslim jurists’ engagement with the question of the evidentiary value of hadith and how this engagement led to the rise of historicism, a complete overhaul of classical literary theory, and ultimately to the view that knowledge of the sharia is no longer possible. The project covers the most significant Shii Muslim jurists of Iraq, Syria, and Iran from the 13th to the 17th centuries. The story of Shii Muslim jurists’ engagement with the question of the evidentiary value of hadith is the story of the formation of Shiism as an independent school of Islamic law. And given the centrality of law to premodern Muslim identities, it is no exaggeration to say that this is the story of the formation of Shiism itself.

Thomas Andrews (History) Sickness and Power: The Great North American Epizootic Flu of 1872 tells the story of a continental-scale eruption of influenza whose causes, course, and consequences anticipated and contributed to the resurgence in recent decades of zoonotic diseases including H1N1 flu, AIDS, Zika, dengue, and Ebola. Between September 1872 and August 1873, more than 90% of North America's horses, donkeys, and mules fell ill with a complaint that physicians, veterinary surgeons, and practical animal workers diagnosed as “influenza.” The result was a watershed in disease history: a progenitor of the viral forms that caused the 1918 pandemic that killed 50-100 million people and a harbinger of H1N1 flu, AIDS, Zika, and other 20th- and 21st-century maladies born of evolving ecological relations between people, animals, pathogens.

Cheryl Higashida (English) Social Movements and Sound Media in the Twentieth Century demonstrates for the first time that technologies of sound and hearing were central to, and in turn remade by, the founding, growth, and circulation of major social movements in the electrophonic age of telephone, phonograph, and radio.  While the music and speeches of movements have been richly studied, their means of transmission and reproduction are unevenly noted if not ignored.  Through a comparative and relational study of the Industrial Workers of the World, Garveyism, “classical” civil rights, and Black, Red, and Yellow Power, I show how sound media emerge within, reflect, and challenge racial capitalism, colonialism, and patriarchy.  I further excavate the cultural politics, literature, and theory of media produced by people of color, women, working people, and youth who consumed, appropriated, and engineered audio and aural technologies in their struggles for social justice and liberation.

Javier Krauel (Spanish & Portuguese) Sentimental Publics: Struggles for Freedom and Equality in Modern Spain (1812-2017) is a book-length study that examines the ongoing emotional transformation of the public sphere and reveals its long history, one that has been embedded in a variety of technologies reaching back to the early nineteenth century. Combining the methods of literary studies, historical studies, and media studies, Sentimental Publics seeks to understand how subordinated groups have expressed their political aspirations through particular emotional styles, and in venues that have developed in parallel to the official public sphere. My book dislodges the current sense that “gut politics” (Brexit, Catalan secessionism, populist movements on the left and right) are a contemporary phenomenon fueled by images and fake news circulating on social media and shows instead that the explicit mobilization of emotions in social-political discussions was prevalent among socially subordinated groups in Spain from the early nineteenth century to the present. These groups’ speech, imagery, and writing mobilized powerful emotions through different types of media—oral, visual, print, and digital.  Sentimental Publics highlights the critical role these technologies have played in the public expression of emotion and offers the first history of these alternative, emotional political cultures in the Iberian Peninsula. Deferred to the following academic year due to COVID-19

Rahul Parson (Asian Languages & Civilizations) Confluences at the End of the Ganges: Modernity, Migration and Hindi Literature in Kolkata engages with two recent decades of Hindi novels (1994 - 2014), focusing on three Kolkata-based women writers: Alka Saraogi (b. 1960), Prabha Khetan (1942-2008), and Madhu Kankaria (b. 1957). This book investigates for the first time the migrant urban imaginaries of a wider Kolkata, the alterity of deterritorialization, and the ‘structure of feeling’ across a body of cultural texts that confront India’s post-1991 realities. Kolkata’s English, Bengali, Urdu and Hindi literary traditions provide an opportunity for a comparative literary approach within one urban space. This project situates Hindi within this multi-lingual local and makes broad use of historical, archival, ethnographic, and literary material in order to make visible the new political and cultural coordinates of India after the destruction of the Babri Mosque, after the Cold War, after Nehruvian economics, at the end of the Ganges. The book accomplishes three main things: 1) it fills in the Bengal portion of the map of Hindi studies, correcting the prevailing cultural image of Bengal as exclusively defined by the Bengali and English Literatures; 2) it inaugurates earnest research on the literatures of displaced and migrant peoples in South Asia; and, 3) it uses cultural texts to explore the articulations of life-worlds of women and outsiders in the era of globalization.

Lauren Stone (German & Slavic Languages and Literatures) Stone’s book manuscript, The Small Worlds of Childhood in Stifter, Rilke, and Benjamin, seeks to overturn a longstanding view that narratives of childhood are primarily meditations on the formation of human subjectivity, memory, or social-political agency. With a focus on nineteenth-century German-language literature, this project demonstrates how depictions of ordinary children at home can also be read as philosophical thought experiments that pertain to epistemology, phenomenology, and metaphysics. By drawing connections between depictions of bourgeois childhood and key moments in the history of philosophy, this manuscript endeavors to shifts our understanding of the child figure: that is, to recognize her as an exemplary philosophical subject, whose value extends well beyond the social history of the family and youth. Deferred to the following academic year due to COVID-19

Stephanie Su (Art & Art History) Su’s book manuscript, titled Entangled Modernities: Constructing East Asian Classicism in Early Twentieth Century Chinese and Japanese Art, examines how ancient China was reimagined in the early twentieth century as an idealized cultural entity that accommodated various discourses on East Asian traditions and aesthetics in China and Japan. Scholars usually call this body of work “history painting” and interpret its meanings along core narratives of nationalism in respective countries. In contrast, my book challenges the national frameworks of past scholarship by reexamining the significance of these works in cross-cultural contexts. By doing so, it sheds new light on how regional identity and historical connections across East Asia led to the formation of modern nations and arts.

Levi Thompson (Asian Languages & Civilizations) Thompson’s monograph, Re-Orienting Modernism: Mapping A Modernist Geography Across Arabic And Persian Poetry, intervenes in current scholarly discourse about the globalization of modernist studies by comparatively reading modernist Arabic and Persian poetry within a Cold War context as a significant geography within global modernism. The book takes up parallel changes in form, imagery, and thematic pursuits in the poetry of the Arab world and Iran to call for modernist studies to shift its focus from West-East relations of influence to the lateral, East-East interactions of minor modernist traditions. The project thus considers the intercultural exchanges that did and do occur between languages like Arabic and Persian as central and productive sites for comparatively understanding the literatures of both traditions.

Complete items 1-5 below. Send items 1-4 as one .pdf file to Sharon Van Boven

  1. Cover Letter (no more than 1 page)
  2. Fellowship proposal, no more than four pages (double spaced in 12-point font) written free of jargon - remember, your application will be read by a committee of your faculty peers across the spectrum of arts and humanities departments. Strong proposals often tell a story about your scholarship/artistic work, so in writing your statement, keep in mind the following:

         Significance: Demonstrate the potential impact of your work.
         Project Design: Does your project address all relevant issues in a form that offers a coherent engagement with your research topic?
         Feasibility: Can you demonstrate that you will be able to make significant progress during your fellowship towards the timely completion of your scholarly project?
         Qualifications: What past work has led you to take up this specific project at this point in your career?

     3. One page outline (12 point font) of the structure of your project—this can include chapter descriptions. NOTE: if the applicant is an artist, you can upload artistic images or a sound file or website as an example of your project
     4. Curriculum Vitae of no more than four pages
     5. Two letters of support. One from the department Chair (a brief paragraph stating support of the project, its timing, and noting approval of the two-course release) and one from a scholar in your field (preferably external). These should be emailed separately to

Deadline: 5pm Thursday, October 1, 2020

Addendum: We have changed our fellowship application to more closely reflect external applications of the National Humanities Center (NHC): and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS):

We hope you will consider applying to these external fellowships as well.

We have also included sample fellowship proposals of scholars who have successfully received an NHC and/or ACLS fellowship as well as sample proposals from UNC Chapel Hill’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities faculty fellowship program (which is nearly identical to the CHA’s) in the hopes that this will aid prospective faculty candidates in writing their applications. Please note that these are examples and not absolute indicators of what all successful applications should look like. There is no magical formula for a successful application. And although these examples are not first book projects, we encourage junior faculty to apply for revision of their dissertations or to work on first monographs.

Finally, please know that this is a very competitive process. We will receive many more applications than we have spots for, and the quality of the applications are invariably all very strong and worthy of being given a fellowship. It is not uncommon for any competitive fellowship to have many disappointed applicants and for faculty to apply four (or more) times before they receive a fellowship. The strongest proposals will address the criteria above and will also explain why it is necessary for faculty to receive a two course release from teaching to make significant progress on their project.

By May 31, faculty fellows must submit a final report on research completed and plans for publication. During the academic year, Fellows will be invited to CHA-sponsored events. 

Note: CHA follows Faculty Affairs guidelines for sabbaticals: A faculty member who was previously awarded a CHA Faculty Fellowship shall become eligible after six years of the award (i.e., in the seventh year).