We invite curious people with expertise across disciplines, practices, and modalities within the humanities to apply for a 2024-2025 Watershed Fellowship with the Public Humanities Collaboratory. The Public Humanities Collaboratory convenes scholars, creatives, cultural practitioners, and nonprofit and community leaders to engage in collective inquiry with the aim of discovering new approaches to enduring or emerging challenges.
Four fellows will be selected to participate in the one-year Collaboratory experience that involves two components:
1) A series of facilitated interdisciplinary discussions intended to explore thematic issues from diverse perspectives, build connections through active listening and reflection, and inspire new trajectories of thought, work, and purpose. Fellows will be in conversation with activists, scientists, and artists working to create or revive the knowledge and perspectives that can guide us through this critical time of social and ecological crisis.
2) Development of a public humanities project relevant to the Collaboratory theme that enables the public or a community to see connections, understand challenges, or invent opportunities.
For 2024–2025 Watershed Fellowships, we welcome applications from philosophers, writers, historians, activists, teachers, storytellers, theologians, and community leaders whose work engages human connections with water.
Water flows around and through us, connecting us to land, people, other life forms, histories, and futures. Whether we fish nearby riffles for dinner, irrigate thirsty crops, or birdwatch at the local reservoir, our watersheds deeply influence our values and shape our lives. Watersheds both sustain us and are part of who we are as humans. Yet, from the intensifying effects of the climate emergency to degradation from development and polluting industries, the watersheds we rely on are changing in unpredictable and unprecedented ways. Faced with these urgent threats to our ecosystems, livelihoods, traditions, and wellbeing, we are called on to reimagine our relationships with water.
During this one-year fellowship, we invite you to harness the reality-shifting, imaginative power of the humanities to explore a central question: What ideas, ethics, wisdoms, stories, and efforts might help us build more mindful and just relationships with our watersheds?
For the full year, fellows will engage in research and projects beyond the channeled banks of expertise to find places of confluence with others in a larger thinking community. We are committed to fostering dialogue across disciplines and will facilitate opportunities for fellows to connect with each other's work and ideas.
These fellowships are open to scholars, researchers, writers, and community or nonprofit leaders whose work is grounded in the humanities. That is, we welcome applications from those who employ interpretive, discursive, and creative methods to approach questions and issues involving the human experience and human impacts. This includes those working in traditional humanities disciplines (philosophy & ethics, history, religious studies, writing, etc.) and beyond.
Those with interest or experience in collaborative interdisciplinary work and the public humanities are encouraged to apply. Applicants from historically under-represented groups are encouraged to apply. Applicants from the Pacific Northwest are also encouraged to apply—we are especially interested in supporting public humanities projects that focus on Oregon or the PNW and that converge with issues of environmental or ecological justice.
The review committee will select four fellows with diverse and complementary perspectives and methods of approach. Each fellow will receive:
Applications are due January 8, 2024 via Submittable. All applications will be evaluated by a diverse review committee composed of scholars and cultural practitioners working in relevant fields. Applicants will be notified of status by January 26, 2024. Apply here.
The Public Humanities Collaboratory Watershed Fellowships are supported by an alliance of organizations at Oregon State University: The Center for the Humanities, the Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts (PRAx), and the Spring Creek Project.