The Institute for the Humanities invites proposals from undergraduate students for interest groups on humanities-related topics. Have you and your friends been inspired by a discussion in one of your courses about a period in history, a philosophical tradition, a particular theorist, an artist’s political stance, a cultural phenomenon, or a particular way of reading a novel? Have you found yourselves continuing the discussion outside of class? Do you know other students with similar interests who want to gather regularly to discuss ideas and readings? The Institute for the Humanities will provide a space, snacks, and support for a group based around your interests.

This pilot project draws on the structure of the Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshops (sponsored by Rackham Graduate School), through which graduate students from different disciplines discuss topics of shared interest. This program aims to provide a similar space for interdisciplinary discussion, but with undergraduate students’ particular concerns and goals in mind. The topic of the group’s discussion may or may not relate to your major or minor, or to your plans after graduation. These are not pre-professional groups; rather, this is an opportunity to take advantage of the amazing intellectual community of a university like Michigan makes possible.

As with the Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshops, these undergraduate interest groups should be self-organized by student members and maintain a core membership through the academic year. To be considered active, a group should meet (in the institute’s common room) at least once a month through the academic year. Funding will be provided for one year, though groups may apply to continue the group into the following year.

To have your group considered for this program, we ask that you submit the following:

  • a title for your group (e.g. “Occupy Derrida,” or “The Seventeenth-century Collective”)
  • the primary contact for the group; i.e. the student who will serve as coordinator
  • 500 words describing the idea for the group. What is the topic you’re interested in?
  • a budget (if the group is considering inviting any outside speakers or hosting events)

The support for these groups will consist primarily of funding for snacks and supplies (for example readings) for the group’s meetings, as well as a stipend of $250 for the year for the group’s primary undergraduate student coordinator. Other funding requests, such as invited speakers or public events, will be reviewed by the institute on a case-by-case basis.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis beginning August 11th, 2014.

Submit a proposal.