The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been awarded a $5 million grant renewal from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its Humanities Without Walls (HWW) initiative at the Humanities Research Institute (HRI).

As part of the consortium, the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities has been awarded $280K of the award for a career diversity workshop for graduate students, to be held in summer 2022. The institute also received $20K to promote research collaborations across consortium universities.

Now a 16-member consortium of universities, HWW fosters collaborative research and explores the contributions of humanities in the workplace. The initiative is based at HRI at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The five-year grant renewal includes the addition of Marquette University to the consortium and a number of initiatives guided by the core values of reciprocity and redistribution. “Embedding reciprocal structures and practices in diverse and inclusive intellectual projects is key to the long-range transformations of academic culture in the humanities to which HWW aspires,” said HRI director and HWW principal investigator Antoinette Burton.

“This means modeling best practices of diversity and equity through collaboration and interdisciplinarity not just at scale, but by design — purpose-built to address contemporary challenges not only with knowledge, but with methods aimed at changing how we think about and do the work in the world for which humanists are urgently needed.”

The renewed grant provides increased funding to research teams and supports the continuation of summer workshops for pre-doctoral humanities students that began in 2015. Since its inception, HWW has awarded 39 unique research grants to teams in the consortium and graduated more than 140 students from the annual career diversity workshop.