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Published October 19, 2021

This fall, Virginia Humanities is launching a new fellowship open to Black, Indigenous, and other scholars of Color (BIPOC) affiliated with Virginia’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). These fellowships, made possible through a grant from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, will provide up to nine months of funding for scholars interested in the humanities and human-related social sciences. During their fellowship, fellows are freed from teaching and service activities common in modern-day academia and able to fully pursue projects that often go underfunded despite their immense historical and cultural significance.

“It is exciting to be a part of something that will undoubtedly enrich the way we understand history and interpret modern inequities,” says Yahusef Medina, Virginia Humanities’ associate director of Community Initiatives who is coordinating the Virginia HBCU fellowships.

To prioritize health and safety, fellows are not required to relocate to either the Virginia Humanities office in Charlottesville or to the Library of Virginia in Richmond as was the case with previous Virginia Humanities fellowships. The non-residential opportunity also strives to mitigate the inequities many BIPOC scholars face in their efforts to conduct research while balancing the demands of higher education, related service, and family obligations.

Fellows will be offered ample opportunities to network and collaborate with other fellows through typical scholarly activities like sharing their research with others in their cohorts and participating in virtual “Meet the Fellows” public discussions where members of the community have an opportunity to hear about the research topics. Fellows’ work will also be featured on With Good Reason—Virginia Humanities’ public radio show and podcast—and fellows will have the option of publishing content in Virginia Humanities’ Encyclopedia Virginia.

To be eligible for the fellowship, applicants must be either a current doctoral student, alumni, or a current member of the faculty at one of Virginia’s HBCUs. Predoctoral, postdoctoral, and both tenured and nontenured academic faculty members are all invited to apply. Research topics must be based either in the humanities or the human-centered social sciences.

Applications are now open. The deadline to apply is Friday, January 7, 2022. Fellowships will be announced in February, 2022 with the fellowships starting as early as the summer semester of 2022.  

To learn more or apply for a Virginia HBCU Fellowship, visit VirginiaHumanities.org/Fellowships

About Virginia Humanities

Virginia Humanities is the state humanities council. We’re headquartered in Charlottesville at the University of Virginia, but we serve the entire state. We aim to share the stories of all Virginians—or, better yet, find ways for people to share their own stories. We want Virginians to connect with their history and culture and, in doing that, we hope we’ll all get to know each other a little better. Founded in 1974, we are one of fifty-six humanities councils created by Congress with money and support from the National Endowment for the Humanities to make the humanities available to all Americans. To learn more, visit VirginiaHumanities.org.

Vanessa Adkins, right, is apprenticing under her cousin Jessica Canaday Stewart learning the finer points of traditional Chickahominy dancing. Photos taken at the Fall Festival and Pow Wow in Charles City on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012.

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