Published March 28, 2022

Virginia Humanities’ Flagship Fellowship Program Reemerges as Public Humanities Fellowship Program

Charlottesville, Virginia—After a brief hiatus, Virginia Humanities’ flagship fellowship program reemerges with a post-COVID refresh. We’re embracing increased virtual connectivity and the explosion of online platforms, and we’re pleased to introduce our new Public Humanities Fellowship. This program is an exciting opportunity for those engaged in the humanities and passionate about reaching diverse audiences. Public Humanities Fellows might be authors, community historians, artists, or scholars affiliated or unaffiliated with a college or university. Projects might include a podcast series, book, exhibit, or journal article. Residency at Virginia Humanities’ office in Charlottesville or the Library of Virginia in Richmond is optional, and stipend awards are now fixed. We believe these changes will make this opportunity available to more applicants and further our mission of spreading meaningful research, cultural experiences, and human stories to Virginians across our commonwealth.

“We are immensely proud of our Fellowship program, and we are thrilled with our fellows and the excellent works they’ve created,” says Matthew Gibson, executive director of Virginia Humanities. “We look forward to building on that strong foundation as we make use of new platforms and technologies to engage more Virginians than ever before.”

Virginia Humanities has awarded more than 400 fellowships since its founding in 1974. Fellows were known as “Residential Fellows” for much of the program’s history because they were expected to take offices and work onsite at either Virginia Humanities’ headquarters in Charlottesville or the Library of Virginia in Richmond.

After March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic ended the Residential Fellowship as we knew it. The 2019-2020 fellows left their offices, returning to a hybrid environment during the 2020-2021 academic year. These fellows sometimes worked onsite at the Library of Virginia but primarily interacted with audiences through virtual platforms. Their webinars and online discussions were an instant hit. Staff took a brief hiatus to understand how that success might affect the future of Virginia Humanities’ Fellowship program.

Now, our Public Humanities Fellowship takes full advantage of recent technological improvements, allowing greater flexibility in project deliverables and increased fluidity in the residency requirement. We have also streamlined the application process, most notably by removing the need for budget information and requirements. Granting each fellow a fixed stipend helps simplify the application so both applicants and reviewers can focus solely on project quality.

The Public Humanities Fellowship runs in tandem with two other new fellowships: our K-12 Fellowship and our HBCU Fellowship. The K-12 Fellowship supports Virginia’s educators and the HBCU Fellowship supports scholars affiliated with Virginia’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

For more information about the Public Humanities opportunity, 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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