Humanities Labs - Course Development Grants

Call for Proposals 2018-2019

Many Humanities faculty have already imported to the humanistic disciplines the observation, hands-on experimentation, and skill-building perspectives that the general public tends to associate with the natural sciences laboratory approach.  Through the Humanities Labs program, we now seek to popularize these rewarding practices more broadly across our disciplines, and to draw attention to their use. Humanities Labs encourage us to move beyond the classroom and embrace the world as an ideal learning space.  Museums and archives expand that learning space and offer new experiences, while our community or region can become a “classroom without walls.”

The lab definition is flexible enough to incorporate a variety of contexts and approaches. Labs must move beyond the traditional classroom experience typically associated with the humanities to involve some combination of experimentation, observation, hands-on learning, creating new knowledge, public dissemination of that knowledge, and creative production.

Labs are sometimes divided into the following groups:

  1. Object-centered: e.g. learning enriched by Museum collections
  2. Archive-based: e.g. guided research in the Library’s special collections
  3. Service Learning: e.g. teaching Philosophy/Arts to children
  4. Fieldwork: e.g. on-site History of Native Americans in Maine/N.E.
  5. Arts-Centric: e.g. mounting a production in faculty-directed plays, performing in faculty-conducted concerts, or curating a faculty-initiated exhibition

Proposals are invited from all departments and programs in the Humanities, and other humanistic disciplines broadly defined. Courses must be taught in the 2018-19 academic year.

Applicants should submit a proposal that includes:

  • your name and departmental/programmatic affiliation
  • proposed title and level of the course
  • a description of what makes the course a lab
  • (if the course is not completely new) a detailed description of how substantively it will be changed
  • the term in 2018-19 in which the course will be offered
  • goals and objectives of the course
  • a preliminary list of works or texts
  • a list of outside contacts or potential fieldtrips, if appropriate
  • a statement of support from the Museum, Library, or other body, if appropriate

The deadline for application is May 30, 2017. Decisions will be made by June 15, 2017.  Applications will be reviewed and voted on by the Center’s Advisory Committee. Please email applications, and any questions, to Pat McGuinn.