American Communities Program

Welcome!  We are happy to announce the call for proposals for our 2016-17 research theme: 


Applications Due: Friday, April 29, 2016

What are the unique powers of the humanities? What does humanistic inquiry require and what does it manifest? 

Tenured and tenure-track faculty at CSULA are invited to submit proposals for two different fellowship programs:

1) A NEW PROGRAM: ACP Working Group Fellowships and

2) ACP Individual Fellowships.

While individuals may apply for both, only one fellowship may be accepted.

Projects may take the form of meta-level articulations of the stakes and state of the humanities as a field of intellectual practice, or may propose specific research projects that illustrate the power of humanistic inquiry in American cultures and communities. 

This year’s theme asks questions including, but not limited to, the following:

  • What are the specific explanatory powers of the humanities?  What questions are they uniquely capable of posing?  What knowledges, narratives, and actions can they bring about?
  • In what specific ways can the theme be theorized? What are the stakes of the humanities, or of a particular line of inquiry within them, in all senses of the word? How and to what effects are the humanities a ballast, a support, a marker of borders, a risk, a reward, and/or an interest in a shared undertaking?
  • Where is the cutting edge for humanistic study today?  What pressing issues, current and historical, demand the attention of the humanities in studying American cultures and communities?
  • How are humanities-based forms of knowledge production similar to and/or different from other forms of knowing and doing? To what effects?
  • What structures – networks of information and knowledge, linguistic and communicative practices, social forces, patterns of production and consumption, and so forth – do the humanities bring into being?
  • What conditions, both material and epistemological, hinder and/or promote humanities-based inquiry and to what effects?
  • What alternative conceptualizations of community do inquiries in the humanities manifest?
  • How can work in the humanities promote a rethinking of the work of the University?
  • What intersections between scholarly knowledge, cultural performance, pedagogical innovation, and/or civic engagement do the humanities enable? 


NEW PROGRAM: Interdisciplinary Working Group Fellowships

The ACP seeks to strengthen the humanities by bringing together colleagues from across campus for discussion of and critical reflection on important issues in public and intellectual life. These fellowships seek to nurture and inspire our scholarly, pedagogical, and creative activities in the humanities through the exploration of shared interests, themes, methodologies, and/or projects. To this end, the ACP is instituting a new program in which fellowships up to $250 will be awarded to fund informal, interdisciplinary working groups in the humanities. Money may be used to support a reading/writing group; to fund working lunches, workshops, meetings, or off-campus fieldtrips; or to pay for other relevant expenses. If your working group is especially fruitful and leads to further plans and projects, future funding may be available.

To apply: Send a letter of interest explaining 1) the theme of your working group and a description of the issues and questions involved, 2) the name of the primary organizer of the group and a list of members and their affiliations, and 3) a description of the kinds of activities you expect your group to undertake with a list of itemized anticipated costs.

Working Group Requirements:

  • Groups must meet at least three times during the academic year.
  • Funds must be spent on joint activities. This program is meant to support collegial activities of faculty members.
  • Funds must be spent and receipts submitted by May 1 of the academic year awarded.
  • The working group organizer is responsible for the management of these funds.
  • By June 15 of the year awarded, the organizer will submit a report of the group’s activities to the director of the ACP.

Individual Fellowships

Up to three fellowships will be awarded. Preference will be given to proposals that best demonstrate a nuanced engagement with and interrogation of the theme in innovative and meaningful ways. One of the three fellowships, the Bailey Fellowship, is for an original project that applies this year's research theme to African American communities and/or individuals and preferably involves archival materials.

The program welcomes proposals from the arts that can be presented in a lecture/recital. All proposals, however, must include a research or analytical component based in the humanities. Each fellowship awards 3 units of release time and a $500 stipend for a student assistant or other project-related expenses.

Application materials consist of a two-page curriculum vitae, a 500-word research proposal, and a projected budget for research-related expenditures (up to $500). Proposals should explain the relevance of the proposed project to this year's research theme and the originality and significance of the research. Fellows must present their research at the ACP's Spring 2017 symposium.

Application Materials

Please submit an electronic copy of your application to
Dr. Maria Karafilis
Joseph A. Bailey II, M.D. Endowed Chair of American Communities
Director, CSULA/NEH American Communities Program
Dean’s Office, College of Arts and Letters
MUS 228

The submission deadline for the 2016-2017 fellowships is 5pm, Friday, April 29, 2016. Contact Dr. Maria Karafilis with any questions (







Contact Information:
Integrated Humanities Center
King Hall D4050

Dr. Maria Karafilis
Director, American Communities Program
Joseph A. Bailey II, M.D. Endowed Chair of American Communities

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