American Communities Program

Welcome!  We are happy to announce the call for proposals for our 2017-18 research theme: 

The American Communities Program, 2017-18
Call for Fellowship Proposals


Deadline: Friday, March 17, 2017 5pm. Submission guidelines are at the end of the announcement.

Civility often is taken for granted as necessary to community building and social formation, or lamented as a lost good.  However, few examinations of what constitutes civility and its embodied and discursive enactments exist.  This year’s theme invites humanities-based analyses of the uses, pitfalls, forms, and structures of civility as a cultural practice in the past, present, and future.

Tenured and tenure-track faculty at CSULA are invited to submit proposals for two different fellowship programs: 1) ACP Working Group Fellowships (working groups may include graduate or advanced undergraduate students) and 2) ACP Individual Fellowships. While individuals may apply for both, only one fellowship may be accepted.

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

  • In what specific ways can the theme be theorized? How has civility been defined and deployed and to what ends? Is civility a viable and legitimate enterprise? What are its benefits and limits?
  • What practices of engagement beyond civility are possible and what might they yield?
  • How does critical study of civility allow us to rethink community, what it signifies, and how it can be brought into being? How might it enable us to rethink alliances and the processes by which they are forged?
  • What can the specific modes of inquiry grounding the humanities as a specific mode of inquiry infuse into practices and theories of civility, and what can studies of civility offer the humanities?
  • Etymologically, “civility” initially referred to citizenship and civil order before acquiring connotations of politeness, courtesy, and secularity. How do the various meanings of civility and incivility inform analyses of cultural and national boundary-making, colonialism, and/or structures of value?
  • What are the intersections between civility and democratic ethics? Between civility, discipline, violence, and/or dissent?
  • Civility assumes that societies or cultural formations are rational and functional. What happens to our theories of civility and communalism if we foreground the irrational?
  • What material and epistemological conditions hinder and/or promote civility and its efficacy?
  • How is civility inflected by issues of race, class, gender, and/or sexuality?
  • Is there an affect of civility? How does it function?
  • How might individuals or communities respond to the absence of civility?
  • What role might the University play in fostering or exemplifying civility?
  • What intersections between scholarly knowledge, cultural performance, pedagogical innovation, and/or civic engagement do new theorizations of civility make visible? 


NEW PROGRAM: Interdisciplinary Working Group Fellowships

The ACP seeks to strengthen the humanities by bringing together colleagues and students 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/ creative/civic engagement 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. A faculty member must be the primary organizer, but working groups may include graduate or advanced undergraduate students. 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, additional 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 and students engaged in advanced work.
  • 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 May 10 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, may be awarded to 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 are expected to attend the 2017 ACP Symposium on April 17, 2017 and must present their research at the ACP's Spring 2018 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

The submission deadline for the 2017-18 fellowships is 5pm, Friday, March 17, 2017.





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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