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Graduate Student Public Humanities Fellowships

A joint initiative between the Humanities Center and the Central New York Humanities Corridor, these fellowships are supported in partnership with Humanities New York (formerly known as the New York Council for the Humanities) to: encourage emerging humanities scholars to conceive of their work in relation to the public sphere; develop skills for doing public work; and strengthen the public humanities community in New York State. The year-long fellowship involves training in public scholarship methods and work by the fellows to explore the public dimensions of their scholarship in partnership with a community organization.

Applicants must be enrolled as graduate students in a humanities discipline, broadly defined, at: CUNY Graduate Center, Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Stony Brook, the University of Rochester, SUNY Binghamton, or Syracuse University. The call for applications typically opens in late fall. When the competition opens, the application URL and Syracuse University information sheet can be found on our forms page.

CamillaBell

Camilla Bell Ph.D. Student in Cultural Foundations of Education.

Project Title: Freedom School: Education for Liberation

Project Abstract: Audre Lorde once proclaimed, “The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.” In fact, my project aims to do just that—incite liberatory learning processes for youth of color. In partnership with the Community Folk Art Center, a unit of the Department of African American Studies, College of Arts & Sciences at Syracuse University, Dr. Kal Alston and Dr. Mario Rios Perez, I plan to develop a two-week long Freedom School during the summer of 2019. During the Civil Rights Movement, the mission of Freedom Schools was to facilitate the politicization and critical consciousness of young people navigating unjust and inequitable living and learning conditions. Establishing a Freedom School geared towards youth of color within the Syracuse City School District will work to disrupt the unjust and inequitable living and learning conditions historically marginalized youth are still subjected to. This two-week long Freedom School will include workshops and field trips focused on writing, the arts, sociocultural exhibits, and ongoing engagement across difference. The objective is to carve out a space for youth of color to sharpen their critical literacies as well as obtain the tools needed to serve as agents of change within their own communities. Freedom School: Education for Liberation will ignite what is often snuffed out across classroom spaces—passion for living and a love for learning.

GemmaCooper-Novack

Gemma Cooper-Novack Ph.D. Student in Literacy Education.

Project Title: Collective Writing with Refugee and Immigrant Youth

Project Abstract: In this public scholarship project, I propose to create, coordinate, and teach a year-long out-of-school-time (OST) program in which a self-selected group of teenagers participating in activities at a community learning center for refugees collaborate to conceive, create, edit, and publish a collectively-written novel. Based on the work of Rodesiler & Kelley (2017), in the context of the critical race composite counterstory work of Solorzáno & Yosso (2002) and Martinez (2014), this project both reframes the notion of narrative as individually created, generated, and focused and strengthens the voices, writing skills, and storytelling and advocacy skills of ENL refugee students in Syracuse. Through this work, we will develop deeper connections with the youth literary community in Syracuse, culminating in a Youth Book Festival for programs in the city in 2019.

HughBurnam

Hugh Burnam PhD candidate, Cultural Foundations of Education.

Project Title: The Haudenosaunee Thought Project

Project Abstract: Syracuse University and the Skä·noñh—Great Law of Peace Center sit on top of traditional Onondaga Nation land in Central New York. Both institutions are committed to education, diversity, and inclusivity in public and private spheres. They understand and acknowledge the Onondaga Nation as first peoples to Central New York since time immemorial and are committed to working in collaboration with the Onondaga Nation. However, institutional, structural, and cultural barriers challenge and impede meaningful collaboration between these three entities.  Burnam's project brings these communities together to create significant meaningful and impactful relationships between these three entities, to give voice to Indigenous peoples’, to create spaces of conversations across differences, and provoke transformational dialogue for all communities engaged in this public education.

Hugh Burnam (Mohawk Nation, wolf clan) is a Ph.D. candidate in Cultural Foundations of Education at Syracuse University (M.A., Adult Education, Buffalo State College, 2011; B.S., Individualized Ethnic and Minority Studies, 2010). His research interests include social justice in education, community engagement efforts, language revitalization, environmental advocacy, and Indigenous genders.  Hugh’s dissertation explores Indigenous student experiences in higher education, nation-building, and Indigenous masculinities.  As a Public Humanities Fellow, Hugh proposes a project called The Haudenosaunee Thought Project, which will generate critical intergroup and intragroup conversations about Indigenous identities within Haudenosaunee and neighboring communities.

MatthewStewart

Matthew Stewart PhD candidate, History.

Project Title: Syracuse Places

Project Abstract: Stewart's work gathers local leaders to prepare experiential presentations that promise explorations of the places that they love with the people of Syracuse. These leaders will guide groups on walking tours and discussions in places shaped by four themes: what the place has meant to others in the past, what it means to people in the present, how the place might be best shared with the whole city, and then how the place might be protected ecologically for the enjoyment of future inhabitants. Using place as a starting point can bring fresh insight and imagination into not only the ecological issues that affect us all but also into new understandings of citizenship and community. Reflection on place also offers opportunities for imagining ways to bridge the social divisions—race and class, among others—that have plagued Syracuse in the past and continue to do so today.

Matt Stewart is a Ph.D. Candidate in the History Department and Graduate Intern for the Grants Development Office in the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. His dissertation uses the career of the writer Wallace Stegner to examine the intellectual history of the American West in the latter half of the twentieth century. He is active in the public humanities. He has served as a judge for the Central New York History Day and New York History Day competitions for several years, and has also been a scholar-facilitator for a Humanities New York Reading and Discussion Group in Marcellus, New York.  He also serves as scholar-facilitator for the Idaho Humanities Council’s Summer Teacher Institute (Summer 2017), “Wallace Stegner and the Consciousness of Place.”

JesseQuinn

Jesse Quinn Ph.D. candidate in Geography, specializing in political geography and political ecology.

    Public humanities project title: Precious Earth: Stories of Mining and Political Change in the Adirondack Mountains

    Project abstract: Quinn's research investigates large industrial mining projects the adirondacks. He spent five years producing wildlife documentaries for National Geographic Television before returning to graduate school, and he plans to continue using these skills in this public humanities documentary

    Kishauna E.Soljour

    Kishauna E. Soljour Ph.D. candidate in History, specializing in the modern African Diaspora and transnational history.

      Public humanities project title: The Road to Independence: Somali-Bantu Refugee immigration to Syracuse

      Project abstract: Soljour's research interests include the use of multi-media in social justice efforts, public policy, immigration, racial identity, gender and citizenship. Her public humanities project will develop 3 short films exploring refugee experiences in the local area.

      PaulArras

      Paul Arras Ph.D. Candidate.

      Paul Arras is a Ph.D. candidate in American cultural history at Syracuse University. He researches community fragmentation in late 20thcentury America – the decline of civic participation, the culture wars, and other problems and barriers impeding social interaction. His dissertation, The Lonely Nineties: Visions of Community on Television from the End of the Cold War to 9/11, examines how television grappled with fragmentation, reimagining traditional community structures and values to produce new visions of social interaction. During the Fellowship, Paul will be working with the Near Westside Initiative in Syracuse to develop a public history project for the neighborhood.
      ScarlettRebman

      Scarlett Rebman Ph.D. student.

      Scarlett Rebman is a Ph.D. student in the history department at Syracuse University where she is specializing in modern American social and political history. She received her bachelor’s degree in history and education from Ohio Wesleyan University. Her research interests include the history of social movements; federal anti-poverty and civil rights policies; and the construction of race, gender, and citizenship. Her dissertation explores the intersection of grassroots activism and federal policies in Syracuse, New York between 1935 and 1970. With the Public Humanities Fellowship, she plans to design a curriculum on Syracuse civil rights history for high school students.
      Thomas Guiler

      Thomas  Guiler Ph.D. Candidate, Maxwell.

        Thomas A. Guiler is a Ph.D. candidate in American social and cultural history in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. In particular, he studies intentional communities and communal groups, with special emphasis on the intersections among their ideals, economic production and culture. His dissertation will examine communities in the Arts and Crafts movement—Byrdcliffe, Roycroft, Craftsman Farms and Rose Valley—as unique transitional communities that marketed community, the simple life, handcraftsmanship, art and architecture as powerful forms of “progressive purchasing” to transform the harsh inequalities of modern industrial capitalism. Guiler plans to install a renewed public history program at Byrdcliffe in Woodstock, N.Y.
        JasonLuther

        Jason Luther Ph.D. Candidate, Cultural Composition and Rhetoric.

        Jason Luther is completing a dissertation in cultural composition and rhetoric in the College of Arts and Sciences. As a former writing center director and longtime self-publisher, Luther is interested in what multimodal, self-sponsored composing spaces can teach about identities, counter/publics, processes and pedagogies. He's currently working toward a dissertation that surveys the process and performances of 21st-century zine authors. Luther blogs at http://taxomania.org. With the Public Humanities Fellowship, he will work toward the creation of a city-wide self-publishing festival in Syracuse.
        BenjaminKuebrich

        Benjamin Kuebrich Ph.D. Candidate, Composition and Culural Rhetoric.

          Kiebrich is interested in the ways that stories can clarify, illustrate, and help solve community problems and bring people together for collaborative action.  For more than two years, he worked with community residents in Syracuse’s Westside and edited a book called I Witness: Perspective on Policing in the Near Westside that engages with issues of policing in the neighbourhood.  Future plans include continuing to fostering a culture of writing in Westside Syracuse by facilitating memoir writing workshops with community residents.