Public Humanities Fellowships

Spring/Summer 2022

Established in 1976, the Calgary Institute for the Humanities (CIH) fosters advanced study and research in a broad range of subject areas. We are multi-disciplinary and multi-faculty orientated. We support research in traditional Humanities disciplines such as languages and literature, history, religious studies, philosophy, as well as in philosophical and historical aspects of the social sciences, arts, sciences, and professional studies. The humanities are not conceived as a specific group of academic disciplines, but as forms of study that examine what is human – typically guided by literature, history, social and physical settings, artifacts, visual and performing arts.

water image by Jason Leung

Public Humanities Fellowship information session Oct. 5

Join us for an information session on October 5 at 3:30 p.m. The program is open to PhD students in the humanities who will be post candidacy by the time the placements begin in May 2023.

Purpose

The Public Humanities refer to a broad range of creative, scholarly, and/or social justice activities usually undertaken collaboratively between university researchers and members of different non-academic communities for the public good. These activities draw on the knowledge and skills of humanities disciplines (e.g., history, literary studies, languages, philosophy, classics, religion, etc.) and have clearly defined outcomes that benefit the public. With this new program, the CIH seeks to place Humanities doctoral students into local community and/or cultural organisations. Students will be paid through designated scholarships.

There are three main goals:

  1. to provide each selected graduate student with an opportunity for acquiring new kinds of knowledge, experience, and professional relationships in a non-academic setting
  2. to provide the partner organization with a highly skilled graduate-level humanities student to work on a partner-specified project in spring/summer 2022 for 12 weeks (at no more than 20 hours/week)
  3. to cultivate strong collaborative networks for supporting arts, culture, and/or social justice in our communities.

Deadline and term

2022-23

The term of the next fellowship will be Nov. 1, 2022 - Sept. 30, 2023. The application deadline is Monday, October 24, 2022. In addition to the actual work placement which will take place from May to August, 2023, successful candidates will be expected to apply for internal funding with the TTI in November 2022 (full funding is contingent upon a successful application to TTI), participate in a series of seminars in the Winter 2023 term, and give a public presentation on their experience in September 2023. The stipend is $10,000.

Eligibility

To be eligible as a Public Humanities Fellow at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities, University of Calgary, you must be a post-candidacy PhD student in the Faculty of Graduate Studies in a humanities discipline and enrolled as a full-time student at the time of the fellowship. Graduate students in PhD programs can participate in internships related to the transferable skills they develop in their academic programs. Fellowship opportunities do not need to directly connect to a graduate student’s area of research. 

Application procedure

Applications must contain:

The resume should summarize academic projects and achievements, work experience, skills, and university and community involvement. You may find it useful to look at the following handbook if you are wondering how to frame your skills for work in a non‐academic setting.

The cover letter should be single-spaced (no more than two pages) and address the following questions:

  • What draws you to the CIH Public Humanities Program?
  • Which specific position are you applying for and why? How would it fit into your graduate career trajectory? (If you are interested in more than one of the roles, we recommend you provide a separate cover letter for each, emphasizing how your skills make you the best fit for that position.)
  • What specific strengths, experiences (academic as well as non‐academic), and achievements make you a strong candidate for the specified position?
  • Is there any other relevant information you would like to share with the adjudication committee?

We seek two letters of reference, preferably from academic referees who are familiar with (and can speak to) your graduate studies trajectory, recent relevant achievements and experiences, and suitability for a Public Humanities Fellowship. Letters of reference for public humanities candidates should be sent directly to the CIH by email to cih@ucalgary.ca. Referees should be informed exactly which positions you are applying for, but only one letter per candidate is required; referees do not need to provide a separate letter for each role you are interested in.

  •  One letter must be from your supervisor (or prospective supervisor for students early in their program). This letter should also affirm that this project aligns with your program of study and does not conflict with your ability to complete your degree requirements.
  •  The second letter may be from an academic or non‐academic reference (i.e. a  representative of a community organization for which you worked or volunteered, if the experience is directly relevant to the position for which you are applying).

2023 Public Humanities Fellowship Placement Opportunities

View placement opportunities for the 2023 Public Humanities Fellowships. Applications should be customized according to the opportunity or opportunities you are applying for.

LOCATION: Alzheimer Society of Calgary
TITLE: Enhancing Capacity to Adapt
DATES: May 11–August 6, 2023

The Calgary Institute for the Humanities in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Calgary is accepting applications for a Public Humanities Fellowship Placement with the Alzheimer Society of Calgary (ASC).

What are the Public Humanities?

The Public Humanities refer to a broad range of creative, scholarly, and/or social justice activities usually undertaken collaboratively between university researchers and members of different non-academic communities for the public good. These activities draw on the knowledge and skills of humanities disciplines (e.g., history, literary studies, languages, philosophy, classics, religion, etc.) and have clearly defined outcomes that benefit the public.

About the Organisation:

The Alzheimer Society of Calgary (ASC) is a community-based organization serving people impacted by dementia living in the Calgary. ASC envisions a future for the Calgary area that includes: enhanced quality of life for local persons with dementia, their families and care partners; increased capacity of the community to support and care for persons impacted by dementia; access to evidence-based best practices in dementia care from disease onset through end of life; and greater respect, support, identification and intervention for persons with dementia and their care partners.

ASC provides services in three main areas: education on evidence-based best practices in dementia care; an Adult Day program; and a team of social workers that support persons living with dementia and their caregivers with system navigation, resource sharing, communication strategies, and access to caregiver support groups. ASC is also the backbone of the Dementia Network of Calgary (DNC), which acts strategically at a community and systems level to directly support people impacted by dementia and reduce the stigma associated with a diagnsosis. All aspects of our work are person-centred, evidence-based and outcome-driven.

Position Description:

The Alzheimer Society of Calgary is looking for a Public Humanities Fellow to support the ongoing work to adapt capacity and adopt policy to meet the demands of an expanding, culturally diverse population of persons living with dementia. 17,000 people are living with dementia in the Calgary area, and this number will double in the coming decade. Adding to this, caregivers and people living with a diagnosis have been deeply impacted by the global pandemic. They are suffering the ongoing effects of isolation and decreased services and respite programs. This project with build on the work that is being done to seek efficiencies and build ASC’s capacity to adapt, so that we can respond impactfuly and efficiently to the growing demand for services and the increasing complexity of challenges facing persons living with dementia and caregivers. Populations that have been historically underserved by ASC include cultural minority groups, the LGBTQ2S+ community, persons living in rural areas surrounding Calgary, and people living with developmental differences. We are seeking ways to better connect with individuals from these communities that live with dementia, and build connections with agencies supporting these populations to enhance internal capacity among their staff. Another area is to expand on is supporting the work of the DNC in reducing stigma around a dementia diagnosis, and building inclusive communities that enhance quality of life as the disease progresses.

Although we cannot at the moment predict at what point we will be in this process in Spring, 2023, the commitment to this placement will be dedicated to building on the diversity and inclusion research and work completed at this point. We will leverage the unique skill set and interests of the public humanities fellow to ensure a placement that builds on their expertise, interests and knowledge transfer skills.

Responsibilities:

Under the supervision of Rachel Clare, Director of Learning and Support Services with ASC, the Public Humanities Fellow will:

  • Complete an assessment of work that has been done so far regarding ASC’s efforts in adopting polices and adapting capacities to better serve populations that have been traditionally underserved by the agency, as well as meet the increased post-pandemic needs of PLWD and their caregivers
  • Identify areas with growth potential within the ASC and the DNC and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to further our reach into underserved populations
  • Support community education efforts and participate in an evaluation of the impactfulness of virtual education and learning resources
  • Build on efforts to reduce stigma and advocate for person-centred care

Qualifications:

  • Experience with research including environmental scans and literature reviews
  • Ability to work independently
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Understanding and/or interest in the field of dementia and aspects of person-centred care and stigma reduction
  • Experience developing audio/visual and/or web-based interactive presentations a plus

Eligibility requirements:

To be eligible to be a Public Humanities Fellow at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities, you must be:

  • Enrolled as a doctoral student in the Faculty of Graduate Studies in a Humanities discipline during the 2022-23 academic year, up to at least the end of August 2023.
  • Post-candidacy by the time the work placement starts.

Please note that there is no requirement for Fellowship opportunities to connect to a student’s area of research. The whole aim of this program is to showcase the transferability of the skills acquired by Humanities doctoral students.

LOCATION: Calgary Catholic Immigration Society
TITLE: Representation and Cultural Responsiveness
DATES: May 11–August 6, 2023

The Calgary Institute for the Humanities in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Calgary is accepting applications for a Public Humanities Fellowship Placement with the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS)

What are the Public Humanities?

The Public Humanities refer to a broad range of creative, scholarly, and/or social justice activities usually undertaken collaboratively between university researchers and members of different non-academic communities for the public good. These activities draw on the knowledge and skills of humanities disciplines (e.g., history, literary studies, languages, philosophy, classics, religion, etc.) and have clearly defined outcomes that benefit the public.

About the Organisation:

Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS) is a non-profit organization that offers settlement and integrations support and services to all immigrants and refugees in Calgary and Southern Alberta.  For over 40 years, CCIS has worked towards developing and delivering innovative programs and services that are enriched by the engagement of our funders, partners, and local community. 

As the largest immigrant serving agency in the Prairies, CCIS ensures that our services respond to the needs of ethnically diverse communities with Calgary.  Our deeply rooted involvement with ethno-cultural communities is reflected in the diversity of our staff, our leadership, and our Board of Directors.  Combined with our volunteer collective, CCIS is represented in almost every cultural, faith based, and linguistic background observed in the changing makeup of our City.

Recently, CCIS has started to consult in the area of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion with a specific focus on Cultural Responsiveness across all components of a given organizational system.  An example of projects in this space includes the development and facilitation of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Audits, Cultural Thinking Workshops, and projects focused specifically on Data Equity and representation. Currently we are working on a Newcomer Research Library that is an accessible digital library of research on immigrants and refugees in Alberta. The library provides insight into topics and themes that researchers and community organizations highlight most frequently, while also highlighting gaps in Academic literature. CCIS also works very closely with the University of Calgary with the intent of advocating for, and placing emphasis on, ethical principles for research on newcomer populations.  This includes working with Research Ethics Board around existing process and policies and the need for potential change.

Job Description:

CCIS is looking for a Public Humanities Fellow to contribute to our work around cultural safety, cultural thinking, research ethics, and data equity.  Although we cannot at the moment predict at what point precisely this process of consultation and policy making will be at in Spring 2023, the commitment to this placement will be dedicated to this space of work leveraging on the research and knowledge transfer abilities of public humanities fellows, as well as, their area of focus and education.

Cultural Safety: “is an outcome that is based on respectful engagement which recognizes and strives to address power imbalances inherent in the health and social services system. It results in an environment free of racism and discrimination where people feel safe receiving health care” (Government of NWT 2016: 9). Cultural safety is part of the “continuum” that includes cultural awareness, cultural sensitivity, and cultural competence, but cultural safety is “the ultimate end” (Government of NWT 2016: 9).

Responsibilities:

Under the supervision of Amanda Koyama, Director of Strategic Engagement of CCIS, and Amanda Weighman, Principal Researcher of Habitus Collective, the Public Humanities Fellow will:

  • Conduct literature reviews as they relate to cultural thinking and safety, equity, inclusion, and diversity
  • Contribute to the Audit Framework by mobilizing knowledge into practical application as it relates to all aspects of organizational effectiveness and inclusion
  • Inform how cultural safety could be embedded through organizational policies, practices, and staffing.
  • Determine how to best involve communities for inclusive design to ensure cultural and physical safety.
  • Produce a final report that includes findings, outcomes, and research resources.
  • Contribute to, and recommend changes for, the Newcomer Research Library – especially the liaison with academics and research students

Qualifications:

  • Background in research methods
  • Experience writing literature reviews
  • Ability to synthesize information from multiple sources
  • Critical and analytical thinking 
  • Ability to work independently
  • Strong writing skills
  • Experience with diversity work and/or training a plus
  • Expertise in theories/frameworks employed in diversity work and for analysing race and racism a plus
  • Expertise in theories/frameworks for analysing place/space a plus

Eligibility requirements:

To be eligible to be a Public Humanities Fellow at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities, you must be:

  • Enrolled as a doctoral student in the Faculty of Graduate Studies in a Humanities discipline during the 2022-23 academic year, up to at least the end of August 2023.
  • Post-candidacy by the time the work placement starts.

Please note that there is no requirement for Fellowship opportunities to connect to a student’s area of research. The whole aim of this program is to showcase the transferability of the skills acquired by Humanities doctoral students.

LOCATION: Esker Foundation
TITLE: Youth Engagement and Decolonizing Gallery Space
DATES: May 11–August 6, 2023

The Calgary Institute for the Humanities in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Calgary is accepting applications for a Public Humanities Fellowship Placement with the Esker Foundation.

What are the Public Humanities?

The Public Humanities refer to a broad range of creative, scholarly, and/or social justice activities usually undertaken collaboratively between university researchers and members of different non-academic communities for the public good. These activities draw on the knowledge and skills of humanities disciplines (e.g., history, literary studies, languages, philosophy, classics, religion, etc.) and have clearly defined outcomes that benefit the public.

About the Organisation:

Esker Foundation is a privately funded contemporary art gallery located in Calgary, Canada. As a leader in the Calgary arts community, Esker Foundation connects the public to contemporary art through relevant, accessible, and educational exhibitions, programs, and publications. The gallery reflects on current developments in local, regional, and international culture; creates opportunities for public dialogue; and supports the production of ground-breaking new work, ideas, and research. Founded in 2012 by Jim and Susan Hill, Esker Foundation is a new model for institutional relevance, curatorial focus, and audience engagement. Admission is free. The gallery is barrier-free.

Job Description:

Esker Foundation seeks a Public Humanities Fellow to continue ongoing research on the topic of decolonizing gallery/museum spaces. The fellow will be responsible for reviewing, assessing models for, research on, and/or enacting decolonizing methodologies that de-center the Eurocentric view, challenge white supremacy, and value alternative narratives. The approach to this project is open, and may include emergent research, and/or public engagement activities with youth (or a combination of youth, adults and/or children), or other alternative approaches. 

Responsibilities:

Under the supervision of Eva Verity (Public Engagement), Esker Foundation, the Public Humanities Fellow will do some combination of the following:

  • Conduct a literature review of current models and practices for decolonizing gallery spaces
  • Make a recommendation for an appropriate model suited to Esker’s specific location and audiences
  • Test out one or more youth activities/engagement approaches through one or more discrete events
  • Write a report on their research, implementation, findings, and suggestions for new initiatives

Qualifications:

  • Background in research methods
  • Experience writing literature reviews
  • Ability to synthesize information from multiple sources
  • Critical and analytical thinking 
  • Ability to work independently
  • Strong writing skills
  • Familiarity with decolonizing practices 
  • Experience working with/within equity-seeking communities will be an asset
  • Experience with diversity work and/or training will be an asset
  • Experience working with adolescents will be an asset

Eligibility requirements:

To be eligible to be a Public Humanities Fellow at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities, you must be:

  • Enrolled as a doctoral student in the Faculty of Graduate Studies in a Humanities discipline during the 2022-23 academic year, up to at least the end of August 2023.
  • Post-candidacy by the time the work placement starts.

Please note that there is no requirement for Fellowship opportunities to connect to a student’s area of research. The whole aim of this program is to showcase the transferability of the skills acquired by Humanities doctoral students.

LOCATION: Fort Calgary
TITLE: Public Programs and Engagement, Temporary Exhibition Development
DATES: May 11–August 6, 2023

The Calgary Institute for the Humanities in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Calgary is accepting applications for a Public Humanities Fellowship Placement with Fort Calgary.

What are the Public Humanities?

The Public Humanities refer to a broad range of creative, scholarly, and/or social justice activities usually undertaken collaboratively between university researchers and members of different non-academic communities for the public good. These activities draw on the knowledge and skills of humanities disciplines (e.g., history, literary studies, languages, philosophy, classics, religion, etc.) and have clearly defined outcomes that benefit the public.

About the Organisation:

Situated where the Bow and Elbow Rivers meet in Treaty 7 territory, the place that we now call Fort Calgary National Historic Site has played a central role in both the long and more recent histories of this region. The site is rooted in place-stories and memory practices of the Blackfoot Nations, Îyarhe-Nakoda Nations, Tsuut’ina Nation, and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3. The land was a natural gathering place to hunt, trade, and hold ceremony. Later, due to the land’s natural topography and social significance, it was where the North West Mounted Police built Fort Calgary in 1875, operating until 1914. Recognized as a National Historic Site in 1925, it served as a train yard until 1975 when the lands were bought by the City of Calgary. Today it is at the heart of the city. We recognize that Fort Calgary is a layered place. It has multiple histories.

Fort Calgary is operated by the Fort Calgary Preservation Society. As a museum and National Historic Site, our mission is sharing the histories and cultures of this place, with Calgarians and the world, to deepen understanding of the past and shape the future. We seek to demonstrate our commitment to reconciliation through the adoption of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s guiding principles. As caretakers of this unique National Historic Site, we aim to present these histories in an honest way to connect people by deepening their understanding, enhancing their curiosity, and informing their context for contemporary life.

Job Description:

Fort Calgary is looking for a Public Humanities Fellow to help us broaden the stories we share about this layered site. Specifically, the fellow will research, develop, and execute a new temporary exhibition that embraces the theme of crime and criminality. They will collaborate with the Programs/Content Team and Collections to create this exhibition. They will also take part in other related tasks at the museum to gain valuable insights into visitor experience and public programming.

Responsibilities:

Under the supervision of Allison Graham (Public Programs), the Public Humanities Fellow will:

  • Consult with the Programs/Content Team to finalize an interpretive plan and scope for the exhibition.
  • Complete primary and secondary source research using in-person and online archives and libraries.
  • Develop content and components for exhibition, including: refining the “big idea” or overarching narrative; identifying key stories; working with Collections to identify objects and visuals.
  • Participate in visitor experience and public programming tasks as needed, including: supporting the front desk and supporting major community events (such as National Indigenous Peoples Day, Canada Day, Heritage Day).

Qualifications:

  • Experience with research; experience with historical or archival research is an asset.
  • Strong writing and public speaking skills.
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with a small, enthusiastic team.
  • Willingness to be flexible and to embrace an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ attitude when necessary.
  • Knowledge of the diverse histories of Treaty 7 territory, either through education or lived experience, is an asset.

Eligibility requirements:

To be eligible to be a Public Humanities Fellow at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities, you must be:

  • Enrolled as a doctoral student in the Faculty of Graduate Studies in a Humanities discipline during the 2022-23 academic year, up to at least the end of August 2023.
  • Post-candidacy by the time the work placement starts.

Please note that there is no requirement for Fellowship opportunities to connect to a student’s area of research. The whole aim of this program is to showcase the transferability of the skills acquired by Humanities doctoral students.

LOCATION: Inn from the Cold
TITLE: Effective Altruism Research Project
DATES: May 11–August 6, 2023

The Calgary Institute for the Humanities in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Calgary is accepting applications for a Public Humanities Fellowship Placement with Inn from the Cold.

What are the Public Humanities?

The Public Humanities refer to a broad range of creative, scholarly, and/or social justice activities usually undertaken collaboratively between university researchers and members of different non-academic communities for the public good. These activities draw on the knowledge and skills of humanities disciplines (e.g., history, literary studies, languages, philosophy, classics, religion, etc.) and have clearly defined outcomes that benefit the public.

About the Organisation:

Inn from the Cold (the Inn) is housing-focused, and our mission is to offer shelter, housing and coordinated supports to help children and their families achieve independence. For over 25 years, the Inn has been helping vulnerable families find stability in times of crisis. As the largest organization in the Calgary region that is dedicated solely to families experiencing a housing crisis, we believe that a community where no child or family is homeless is possible.

To help bring our vision to life we provide three main programs: : homelessness prevention and diversion, emergency family shelter, and supportive housing. Trauma-informed and housing-first principles guide everything we do and we strive to adapt our programs to meet the unique needs of each family we serve. Within this framework we offer a range of holistic supports to strengthen families, create hope and achieve stability. Working with partner agencies, our family support team creates individualized plans to address each family's specific needs for housing and social supports and help set them up for success on their journey to housing independence. Some of the supports we provide include child and youth programming, childcare, mental health and wellbeing support, Indigenous and cultural programming, employment and career counselling and legal aid.

Project Description:

The Inn is looking for a Public Humanities Fellow to complete a research project on Effective Altruism (EA), which is a growing philosophical and social movement that aims to reshape and revolutionize philanthropic activities and how funds are allocated by concentrating on the best ways to help others and , then, by putting them into practice. At the Inn, we want to investigate how Effective Altruism is shaping philanthropy both more generally in Canada and more specifically in Calgary, in order to help inform us how to effectively shape our practices and communicate this to our donors and funders.

Responsibilities:

Under the supervision of Nathaniel Miller (Director of Programs) and David Sandoz (Manager, Reporting and Evaluation), the Public Humanities Fellow will:

  • Research the background, key principles and parameters of EA
  • Research real-life philanthropic sector mapping focused on EA, looking for:
    • Evidence of implementation of EA and its impact in Canada (e.g., funded initiatives, influence in philanthropic sector, influence in policy decisions, etc.)
    • Evidence of implementation/impact in Calgary, including a deeper dive into specific examples of foundations and/or donors using the EA model in choosing and evaluating funding initiatives
    • Examples of successes (or not), and particularly of any impact on the family low-income not-for-profit sector (both in Calgary and more broadly in comparative contexts in Canada, and - evidence and time permitting - Australia, United States, United Kingdom, and Western Europe).
  • Prepare a report for a diverse public audience on the findings

Qualifications:

  • Background in a variety of research methods
  • Excellent communication skills (e.g., for having conversations with organisations or donors implementing EA in their decision-making processes)
  • Experience writing literature reviews
  • Ability to analyse complex problems and communicate and synthesize large amounts of information using plain language
  • Critical and analytical thinking 
  • Ability to work independently
  • An interest in or dedication to Inn from the Cold’s mission and appreciation for the environment will be an asset

Eligibility requirements:

To be eligible to be a Public Humanities Fellow at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities, you must be:

  • Enrolled as a doctoral student in the Faculty of Graduate Studies in a Humanities discipline during the 2022-23 academic year, up to at least the end of August 2023.
  • Post-candidacy by the time the work placement starts.

Please note that there is no requirement for Fellowship opportunities to connect to a student’s area of research. The whole aim of this program is to showcase the transferability of the skills acquired by Humanities doctoral students.

________________________

Inn from the Cold Diversity Statement

Inn from the Cold is committed to building and fostering a safe and inclusive workplace that values diversity and provides opportunities for all employees to thrive.

Please note also that the successful candidate will be required to undergo a Police check and a Child Intervention check. Subject to reasonable accommodation, this position will require the successful candidate to show proof of a vaccination

 

graphic of brain in lightbulb; iStock image by Natali_Mis

Past Public Humanities Fellows and Placement Opportunities

In 2021, we set out to partner community organisations with highly skilled doctoral students in the Humanities to collaborate on an organisation-specified project over the course of 12 weeks.