Resident Fellowship Competition
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.
Congraulations to the CIH Fellowship Recipients for 2023-24
School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Culture
Sages, Skeptics, and Pietists: The Culture of Debate in the Abbasid Empire (750-1258)
I propose to study the culture of debate in the Abbasid empire as a cultural, social and literary phenomenon, and to produce either two articles or an article and a monograph. Thematically, I will study the culture of debate from two perspectives. First, I will explore it as a cultural and social phenomenon and I will try to answer the following questions: What were the historical possibilities for the rise of the culture of debate? What was its place within the broader social fabric? How were debates conducted? What does all of this teach us about class, cultural expression, patronage, and approaches to knowledge in the Abbasid empire? Secondly, I will study the descriptions of debates found in primary sources as literary artefacts, in order to study the formal characteristics of these descriptions and the values which they articulated. These two approaches will complement and illuminate each other.
Department of Philosophy
The Joyful Sage: Renunciation and the Good Life in the Mahābhārata
This book project investigates the apparent tension between renunciation and the good life in the Sanskrit epic the Mahābhārata. The good life, in this sense, is a life that is intrinsically good for the person whose life it is. It is a life high in welfare value. In abandoning worldly pleasures, desire satisfactions, and the pursuit of worldly goals more generally, the renunciates of the Mahābhārata seem to forsake their own welfare. The Mahābhārata allows that a renunciate might live the good life after all, however, so long as they enjoy the world without wanting it and act in the world without desire. This project is aligned with some of the earliest discussions of the status of the renunciate in South Asian literature. It invokes the distinction between the good life and the moral life to clarify and advance current debates about the contemporary relevance of renunciation.
Graduate Student Fellow
PhD Candidate in Communication and Media
Department of Communication, Media and Film
“The Stuff of Reality”: Towards a Materialist Theory of Animated Documentary
My research focuses on artisanal animation techniques used in independent animated documentaries (anidocs) of the 2000s. I explore how material-based animation practices, such as stop-motion animation, along with the processes of painting on glass and tracing over live-action footage affect the representation of ‘invisible’ aspects of human reality. In the last two decades, cinema scholars have noted the proliferation of documentary animation—a film genre that presents factual content in a fictional form. Animated documentaries are most often produced by independent filmmakers and work with narratives absent from conventional non-fiction cinema (e.g. representation of mental health conditions, traumatic experiences, and stories of vulnerable populations). Yet while the themes and contents of animated documentaries are widely discussed by the experts of the field, tendencies in animated documentary production stay overlooked. Thus my dissertation aims to fill this gap in film studies literature. I intend to examine Canadian and international production practices of contemporary documentary animation by asking the question: how do material-based animation techniques affect the interpretation of the topics that the films address?
Wayne O. McCready Emerging Fellow
Department of History
Norman Consolidation and Communication in Kent
Normanization of the English landscape after the Conquest of 1066 included a widespread building program, destroying Anglo-Saxon cathedrals and replacing them with dominating Norman structures. This development has been studied as a vehicle of colonisation and legitimation on a grand scale; however, the same rebuilding can be seen on a more thorough level across the countryside with the rebuilding of parish churches at all nodes in the transportation and communication network. This made Norman rulership omnipresent at the local level. This development can still be seen in the rural churches in the bishopric of Rochester, many of which were rebuilt during the episcopacy of Gundulf, the first Norman bishop there. This study aims to recover the range of local landscape control in the bishopric of Rochester, thereby piloting a local history study with national implications for England and possibly for other areas of Norman dominance such as the medieval Mediterranean.
Resident Fellow in Applied Ethics
Department of Philosophy
Telling a Better Story of Who We Are: A New Ontology and Ethic of We-Agency
The collective agent “we” are who make or break the world. We are a force of unity and solidarity, mobilizing progressive movements and inspiring sacrifices in times of crisis. Yet, we can be a force of exclusion and division, animating xenophobia and tribalism. Even though we are central to political life, the individualistic orientation of Western philosophy has impoverished our understanding of who we are, and how we can improve. To correct this anomaly, this project will bridge the cross-disciplinary scholarship on narratology, social ontology, and political philosophy, and develop a novel narrative theory of we-agency. Ontologically, it will show that stories and storytelling practices are what make and shape us. Ethically, it will articulate a new theory of joint narration, called we-reasoning, to guide we-agents to tell and enact better stories of who we are. We-reasoning will reframe political problems of populism, reconciliation, and migration and narrate new solutions.
Naomi Lacey Resident Fellow
School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Culture
The Emergence of the Modern Writer and the Shifting Semantics of Obedience, 1750-1850
The decades around 1800 mark a crucial period in the emergence of the modern literary writer in German culture. A market for literature developed that allowed writers to live independent of traditional patronage. This independence began to include also women writers, who gained a significant foothold in this period. Additionally, through the prominent debates on artistic genius, an image of the writer as independent from traditional precepts took hold. Yet this simple narrative fails to consider both the longevity of some of the old forms of authority under which writers operated (such as poetic rules), as well as the new forms of authority that came to replace the old (such as market pressures and audience expectations). This project, therefore, focuses on the shifting pressures of authority under which writers worked. Moreover, by investigating how writers defined their own practice through their relative submission to—or transgression of—the existing demands, this project explores the pressures of authority not only as a burden to the artist, but also as a formative force.
Deadline and term
Resident Fellowship applications are now closed for the 2023-24 academic year.
Call for applications for 2024-25 academic year will open in September 2023.
Four annual Resident Fellowships are awarded to outstanding scholars in order to pursue a particular research project. Two of these are named: The Wayne O. McCready Resident Fellowship for an Emerging Scholar, and the Naomi Lacey Resident Fellowship. Success in the competition for these fellowships is based on assessment of the scholarly record of the candidate and the quality of the research proposal.
Fellowships will normally provide partial release from teaching duties to facilitate concentration on a research project. You must be free from administrative responsibilities and teach at a reduced course load during the Fellowship.
Your department/faculty will arrange for partial teaching release funding with the Institute. This will be a full-course equivalent course release (2HCE). Fellows will recieve one HCE course release each term, unless alternative arrangements are made with the director. Fellows will not receive a direct stipend.
You will conduct your research at the Institute. You will share your research in an in-house seminar, and involve yourself in the community of scholars working at the Institute. Fellows will offer a public lecture on the results of their research, either during the Fellowship year or the year following, in consultation with the director. You should acknowledge CIH support in all oral and written publications that result from the supported research.
The Calgary Institute for the Humanities invites applications for Fellowships to full time faculty at the University of Calgary to conduct research at the Institute during the academic year 2022-23. All scholars with teaching appointments at the University of Calgary that continue through the 2022-23 academic year are eligible to apply. Awards are subject to budgetary approval.
Applicants whom the committee judge to be on the verge of a significant scholarly advancement may be considered for the Wayne O. McCready Resident Fellowship for an Emerging Scholar. Candidates will be considered from the general pool of applicants; no separate application or information is required. Similarly, the Naomi Lacey Resident Fellowship will be awarded to an applicant from the general pool.
Full-time faculty of the University of Calgary who have previously held an Annual Fellowship are eligible for a second Annual Fellowship five years after the completion of the first Annual Fellowship. Applications from previous Annual Fellows will not be considered separately but will be considered within the pool of all applications. In addition to considering the merits of the new project, however, special attention will be paid to the productivity resulting from the first Fellowship.
Applications will be judged on research record and the merits of the proposed project. The committee strives for a diversity of fellows in any given year where possible, based on such things as rank, discipline, and gender.
Research record will be judged relative to stage of career. Adjudicators will look at quality of previous publications, grants received, and productivity of previous grants and fellowships.
Project proposals will be assessed according to originality of the proposal, contribution to knowledge, suitability of methodology, suitability of theoretical perspectives, and effectiveness of the plan of communication for the research. If this is a multi-year project, applicants should make clear what they plan to accomplish during the year of the fellowship. Applications from outside the traditional humanities disciplines are welcome, and should make clear the humanistic orientation of their project.
Scholars outside of the traditional humanities disciplines should make clear the humanistic orientation of their project.
Applications must contain:
A curriculum vitae. (No more than 5 pages.)
A detailed statement of the research proposal. (A maximum of five pages, plus bibliography.)
A descriptive title and abstract of 150 words.
Department head's statement
A brief statement from the applicant’s head of department indicating the department is aware of the application.