Campus Fellowships

HRI grants Campus Fellowships to Illinois faculty and graduate students, who spend the year engaged in research and writing and participate in the HRI Fellows Seminar.

Faculty fellows are provided with one semester of release time and research funds. Graduate student fellows are given a stipend and a tuition and partial fee waiver for the academic year of the award. All fellows are expected to maintain residence on the Illinois campus during the award year, and to participate in HRI activities, including the yearlong Fellows Seminar.

2025–26 HRI Fellowships: “Story and Place”

HRI is pleased to announce that its 2025–26 fellowship year theme will be “Story and Place.”

In spite of the impact of global economic and culture forces on our lives—and of course because of it—attention to the particularity of place remains key to how humanists and artists think about the world. How does your work engage with place-based experiences, histories, performative cultures, languages, politics, literatures? What does storytelling that emerges from specific places and spaces contribute to how we apprehend the visual, the material, the political, the queer, or the orthodox?

Place often takes root through story, but it is as often made in the telling. How can storytelling and story-making create place and its attachments—or unravel it, or make it legible to new audiences? What is the role of place-based story in how we grapple with war, social movements, equity work, fantasy, political ideology, art practice, social media, ecological crisis, and/or the land grant university itself? And what is “place” beyond the local, exactly?

HRI invites proposals which engage the intersection of place and story in a variety of mediums— narrative, textual, maker-oriented, graphic, and more. We look forward to learning from humanities- and arts-based researchers who are working with place at any scale and in any number of forms. We’re interested in the geography closest in or the farthest out; in stories that stick close to home or those that carry home with them as they move.

We’re curious, in short, about multi-form ways of exploring the places, real and imagined, that help us reckon with the world as we know it, tell it, and want it to be told. If place is a backdrop to how you are communicating your work, this is an opportunity, in the context of a yearlong interdisciplinary seminar, to converse with colleagues interested in experimenting with how to bring place and storytelling into sharper relation.

The projects proposed to HRI for 2025–26 fellowships will be evaluated on the scholarly excellence and promise of the project, the applicant’s preparation/readiness to undertake the proposed research, the quality of the narrative proposal, the relationship to the annual theme, the case made for how the interdisciplinary experience offered by the Fellows Seminar would be beneficial to the project, and the letters of support.

HRI welcomes applications from all disciplines and departments with an interest in humanities and humanities-inflected research. HRI is especially interested in fostering interdisciplinary work, both within the humanistic disciplines, and between the humanities and the arts.

See the links below for specific guidelines. The submission portal will open on September 1, 2024.

Fellowship RFPs

Faculty Fellowship

Graduate Fellowship

Current Fellows

See current Campus Fellows

Past HRI Fellowship Themes

See past Campus Fellows and themes under History