Interseminars Initiative

The Interseminars initiative aims to change the face of graduate education in the arts and humanities by building communities of inquiry around emerging, interdisciplinary research directions.

Faculty Info Session:

View a recording of the March 2023 info session for faculty.

About Interseminars

Interseminars text over blue circular pattern

Responding to the challenges of sustaining interdisciplinary research and teaching in the arts and humanities, the Interseminars initiative provides funding and administrative infrastructure for collaborative teaching, sustained interdisciplinary inquiry, and public- and community-facing research in the humanities and arts. Funded by a $2,000,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation, Interseminars makes it possible for faculty and graduate students to undertake significant interdisciplinary research collaborations that will make a lasting impact in their long-term research trajectories and on the development of new research and curricular areas for the campus as a whole.

Each year from 2022 to 2025, the Interseminars initiative will support an 18-month interdisciplinary project by providing:

  • course releases and summer research funds for 2–3 faculty coordinators;
  • up to eight graduate fellowships per project (including summer funding);
  • and programming funds for a public- or community-facing culminating event (such as a conference, exhibit, or performance).

A significant component of Interseminars is to support students from populations historically underrepresented in graduate education. HRI encourages Interseminar projects that extend the potential impact of scholarship by embracing diverse ideas, perspectives, and experiences. Within the context of the University of Illinois as a public institution of higher learning, the Interseminars initiative seeks to promote the value of heterogeneity and access in graduate education in the humanities and arts. Thus, a commitment to diversity, equity, and underrepresented populations is central to the goals of the Interseminars initiative.

Read about the first Interseminars project, “Imagining Otherwise: Speculation in the Americas”:

Read about the second Interseminars project, “Improvise and Intervene”:

Fellowship CFP

View the Graduate Fellowship Call for Proposals.

View the Round 3 Faculty Call for Proposals (tenure-stream faculty only).


For general questions regarding Interseminars, please email the Interseminars account. You may also contact members of the steering committee to consult on proposals.

Steering Committee Members

Siobhan Somerville - Chair (English and Gender and Women's Studies)

J. David Cisneros (Communication)

Jorge Lucero (Art and Design)

Anke Pinkert (Germanic Literatures and Languages)