The Altman Fellows Program
The Altman Fellows Program is the signature program of the Miami University Humanities Center. Its goal is to foster collaboration, pedagogical innovation, and new research across the Humanities at Miami.
Each year, the Humanities Center Steering Committee selects a team of two Altman Fellows to cultivate interdisciplinary inquiry into an original topic. Altman Fellows work with six or more Altman Faculty Scholars, Altman Undergraduate and Graduate Fellows, and distinguished visiting scholars in a year-long interdisciplinary exploration of key issues in the humanities. The program includes a faculty seminar, which meets roughly five times per semester; a new upper-division course on the annual theme, team-taught by faculty fellows; an undergraduate fellows initiative, designed to promote excellence in undergraduate research; and a substantial program of public events. Public events are entirely supported with Humanities Center funding and typically include distinguished lectures, works-in-progress talks, and a major symposium or conference.
Past programs include:
- “Memory and Culture” (2009-2011)
- “Networked Environments: Interrogating the Democratizatioin of Media” (2011-2012)
- “The Human and the Nonhuman: Exploring Intersections between Science and the Humanities” (2012-2013)
Altman Fellows receive a half-time teaching load during the program year and devote the rest of their time to event planning, Humanities Center outreach activities, and independent research. The Humanities Center supports this teaching release by providing $20,000 of replacement salary to the Fellow’s home department or program. Each Altman Fellow also receives a professional expenses fund of $5,000.
Prior Altman Programs
- Network Archaeologies
- Networks and Power Symposium
(2011 Altman Symposium)
- Bibliography, Altman Faculty Scholars Reading Group
- Memory and Culture: Engaged Scholarship, Multidisciplinary Connections, and the Public Humanities
The Miami University Humanities Center invites applications for the 2012-2013 Altman Undergraduate Fellows Program.
The Altman Undergraduate Fellows Program is open to outstanding Miami University undergraduates who seek an opportunity to explore advanced scholarship in the humanities. Altman Undergraduate Fellows join our Altman faculty research group—eight to ten professors from a range of academic disciplines. Each year, this faculty group gathers to study an issue of consequence through a special faculty seminar and a series of public lectures, conferences, and other events. Two members of the faculty research group also teach a special 400-level course related to the topic of the Altman Program.
Altman Undergraduate Fellows (AUFs) are invited to be guests in the faculty research seminar and encouraged to develop an independent research or public humanities project under faculty guidance. In order to gain familiarity with the yearly theme of the Altman Program, undergraduate fellows take the 400-level Altman course during spring 2013. Undergraduate fellows are also expected to be available to assist in small ways during Altman Program conferences or public events. The goal of the program is to give ambitious undergraduates an opportunity to conduct independent inquiry, an introduction to research collaboration in the humanities, and a sense of what it is like to be a professor of history, philosophy, language, literature, or culture. The Altman Undergraduate Fellowship includes a $250 award.
Working either within the Altman 400-level course or independently with a member of the faculty, Altman Undergraduate Fellows are expected to undertake an independent project related to the yearly Altman Program theme. Possible projects range from the traditional honors thesis to public humanities activities such as development of a website, blog, or archive; creation of press materials for conferences and visiting scholars; organization of a film series, book club, or community service project; or publication in the Humanities Center newsletter. The AUF project typically meets a course requirement or leads to independent study credit, departmental honors, or Miami University Honors Program credit (such as Tier 2 and Tier 3 contract experiences). Please note, however, that the AUF Program does not itself confer academic or program credit. AUFs arrange for such credit with a course instructor, a faculty mentor, a department, or the Honors Program. The Humanities Center director will assist in making such arrangements.
To be eligible to apply for an Altman Undergraduate Fellowship (AUF), you must:
- Be a declared undergraduate humanities major1 ready to engage in advanced study. While there is no class standing requirement, most AUFs are juniors and seniors in the year of the fellowship.
- Take HST/LAS 4-- (“Animals, Nature, and Science: Human Dominion in the Americas”) during Spring 2013 (course number is pending). AUFs are guaranteed a spot in the class.
- Join the Altman Faculty Seminar, which meets every 2-3 weeks. (AUFs may be invited to come only to some seminars, depending on the goals of the faculty research group).
- Be willing to undertake some public humanities work or independent research while involved in the group. This work can take any number of forms and may be used to obtain credit toward any of the following: a major assignment in HST/LAT 4--; an independent study; a departmental honors thesis; or Miami University Honors Program requirements.
- Attend major Altman Program events, such as conferences, and be willing to help with assist with routine organizational tasks during these events (e.g. setting up chairs).
1 According to the National Foundation for the Arts and Humanities, “The humanities include, but are not limited to, the following fields: history, philosophy, languages, literature, linguistics, archeology, jurisprudence, history and criticism of the arts, ethics, comparative religion, and those aspects of the social sciences employing historical or philosophical approaches. This last category includes social and cultural anthropology, sociology, political theory, international relations, and other subjects concerned with questions of value.”