Deadline: The Tabb Center will accept applications for a second cohort of public humanities fellowships in fall 2024, with an application date of October 2024. Please check back on this page in late summer 2024 for more detailed information.
Public Humanities Fellows are non-institutionally affiliated organizers, artists, cultural workers, public historians, and knowledge-creators who mobilize materials from the Sheridan Libraries’ rare book, manuscript, and archival collections to strengthen and support their existing community-based work. Fellows should live or work in Baltimore.
Fellows should either (1) creatively reinterpret or (2) add to the Sheridan Libraries’ collections, which span 5,000 years of unique objects and texts, from ancient cuneiform tablets and Egyptian papyri to 20th-century African American photography, U.S. suffrage movement records, and LGBTQ print culture materials. Fellows will create new perspectives on these collections by interpreting them in transformative ways. We are especially interested in applicants whose projects imaginatively address issues of racial, gender, and sexual justice.
Examples of potential projects:
- An oral history fellow might record and archive interviews about Baltimore’s civil rights movement and present them to the public via exhibitions or listening parties.
- An artist in residence might interpret our LGBTQ print culture collections via site-specific installations, virtual reality experiments, or interactive performances.
- Baltimore residents who do social change work might research the history of the issues they organize around and use archival materials to develop community workshops.
- Fellows might activate the George Peabody Library by staging public talks, concerts, or events that interpret the history of the historic space.
While the Sheridan Libraries have collected a wide array of materials related to racial, gender, and sexual justice, many collections, especially those housed at our historic libraries, were acquired by Baltimore’s white male elite starting in the late 1800s and reflect their tastes and prejudices. These materials call for a reading “against the grain”—in other words, interpreting them against the interests of their original authors. One example of this strategy is Fred Wilson’s “Mining the Museum,” which creatively interpreted the collections of the Maryland Historical Society by highlighting absences and using juxtaposition, redirection, and irony.
- The fellowship offers an hourly wage of $35 per hour up to a total of $20,000 in a 12-month period. (For example, a full-time 3-month fellowship, a part-time 12-month fellowship, or any other permutation.) Candidates will submit a timeline and budget as part of their application. The stipend will be paid in monthly installments over duration the of the project. This fellowship does not offer travel compensation, health insurance, or housing subsidy.
- This fellowship is intended for independent artists, curators, and organizers. It is not open to faculty, students, or current JHU fellows.
- The selected fellows should be willing to work with a videographer who will create a video that documents their research and experience to share with a public audience via the Tabb Center website.
- Fellows are expected to provide at least one presentation about their project to local audiences during the course of their fellowship.
- Eligible repositories include University Archives, Special Collections, and The George Peabody Library. Collections are searchable via the library catalog and ArchivesSpace.