The Council provides co-sponsorship for humanities-related programs, including conferences, workshops, colloquia, lectures, readings/performances, interdisciplinary courses, and reading groups. In most cases, the Council co-sponsors events that already have support from their home departments, typically offering amounts less than or equal to the home department’s contribution. Grants typically range from $250 to $2,500 for conferences or one-time co-sponsorships. Requests for greater amounts will be considered for special projects in the humanities and for those that require the primary sponsorship and administrative support of the Humanities Council.
Priority is given to faculty and graduate members of the Council’s 46 participating departments and programs, although interdisciplinary humanities-related requests from other units are encouraged.
The Council’s co-sponsorship fund does not support individual research projects or individual travel for faculty or graduate students. Events that require an admission fee will not be considered for funding or publicity. Named lecture series and ongoing/recurring events are not funded by this program.
Please note that Humanities Council funding is limited to transfer of the awarded funds and does not include event services or logistical support.
Listings for all public events supported by Council funds should be submitted to the Council’s campus-wide Calendar of Events, as soon the date and venue are determined, and at least two weeks in advance of the event. Listings in the Calendar will be publicized through our weekly newsletter.
Proposals initiated by graduate students must be presented by a faculty sponsor and followed by a brief email from the department chair endorsing the project.
Additional funding resources are available for Council-based projects, including the David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Grants for Innovation and the Collaborative Humanities grants, which can support larger-scale or multifaceted initiatives. Departments and programs may apply for funds through the Visiting Fellows program and the Faber Lectures.
If you have questions about whether your project is eligible for consideration, please email Kathleen Crown, Executive Director.
How to apply
Please complete the online Funding Request Form (requires a Princeton University login). The form will ask for the amount contributed by the home department and any amounts solicited from or contributed by other campus units.
The executive committee has established a benchmark of $750-$1500 for honoraria for public lectures and $75-$500 for a class visit or conference/colloquia participation.
Funding Request Form (login required)
Faculty proposals for co-sponsorship are accepted throughout the year and considered on a rolling basis. We ask that requests be submitted at least one month in advance of the proposed event.
Graduate-student-initiated proposals for events in Fall 2020 must be submitted by Sept 11, 2020; requests for Spring 2021 must be received by no later than February 5, 2021.
Humanities Council Special Grants
Requests for greater amounts are considered for special projects in the humanities and for those that require the primary sponsorship of the Humanities Council.
The Humanities Council’s Faber and Stewart funds support conferences in literature and religion, respectively. The Cone Fund offers particular support for music-related activities.
Music in Film
Michael Smith (Philosophy); Andrew Lovett (Music)
The two-year series of lectures and workshops brings together scholars and practitioners to explore the role of music in film; how film makers and music makers collaborate; what effect music has on scenes. These lectures are aimed at a broad audience across the University, offering online access to films to watch in advance. One session will feature a silent film with live accompaniment, followed by a discussion. Supported by the Humanities Council’s Edward T. Cone ’39 *42 Fund.
Marina Brownlee (Spanish and Portuguese; Comparative Literature); Christina Lee (Spanish and Portuguese)
This international meeting of the Quixote Association will take place on July 2021, and involves approximately 150 faculty and graduate students. The conference will convene scholars from all five continents to consider not only literature but also science, technology, medicine, visual studies, music, and environmental humanities–all expressed in Don Quixote. Supported by the Eberhard L. Faber 1915 Memorial Fund in the Humanities Council.
The Antigone Project
Lisa Dwan (Class of 1932 Visiting Fellow in the Humanities Council and Department of English)
Through a series of conversations and performances, students will deepen their exploration of the Antigone Project, a Fall 2020 course taught by Lisa Dwan. They will interact with three assigned authors and a philosopher to examine themes that emerge from Sophocles’ tragedy. Dwan will perform “Pale Sister,” Colm Tóibín’s reimagining of Antigone’s story. Supported by the Humanities Council’s Eberhard L. Faber 1915 Fund.
Maria DiBattista (English; Comparative Literature)
A two-day conference in Spring 2021 invites seven authors and scholars and one keynote speaker Saidiya Hartman to explore the interdisciplinary approaches to Nancy Cunard’s 1934 Negro: Anthology, as translated by Samuel Beckett, focusing on Beckett’s perspectives on American race laws, slavery, and segregation. The conference invites students from underrepresented communities and hosts a roundtable. Supported by the Humanities Council’s Eberhard L. Faber 1915 Fund.
Black Artists Lab
Tracy K. Smith (Lewis Center for the Arts); Imani Perry (African American Studies)
This conference, featuring panels, screenings, and performances, extends conversations with black artists, makers, and scholars on the topic of art and cultural institutions. The aim of the conference is to leverage the creative and critical perspectives on blackness in art in order to reach a new sense of what is possible in American cultural and civic life. Supported by the Humanities Council’s Old Dominion Fund with co-sponsorship from the Lewis Center for the Arts and the Department of African American Studies.
Netherlands and Global History, 1500-1700
Nigel Smith (English)
This international three-day conference will explore the transnational global impact of the Netherlands, 1500-1700. Experts will be brought to Princeton from the Netherlands, elsewhere in Europe and Scandinavia, as well as from North America. Supported by an Eberhard L. Faber 1915 Grant
New Thinking on the Icon
Charlie Barber (Art & Archaeology)
Thirty international scholars will meet in May 2020 at Princeton to workshop essays for a major new publication that will re-orient how we think about the icon as a theological and historical phenomenon. Supported by the Humanities Council’s Stewart Fund for Religion with co-sponsorship from the Center for Hellenic Studies.
Literary Beginnings in the European Middle Ages
Marina Brownlee (Spanish and Portuguese)
This workshop seeks to understand how new literatures begin and what it means to ask about “literary beginnings,” exploring not isolated instances but continuous traditions, considering the dynamic forces of literary systems, literary agency, and literary institutions. Supported by an Eberhard L. Faber 1915 Grant
Space, Time, and Religion in Early America
Seth Perry (Religion)
On February 6-8, 2020, scholars of religion in early America will gather at Princeton to think about the real and imagined horizons of time and space that characterize the religious actors we study. Discussions will interrogate both the periodizations of the field (Great Awakening, evolution, Second Great Awakening) and the interpretative concepts brought to bear on it: millennialism, primitivism, typology. Supported by the Humanities Council’s Stewart Fund for Religion
Building a Repertoire for bitKlavier
A diverse group of young composers will make new pieces for bitKlavier, a new kind of digital piano developed at Princeton, exploiting its unique features and, in turn, suggesting new directions for its development. The project will engage local piano teachers and young students who have been exploring bitKlavier’ s pedagogical possibilities. The pieces will be performed on campus and documented for release, so that pianists, composers, and instrument builders elsewhere can experience them. Supported by the Humanities Council’s Edward T. Cone ’39 *42 Fund.
Racing the Classics
Dan-el Padilla Peralta (Classics)
Launched in 2018 with a two-day working conference, this multi-year project is dedicated to using and developing critical theories of race and ethnicity in all aspects of the field. The conference brought together scholars whose work on ancient Greek and Roman culture demonstrate a thorough consideration of race, ethnicity, and intersectionality to workshop writing and to build a critical feedback network for future projects; its aim was to pave new paths forward for what counts as knowledge in Classics.
Read about all of the Humanities Council’s Funding Opportunities.