2024-2025 Flash Grants

We particularly invite interdisciplinary initiatives, “outside the box” projects that experiment with how the humanities are conceived or taught, and activities that enrich the campus, the surrounding community or the classroom experience for students. The duration of the project may vary from a few days to several weeks or months, and projects may be implemented during the upcoming summer or academic year, including break periods (i.e., fall break, Wintersession, spring break). Ideas that can be transferred or scaled to other contexts will receive special consideration.

These grants are supported by the Humanities Council Magic Project, thanks to the generosity of Lynn Shostack, in memory of her husband, David A. Gardner ’69. 


Open broadly to Princeton University humanities researchers, faculty, lecturers, postdoctoral fellows, research scholars, professional specialists, and administrators may propose to lead a project, whether alone or with co-leaders. A co-leader may come from within or outside the University. Funding requests can range from $500 – $5,000. Projects cannot begin before Summer 2024 and must conclude by June 1, 2025, when a post-project report will be due.

Grants may not support the following: travel for individual research, faculty summer salary, honoraria for public lectures or performances, salary for PU faculty or researchers, or new website development. 

These grants are not intended to serve as co-sponsorship for events or public lectures. For information about Council co-sponsorship, please visit the funding section of our website

How to Apply

For each project, the principal Princeton University leader must submit a proposal of up to 1,000 words, along with an itemized budget. Applications must include a statement of support from the Chair/Director of the academic unit committing to manage the funds and any needed logistics. The Humanities Council will publicize projects and activities through our communications channels. 

Please contact Kathleen Crown, Executive Director of the Humanities Council, for guidance on preparing a proposal or questions about eligibility. The deadline for submission is April 1, 2024.

Awards will be granted on a rolling basis, as applications are received and reviewed, as long as funding remains available. Funds will be transferred in July 2024.

Flash Grant Application

Arriving in the Present: Transcultural Perspectives in Contemporary German-Speaking Contexts
Sara Poor (German) and Barbara Nagel (German)

A reading group will convene faculty and students from Princeton University, Rutgers University, and the University of Pennsylvania to discuss new works in the fastest growing area of German Studies, “Transnational Literature/Literature of (Post-)Migration.” Oriented toward diversity and globalization, the books will span the literary forms of novel, short story, drama, and theory.

Documentary Scene in a Puerto Rican Fishing Village
Hanna Garth (Anthropology) and Marisol Gómez-Mouakad (filmmaker)

Garth and Gómez-Mouakad will collaborate to create the first chapter of a documentary film on Puerto Rican fisherpeople and how they are navigating ongoing challenges, including the impact of natural disasters and the destruction of marine habitats amid beachfront property development.

Felting Algorithms
V. Mitch McEwen (Architecture)

Graduate research assistants and a guest felt crafter will support the design and fabrication of prototypes of felted architecture. The results will contribute to an 8’ x 8’ outdoor shed that enables the study of organic materials as insulation and acoustic treatment. The School of Architecture will fund additional support.

Incorporating Ukrainian Cultural Heritage into the Index of Medieval Art Database: An International Collaboration
Maria Alessia Rossi (Art & Archaeology) and Pamela Patton (Art & Archaeology)

An international scholar, whose work has suffered because of the conflict in Ukraine, will add mosaics and paintings from the cathedral of St. Sophia in Kyiv, an important medieval monument, to the Index of Medieval Art database. Researchers will thus gain remote access to these images with their metadata. The Index of Medieval Art will fund a Princeton University student collaborator.

Literary Peru: Promoting Critical Citizenship Through Creative Reading and Writing
Daniela Salcedo Arnaiz (Spanish and Portuguese)

This pilot study will work with communities in Peru—Mullak’as-Misminay and Kacllaraccay—to create a mobile communal library and a writing space to promote creative reading and writing as a tool for social development by increasing access to literary materials, such as books and writing equipment. The Department of Spanish and Portuguese will fund travel and lodging for Salcedo Arnaiz.

Princeton’s Feral Books
Hannah Bradley (Anthropology)

This project, a collaboration between a postdoctoral fellow and an undergraduate research assistant, will conduct a mini-ethnography of unregulated books on campus, like those accumulating in the Chancellor Green Rotunda. The findings will be published in a paper zine, distributed during a walking tour of spaces where such volumes reside.

The Timefarer
Erika Kiss (The University Center for Human Values, Comparative Literature), Chris Tully (Physics), Sigrid Adriaenssens (Civil and Environmental Engineering), and John Higgins (Geosciences)

Faculty will create an immersive 360-degree film, a Virtual Reality (VR) rendering of the time-travel sequence from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, to share with students and members of the community via headsets. This process will involve harnessing a portable full-dome tent and projectors.

The Trenton Project
D. Vance Smith (English) and Nyssa Chow (Lewis Center for the Arts, Humanities Council)

Collaborators will complete the start-up phase of building an art installation, featuring wall projections of images and films as well as echoing sounds, in an abandoned house and in a former community center in Trenton. The exhibit will spotlight the systemic neglect in places like Trenton yet celebrate the persistence of Trentonians. Princeton Arts Fellow Funds and others will support later phases of this project.

What is the Value of a Breath?
Eduardo Cadava (English), Jonathan C. Aguirre (Spanish and Portuguese), Zulaikha Ayub (Architecture), and Daniela Gandorfer (Northeastern University)

Exploring blockchain technology, the project investigates what it means to tokenize a breath, that is, to assign value to breathing, and render a single breath ownable.

Read the full list of Flash Grants awarded in 2022.

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