Humanities Initiative Scholars are appointed at the distinguished chair level. Their role combines scholarly, teaching, and disciplinary distinction with collaborative projects within and beyond the humanities.
In the context of Brown University’s Humanities Initiative, Humanities Scholars will:
Be appointed primarily to develop innovative collaborative programs of teaching and research between departments and programs, rather than to address departmental needs.
Organize new teaching and research programs that accentuate or galvanize strengths of Brown faculty and students from a range of fields (their capacity to stimulate such connections will be a key criterion in the evaluation and vetting of candidates in a way that is similar to the process of recruiting prospective heads of centers or initiatives).
Teach in ways that emphasize collaboration, including team-taught graduate courses in the collaborative humanities doctoral certificate program as well as other alternative course and teaching formats hosted by the Cogut Institute or other appropriate centers, institutes, and programs.
Form a pool that is permanently separate from regular department rosters (on becoming vacant positions are filled through a new recruitment of fresh candidates who meet with the goals of the initiative).
Nominations should identify outstanding candidates whose work could make significant and generative contributions to Brown in the humanities, according to the following process:
Scholar nominations may generally be made at any time, keeping in mind that the Cogut Institute prefers submission to coincide with the Humanities Initiative Programming Fund deadlines (April 1 and October 15) and that the governing board does not meet over the summer. During fall of 2022, nominations must be made by October 15.
The governing board of the Cogut Institute reviews the nominations and selects those to pursue. The board may select more than one or may determine that none of the nominations are well aligned to the initiative.
The director of the Cogut Institute then requests approval from the Dean of the Faculty to initiate the recruitment process for any selected nominations.
Invitations are sent by the director of the Cogut Institute to the selected nominee(s), who will be asked to provide a written outline of the collaborative work they would undertake at Brown.
The nominee’s visit to campus is organized through the Cogut Institute, in coordination with the relevant department or departments.
After the visit, the governing board polls departmental participants, reviews the case again, and makes a recommendation to the Dean of the Faculty.
If the recommendation is positive, a standard senior hire process begins, including preparation of a dossier for review by the Tenure, Promotions, and Appointments Committee (TPAC). The teaching responsibilities associated with these positions are split, with half of the teaching to be conducted in the department(s) hosting the position and the other half devoted to collaborative teaching projects across disciplines involving either another University Professor of Humanities or regular Brown faculty. Teaching will include such activities as leading an interdisciplinary undergraduate or graduate seminar at the Cogut Institute or other appropriate institute, cross-disciplinary team teaching, collaborative teaching that involves bringing visitors to Brown, overseeing collaborative-based programming such as lectures, performances, exhibits, installations, etc.
Groups of two or more faculty members (at least half the group should be humanists) representing different fields should submit nominations to email@example.com with the subject line “Humanities Initiative Scholar Nomination.” Nominations should include:
A brief (2–3 page) nomination statement.
A sample of the scholar’s work comprising two representative articles or book chapters.