Franke Faculty Grants

The Franke Institute for the Humanities is pleased to announce a new program of grants in support of Humanities faculty.  Grants of up to approximately $30,000 can be made for a limited number of new research and/or public-facing projects.  Projects can be small or large and can range from faculty working groups and “Sawyer”-type seminars all the way to large collaborations.  Awards can be dispensed over multiple years (1-3) as appropriate.  Basic research and public-humanities projects are equally encouraged.  At every level the Institute hopes to foster innovative, cross-disciplinary research, teaching and/or public engagement in the humanities; we particularly welcome applications that represent multiple departments or disciplines or that involve collaboration with outside institutions, including community-based organizations (in the event of collaboration with other research universities we expect partners to provide substantial support as well).  All tenure-track or tenured members of the Humanities faculty are eligible to apply.  We are happy to work with you to discuss proposals in advance of application.


This initiative will be evaluated in Spring 2022 and, if deemed successful and if funds permit, may continue in future years.


In recognition of the disruptions occasioned by the pandemic, proposals will be accepted starting in Summer 2021 for projects that could begin as early as Fall 2021 (projects with later start dates can be considered at this time as well).  The summer deadline for applications is 5pm on 03 September 2021.  Proposals will be vetted by the Franke’s Governing Board at the end of the summer and the first round of awards will be announced at or just before the beginning of the Fall quarter.


For more information on how to apply, please go to the Franke Faculty Grants page.

The Franke Fellows, 2021-22

On behalf of the Franke Institute Governing Board, we are pleased to announce the eight Franke Faculty Fellows and the four Franke Dissertation Completion Fellows for the 2021-22 academic year.


Franke Faculty Fellows

Ahmed El Shamsy

Associate Professor, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations 

The History of Early Sunnism 


Chelsea Foxwell

Associate Professor, Art History  

Abundant Images: Art and the Public Sphere in Early Modern Japan 


Paola Iovene

Associate Professor, East Asian Languages and Civilizations  

Location Shooting in Chinese Cinema 


Alison James

Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures  

Fragile Fictions in Contemporary France 


Matthew Kruer

Assistant Professor, History 

Sovereigns and Subjects: Indians within the British Atlantic Empire 

Agnes Lugo-Ortiz

Associate Professor, Romance Languages and Literatures 

The Plantation Gaze: Slavery and Visual Culture in Colonial Cuba (1727-1886) 

Rochona Majumdar

Associate Professor, South Asian Languages and Civilizations  

Enlightenment in the Colony: A Global History of the Hindoo College 

Julie Orlemanski

Associate Professor, English Language and Literature 

Who Has Fiction? Modernity, Fictionality, and the Middle Ages 

Franke Dissertation Completion Fellows


Jon Bullock

Doctoral Candidate, Music

(Re)sounding Tradition: Iraqi Kurdish Music as a Critique of Colonial Power, 1923-Present


Marissa Fenley

Doctoral Candidate, English Language & Literature and Theater & Performance Studies

Puppet Theory: The Mechanical Infrastructure of Personhood


Isabela Fraga

Doctoral Candidate, Romance Languages & Literatures

Subjected to Feeling: Slavery and Sensibility in Brazil and Cuba


Amy Skjerseth

Doctoral Candidate, Cinema & Media Studies

The Portable Pop Archive in Experimental Cinema: Technological Transformations of Aural Memory

The 2019-20 Franke Bulletin

The Franke Bulletin newsletter for 2019-20 is available to view or download at the top of the Newsletters page.

Humanities Without Walls Consortium, 2021

2021 HWW Grand Research Challenge: Reciprocity and Redistribution

"Climate Games: Redistributing STEM Resources Through Transmedia Play in Middle Schools"

A seed grant has been awarded to the Fourcast Lab (Patrick Jagoda, PI) for this UChicago-based project in collaboration with three middle schools: UChicago Laboratory School, UChicago Charter School, and Ray School (CPS). More about HWW’s third Grand Research Challenge.


2021 HWW Pre-doctoral Workshop Fellowship

In a national competition, Kevin Irakoze, a graduate student in the University of Chicago Philosophy Department, has been awarded a 2021 Humanities Without Walls Pre-doctoral Workshop Fellowship for the Career Diversity Summer Workshop by the Humanities Without Walls Consortium. Through the Franke Institute for the Humanities, UChicago is a member of the HWW Consortium, which is funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is based at the UIUC Humanities Research Institute.

Welcoming the University's Next President

The Franke Institute for the Humanities is delighted to welcome A. Paul Alivisatos (BA ’81) back to the University of Chicago as its next president! Dr. Alivisatos is currently executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California at Berkeley, where he will remain through the Spring semester. To quote Berkeley News:

“Throughout his distinguished academic career, Paul has demonstrated the skills and imagination needed to be an inspirational leader, confront the challenges of our time and guide the University of Chicago during a period of enormous opportunity,” said Joseph Neubauer, chair of the University of Chicago’s Board of Trustees and leader of the search for a new president, in an announcement today (Feb. 26). “He has the vision to further elevate the university’s eminence, uphold its rich traditions and enduring values, and make an impact on higher education and the lives of university students, faculty and staff, as well as enrich the South Side community.”

Armand Paul Alivisatos, who was born in Chicago before moving to Greece with his family, first came to Berkeley as a graduate student in 1981 after receiving a B.A. with honors in chemistry from the University of Chicago. He credits the University of Chicago for instilling in him an appreciation of disciplines beyond science — in particular, art. For more details please see this UChicago press release.


Friday, September 3: Deadline for Franke Faculty Grants

Monday, November 15: Deadline for applying for Research Grants from the Humanities Without Walls Consortium.



The Franke Institute for the Humanities has worked with the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes to draft a statement of solidarity with Black Lives Matter and related movements around the world.  We post it here on behalf of CHCI and as a declaration of the Institute’s own values and commitments: Solidarity Statement.


For more on the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes and this statement, please see CHCI's website