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Applied Humanities Bootcamp

Deadline: Monday, March 13, 2017 11:59pm


The Applied Humanities Boot Camp is designed to provide practical advice, intensive training, hands-on experience, and professional networking opportunities to up to 12 humanities and social sciences graduate students seeking to add a public humanities component to their CV. This professional development opportunity is open to individuals considering the pursuit of careers outside the professoriate as well as to those seeking academic tenure track positions.

The one-week program includes:

  • Keynote addresses on the role and value of public humanities in contemporary life
  • Presentations by veteran practitioners covering such topics as budgeting, marketing and promotion, programming, partnership development, fundraising and grant-seeking, community relations, and management
  • Workshop sessions in which participants will conceive and develop a comprehensive mock plan for executing a themed month-long series of public humanities events at the Hall Center
  • "Speed-dating" sessions with individuals in the field allowing for direct interaction and networking
  • A professional development track offering guidance on preparing resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and job interview techniques
  • A field trip day devoted to site visits at several Kansas City-area cultural institutions


The Applied Humanities Boot Camp takes place at the Hall Center May 15-19, 2017, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (The field trip day may start a little earlier and end a little later.) Each participant will receive a $500 stipend and a certificate upon completion of the program. On-site lunch will be served to all participants, and a closing reception will take place late afternoon on Friday, May 19, 2017. Transportation and lunch will be provided on the Kansas City site visit day.

Morning sessions will be a combination of talks and panel discussions examining the various skill sets necessary for success in the applied humanities field. The presentations will feature representatives from the media, leading museums and cultural institutions, and non-profits and foundations. In the afternoon workshop sessions, participants will be assigned to teams that will be charged with developing a comprehensive public programming plan designed to commemorate one of the following anniversaries scheduled to occur in the period fall 2017- spring 2018:

  • 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther's 95 Theses and the Beginning of the Protestant Reformation (Oct 31, 1517)
  • 350th Anniversary of the birth of Jonathan Swift (November 30, 1667)
  • 200th Anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)
  • 200th Anniversary of the birth of Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817)
  • 150th Anniversary of the establishment of the Dominion of Canada (July 1867)
  • 125th Anniversary of the birth of Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8, 1867)
  • 125th Anniversary of the Treaty of Medicine Lodge (October 1867)
  • 100th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution (October 1917)
  • 50th Anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles (June 1, 1967)
  • 50th Anniversary of Arab-Israeli Six-Day War (June 5-10, 1967)
  • 50th Anniversary of Thurgood Marshall's appointment to the US Supreme Court (October 1967)
  • 50th Anniversary of the death of Che Guevera (October 9, 1967)

Plans will be evaluated by their capacity to elicit interest, engage the public, encourage dialogue, draw diverse audiences, obtain positive media exposure, enable partnerships with outside groups and organizations, stay within budget, attract additional funding, and enhance understanding of the topic to a broad slice of the general public. Each team will be required to give an oral summary report on its progress during the final hours of the Wednesday workshop session, followed by evaluations from one or more Hall Center representatives. Concluding presentations on the afternoon of Friday, May 19, 2017 will be judged by a panel of experts that will provide a public critique of each proposal.


Eligible applicants will:

  1. Be KU graduate students in a humanities or social sciences discipline; and
  2. Demonstrate an interest in an applied humanities field, such as museums, arts and cultural organizations, libraries, non-profits, foundations, etc.


Participants in the Applied Humanities Boot Camp are required to:

  1. Commit to attend all scheduled sessions, workshops, lunches, and site visits during the week of May 15-19, 2017, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; and
  2. Commit to complete all assignments.

Participants who do not complete the foregoing will not receive the $500 stipend or a portion thereof.


All application materials must be submitted through the Hall Center Competitions Portal.  Paper submissions will not be accepted.  For an application to be verified as complete, and thus forwarded for committee review, applicants must:

1. Create an account or log in to an existing account.

2. Select the Apply Now button next to this competition. 

3. Complete the Applicant Information form in the Portal.

4. Upload the following materials as 3 separate PDF or Word files:

a. A resume, CV, or biographical sketch of not more than two pages;

b. A writing sample of not more than seven pages, ideally a previously written class assignment such as book review or short paper; and

c. A cover letter of not more than two pages that includes information on the applicant's degree program and research interests, explains the applicant's interest in pursuing a career in applied humanities, details prior qualifying work experiences such as internships and jobs, and identifies possible career paths the applicant is considering.


Applications will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  1. Overall quality of the written application components
  2. Applicant's interest in pursuing an applied humanities career or incorporating applied humanities knowledge in an academic career
  3. Applicant's enthusiasm for the structure and components of the Applied Humanities Bootcamp

Please direct any questions to:

Sally Utech, Acting Director, Hall Center for the Humanities

sutech@ku.edu or 864-7823


Henry Fortunato

Visiting Scholar, Hall Center for the Humanities


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