Applied Humanities Summer Fellows

The Hall Center's Applied Humanities Summer Fellows program (formerly known as internships) offers exceptional and well-rounded humanities and social sciences PhD or MA candidates with opportunities to work at a variety of cultural institutions and non-profit organizations in Kansas City, Lawrence, and Topeka for a 10-week period between late May and mid-August.

The Applied Humanities Summer Fellows program provides

  • 10-week, 30-hour positions that carry a $3,000 summer stipend, plus an additional monetary allowance for mileage for positions based in Kansas City or Topeka
  • The opportunity to start and complete a defined humanities project

Organizations participating in the program this year include, Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, the Independence Avenue Community Improvement District, the Kansas City Public Library, the Kansas Humanities Council, the Kansas Jewish History Project, the Kansas State Historical Society, the Lawrence Public Library, and Mid-America Arts Alliance.

Information about each of these fellowships is listed below. Applications are due by February 27, 2017. Please click here to apply.

Kansas State Historical Society (6425 SW Sixth Avenue, Topeka, KS 66615)

The KSHS is seeking a graduate student with strong research skills to help develop a new special exhibit “Incarcerated in Kansas.” The exhibit is scheduled to open in the summer of 2018 at the Kansas Museum of History. The graduate student will conduct original research on a variety of topics, including but not limited to, people incarcerated for a cause (i.e. Carry Nation), cow town justice, the death penalty in Kansas, the history of major state and federal prisons in Kansas and their infamous prisoners (Lansing Correctional Facility, United States Prison at Leavenworth, U.S. Army Disciplinary barrack at Leavenworth), POW camps in Kansas in WWII, prison art, and prisoners of war held in foreign countries.  The student will identify important artifacts, photographs, documents, and other primary sources from the Society’s collection to use in the exhibit.  Since this is an exhibit, the student needs strong interpretation skills, a strong interest in museums, exceptional research and writing skills, the ability to think visually, good interpersonal skills, and adequate time-management skills. The student will report to the Museum Director.

Kansas Humanities Council (112 SW 6th Ave, Suite 210, Topeka KS 66603)

This position offers a motivated graduate student the opportunity to work autonomously as well as collaboratively on the development of Pop-Up Humanities events in Topeka. The intern will spend the summer of 2017 preparing for the launch of this new program direction and will research, write, plan, coordinate, and implement up to three innovative, short-term “guerilla” humanities events highlighting history and literature. The intern will work on additional humanities council directives too that could include the grants program and the Water/Ways Smithsonian traveling exhibition partnership. The selected candidate will possess exceptional writing and research skills, strong communications skills (phone, email, and in-person), the ability to think creatively, good time-management skills, and an interest in learning more about hometown humanities. The position works in downtown Topeka with some offsite travel and reports directly to the Executive Director.

Kansas Jewish History Project (1031 Vermont Street, Suite D, Lawrence, KS 66044)

This project seeks a motivated graduate student to help edit, layout, and prepare for publication an encyclopedia of Kansas Jewish history. The book is intended as a general reference work with entries based on rigorous research yet aimed at a general audience. The project is affiliated with Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area. The selected candidate will work closely with the project director and general editor in revising and editing entries, preparing the work for publication, choosing images for publication and obtaining image rights, checking facts and sources, editing bibliographies, and communicating with contributors, historical collections, and the publisher. This fellowship will provide hands-on experience in editorial work, manuscript preparation, and publishing. The selected candidate should be interested in bringing the humanities to a general audience, and possess an aptitude for research, writing and editing, strong communications skills (email and telephone), plus the ability to think creatively and have an eye for a good story.

Mid-America Arts Alliance (2018 Baltimore Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64108).

Selected applicant will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and learn about the exhibition development process for upcoming projects produced through the Arts and Humanities Programming Department. Responsibilities will include (but may not be limited to):

  • Assisting department staff with obtaining image rights for current exhibitions in development;
  • Installation and/or de-installation of in-house exhibitions;
  • Research and development of bibliographies for humanities and visual arts exhibition projects;
  • Condition reporting of exhibition artifacts; and
  • Assistance with documentation of out-bound touring exhibitions.

Skillset should include: research skills, organizational skills, attention to detail, interest in exhibition development, ability to work independently. Spanish language proficiency a plus but not required.

Independence Avenue Community Improvement District (6400 Independence Ave., Kansas City, MO)

The Independence Avenue Community Improvement District seeks an observant, collaborative, and solution-seeking humanities graduate student who would enjoy the challenge of working directly with a certain sector of humanity – namely those individuals who might be defined as “vagrants” and cause a range of nuisance issues – that is hindering the redevelopment of Independence Avenue, a vibrant and reviving multicultural commercial corridor in the Historic Northeast section of Kansas City, Mo. The selected applicant will prepare profiles to separate individuals with medical and psychiatric issues from those with criminal issues, and work with appropriate social service agencies to develop a comprehensive approach for addressing vagrancy on Independence Avenue. Successful outcomes will include an increase in the perception of pedestrian safety and a reduction in the nuisances resulting from the behavior of these individuals. Position reports to the District Manager.

Kansas City Public Library (14 W. 10th St., Kansas City, MO 64105)

The Library is seeking a graduate student to contribute to the development of a collaborative online encyclopedia project, The Pendergast Years: Kansas City in the Jazz Age and Great Depression, 1918-1941. Modeled after a multiple award-winning website (Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict, 1854-1865,, the Pendergast Years will integrate original scholarship from professional historians; a digital repository of correspondence, photographs, artifacts, and other audio-visual objects digitized materials from regional archives; digital features such as GIS mapping and timelines; and content for educators at a secondary or higher level. The graduate student primarily will be expected to conduct original research; write historical content for the Pendergast Years website, including short biographies or profiles of places and events; and identify links between written content and the digital repository, incorporating audio-visual material in a creative manner. The student will have the additional opportunity to receive an introduction to technical skills relevant to the burgeoning field of the digital humanities: digital asset management, metadata creation, OCR, and best practices for digitization projects. The successful candidate will employ skills that include an exceptional and engaging writing style geared toward public audiences, creative historical interpretation, time management, and an ability to work both independently and collaboratively with the project team. The student will report to the Library’s digital history specialist.

Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area (200 W 9th St., Carnegie Building, Lawrence, KS 66044)

Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area seeks a special project coordinator to work on the development of a traveling exhibit on temperance and alcohol in mid-19th century eastern Kansas and western Missouri. This work will build upon a timeline and bibliography developed by a previous Hall Center fellow in summer 2016. The exhibit is intended to explore mid-19th century attitudes about temperance and alcohol within the context of differences in attitudes over the slavery question along the Missouri-Kansas border region. The coordinator will be responsible for the production of an exhibit that meets the following criteria: developing a well-researched exhibit outline on temperance and alcohol in eastern Kansas and western Missouri; drafting final exhibit text for at least one exhibit segment; expanding an inventory of images to accompany the exhibit; and enlarging a bibliography of primary and secondary resources that support the exhibit topic. The selected candidate will possess excellent research skills; excellent written, oral and interpersonal communication skills; organizational and analytical skills; project management skills; ability to set priorities and manage time while meeting deadlines; and attention to detail. The position reports to the managing director of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.

Lawrence Public Library (707 Vermont St., Lawrence KS).

This position offers a motivated graduate student the opportunity to work with Lawrence Public Library’s Information Services Department and its Local History Room. The selected candidate will have the unique opportunity to participate in growing Digital Douglas County History, our online local history portal, to curate and digitize materials from our local history collection, and to create a social media campaign to highlight local history resources. The library seeks an individual who is a self-starter with exceptional research and writing skills, a strong interest in Lawrence history, the ability to think visually, an attention to detail, great interpersonal skills, and an ability to manage their time to ensure completion of the project by the conclusion of the 10-week fellowship. Position reports to the Library's Information Services Coordinator.

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