Special Events

Request for Proposals: Haunting Humanities: Disciplines in the Dark

Synopsis: The Hall Center for the Humanities is partnering with University of Kansas humanities faculty, regional humanities scholars, and Lawrence non-profits to present an evening of haunted humanities scholarship on October 24th, 2018 at Abe & Jake’s Landing (8 East 6th Street).

Mission:  With federal and state funding for humanities scholarship increasingly under threat and the value of higher education decreasing in the public eye, we aim to engage our entire community in the diverse perspectives and valuable insights that the humanities can bring to a variety of pressing issues.  What are the social questions that keep you awake at night with dread?  And how can the humanities combat these fears?  What humanities related topics and themes would you like to share in a “haunted house” atmosphere or explore in a spooky environment? In a thought-provoking and celebratory atmosphere, this event will help audiences make connections between the work humanities faculty are doing across the region and the social and cultural questions the Kansas community faces every day.

Proposal Request: We are looking for humanities faculty and graduate students from the University of Kansas and throughout the region to propose innovative presentations on the “haunted humanities” theme that can take place within a three-hour time span on the evening of October 24th.  All proposed projects should relate in some way to the “haunted humanities” theme.  Accepted projects will receive up to $1,000 in support, based on the proposed budget and level of work and engagement. Programming may include but is not limited to:

  • Brief scholarly presentations designed to engage a general audience in humanities-based conversations, activities, games, etc.—e.g., 5-minute flash presentation that you would be willing to give several times throughout the evening, 20-minute themed research presentation (with up to 4 participants), or 15-minute Ted-style Talk.
  • Humanities-based exhibits, including visual aids, digital displays, objects, sound, and more.
  • Performances, including theater, dance, music, and more, that are accompanied by a humanities-based critical scaffolding.
  • Film screenings that draw on humanities themes and are accompanied by short discussions of their content through a humanities lens.
  • Immersive, potentially “haunted-house-like” experiences that encourage audiences to engage with humanities themes.
  • Immersive “escape room” puzzles that require audiences to work together and use critical thinking skills to solve a humanities mystery.

To Apply: Please submit the following documents no later than April 17th at 11:59PM (Central):

  1. A project proposal including:
    1. Project Title: A descriptive title of no more than 150 characters, including spaces.
    2. Project Synopsis: Summarize your project, what makes it innovative, and how it ties into the “haunted humanities” theme. Please also explain the intended audience (300 words)
    3. Project Participants: A list of key project participants and their roles in helping to carry out the project. Project participants may include KU scholars, regional scholars, graduate and/or undergraduate students, artists, and/or community non-profit leaders.  (No word limit)
    4. Project Timeline: How will you prepare for this project in the run-up to October 24th? Please provide benchmarks for project development, detailed plans for the night of the event, and plans for set-up and breakdown. (400 words)
    5. Project Budget:  Please list a full budget for your project.  Grant funds may cover:
      1. Presenter Honoraria up to $250/scholar
      2. Graduate/Undergraduate Student Labor
      3. Project Materials
      4. Travel up to $500
  2. A two-page CV for all lead scholars and/or lead project participants
  3. A 150-word bio for all lead scholars and/or lead project participants.
  4. Any visual aids or work samples you may want to include in order to help the review committee better understand your project. (5 work samples or visual aids max)

All applications should be submitted via email to sarahbishop@ku.edu as a single PDF no later than April 17th at 11:59PM (Central).  Visual aids and work samples, including video and sound recordings, may be submitted as hyperlinks in the body of the application email. Please title the subject of the application email: “Haunting Humanities: Lead Applicant Last Name, Lead Applicant First Name.”

Evaluation Criteria: Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Innovative nature of presentation. How original is this presentation format?  How likely is it to engage a general audience in creative humanities thought and critical thinking?
  • Alignment with “haunted humanities” theme.
  • Quality of Scholarship, as demonstrated by project summary and participating scholars’ CVs.
  • Achievability of project timeline and logistics.
  • Detail and cost-efficiency of project budget.

All applicants will be notified of review committee decisions no later than April 25th, and successful applicants will be invited to attend an information/orientation session at the Hall Center on the afternoon of May 4th at 1:30pm.

Please contact Sarah Bishop, the Interim Associate Director of the Hall Center for the Humanities, with any questions at: sarahbishop@ku.edu or 785.864.7823


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