Visiting Public Humanities Faculty Fellow at the Jackman Humanities Institute


Note regarding administration of fellowship and the global pandemic:

This fellowship is open to qualified applicants from any country in the world. If COVID-19 responses make it impossible for a fellow who has been selected for this award to move to Toronto, remote participation in JHI activities will be made available. This fellowship may not be deferred or postponed.


Description of Fellowship

The Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto invites applications for a Visiting Public Humanities Faculty Fellowship (VPH) to be held in 2021-2022. The JHI VPH Faculty Fellowship is intended to foster knowledge exchange between the academy and the public. The JHI VPH will be a mid-career, tenured faculty member from another institution who has a demonstrated track record of bringing humanities research out of the classroom and university press, and into the broader public realm for discussion, debate and examination across multiple media platforms, and who is experienced in addressing audiences outside the academy. The JHI VPH Faculty Fellow will hold a 12-month fellowship at the JHI (in residence for nine months), where they will pursue research in their own discipline and engage in the public humanities and will continue to develop their public profile. The JHI VPH Faculty Fellow is expected to:

  1. propose, write, and publish innovative public humanities projects, some on the JHI’s annual theme, with the goal of taking humanities research into the public domain.
  2. participate in activities with the multigenerational circle of fellows, including weekly lunch seminars and occasional workshops and lectures;
  3. strengthen the U of T research network of publicly engaged humanities scholars by facilitating two day-long workshops (in the winter semester) on public-facing research and writing in the humanities;
  4. In addition, the JHI VPH Faculty Fellow may participate, as appropriate, in the other “Humanities at Large” pillar activities (see below).

The Jackman Humanities Institute interprets “Humanities” as a broad category, including political theory, interpretive social science, music, and the arts.


Annual Theme, 2021-2022: PLEASURE

Whether understood as light amusement or passionate pursuit, as pure enjoyment, sensual gratification, bliss or hedonism, pleasure may be the most agreeable motivator. Yet pleasure has been described as “curious and appalling,” one of modern civilization’s most deadly poisons. Through its diverse manifestations – as intellectual satisfaction and the pleasures of knowledge, across studies of media audiences, addiction, virtual sex – when, and how, has pleasure become divorced from ideology, politics, and power? Uneasiness concerning pleasure resonates readily with humanists’ tendencies to formulate our subjects of study as constellations of problems, but is there space in our discourses for unironic joy?


Humanities at Large (HaL)

Humanities at Large is a three-year (2019-2022) initiative, generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, that is intended to promote knowledge exchange.  
It is focused on six pillar activities:

  1. Creative non-fiction writing workshops for academic researchers
  2. Social media training for academics
  3. Community-engaged public humanities scholarship
  4. Partnerships with local high schools
  5. Talking Books, a public book club experience
  6. Radio showcase on each year’s humanities research at the JHI




  • Applicants must have achieved tenure by the beginning of the fellowship (1 July 2021). Any award will be conditional on a successful promotion.
  • Faculty members employed by the University of Toronto are ineligible.
  • This fellowship is open to citizens of all countries. Application for appropriate visa documents is the responsibility of the Fellow.
  • The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may further expand the range of ideas and perspectives.  


Selection Criteria

We are seeking individuals whose intellectual scope moves between formal academic research and public communications. The JHI is a site for interdisciplinary humanities research conversations, and we are therefore interested in candidates who have an interest in and capacity for presentation of their research across disciplinary and institutional boundaries.  Candidates will be evaluated on the basis of commitment to the public humanities knowledge exchange, achievement as appropriate to their career stage, promise of excellence, and relevance of their proposed research project to the Annual Theme.


The Fellowship

The Fellowship provides funding for twelve months, with residency required for nine months (September—May). The stipend is $75,000 CAD plus benefits. This fellowship is suitable for faculty members who will be on leave for at least six months of their residency. The JHI will provide an office, University of Toronto Library access, and administrative support.  Fellows are expected to attend weekly lunches on Thursdays from September through the first week of May. In the event that COVID-19 precautions make in-person attendance impossible, remote participation in JHI activities will be made available. This fellowship may not be postponed or deferred.



You must have or create an account in the JHI website ( to apply. You will be asked to upload the following documents in your application. Click on Apply Now! below to reach the application page.

  • Letter of Application (max. 2 pages)
  • Curriculum Vitae (professional CV, including reference to work in the public humanities)
  • Proposal for Public Humanities Research relevant to the annual theme of Pleasure (max. 7 pages)
  • Writing Sample (academic) – a thesis chapter or published article (max. 50 pages)
  • Communications Sample (public) – an article for popular press, a blog post, podcast, interview or other media product. Provide URL link to audio or video files. Upload text files.

All documents must be in .pdf format. The size limit for your completed application is 8 mb.  If your upload documents are too large, you will see an error message; please optimize your files and try again.

You will be asked to provide the names and email addresses of two references. Your referees will receive an automated request for their letters, which will be due on 22 October 2020.  Please ask your referees to watch for our request email.

You must complete the application in one session; be aware that there is a timeout period if the website detects no user activity for 15 minutes. You will not be able to return to edit your partial application. If you inadvertently upload an incorrect document or submit a partial application, please contact Associate Director Kimberley Yates at before the application deadline to provide the correct files.



  • For questions relating to the scope and expectations of this fellowship, please contact Professor Alison Keith, Director, at
  • For website assistance, please contact Kimberley Yates, Associate Director, at
Application date
12 months
Social sciences