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Faculty Fellowship Competition


The Humanities Center sponsors an annual Faculty Fellowship Competition on a specific theme. Fellowships provide Wayne State University faculty with summer funding to help pay for expenses related to their research projects including travel, research assistance, salary and fringe benefits. All WSU full-time faculty in the humanities, arts, and related disciplines are eligible to submit proposals, except those who have received funding from the Center within the last two years.

Please note that if you are an applicant from CLAS must have the Dean's and Chair's signature on your coversheet.

Please click here for the application guidelines.

Please click here for the application cover sheet.

Explication of the 2015-2016 year


Theme: "Mobilities"


From the lure of adventure to the tedium of a daily commute, and from the call of the unknown to the familiarity of home, various forms and aspects of mobility have always been at the core of human existence and preoccupations.Newly emerging technologies are constantly changing our view of time and space, and impacting our relationship to the surrounding environment. The advent of the railroad, the automobile, and the airplane provides a perfect example of how the perception of distance, and consequently of time, is influenced by increased velocity. The incremental development of telecommunication devices has rendered distances and physical barriers superfluous, thus contributing to trends of globalization, cosmopolitanism, and global governance on the one hand, and escalated scrutiny and surveillance on the other hand.

Living implies movement; this vital association encompasses heterogeneous flows of people, things, and ideas. The corporeal travel of people relates not only to everyday practices or to touristic, leisurely pursuits, but also to historical phenomena such as political upheaval and regime change. From biblical accounts of the Israelites’ wanderings to the Great Migration of African Americans during the 20th century, shifts in population have redefined political, cultural, and religious landscapes. Embodied practices such as walking, driving, and flying help us create new spaces (roads, airports, public transportation, etc.) that modify existing infrastructures, geographies, and topologies. Meanwhile, disability studies has shed new light on the social and medical nature of different kinds of mobilities, from the wheelchair to the crutch. Travel also occurs in more than one dimension. While the concept of social mobility is central to disciplines such as anthropology, economics, and sociology, Jules Verne’s fertile imagination took 19th-century readers on a trip to the moon almost a century before technological advances made it possible. Today’s imagination contributes various accounts of imaginative travel and virtual travel to mobility studies, from the space journeys depicted in movies like Interstellar to the time-traveling exploits of Doctor Who.

We invite submissions of scholarly and/or artistic works which explore past and present conceptions of mobility, broadly defined. How are the different facets of mobility – artistic, literary, geographical, political, sociological, anthropological, historical, linguistic, philosophical – represented? How do these representations consider the entanglement of ethnicity, gender, and class that is common to the flows of subjects, objects, and concepts? How do the velocity, rhythm, and flow of mobility emerge from the practices of specific cultures or agents?

Click here to explore...


Congratulations to the Faculty Fellows in the Spring of 2016 for their proposals on “Mobilities”


Robert Aguirre - - Associate Professor, English
"Indigeonous Mobilities: Muybridge and the Making of Western Americana"


Mary Anderson - - Associate Professor, Theatre & Dance
"Mobile Homestead: Cycles of Representation and Disruption in the Work of Mike Kelley"


Danielle Aubert - - Assistant Professor, Art & Art History
"The Graphic Legacy of Fredy Perlman and the Detroit Printing Co-op"


Alina Cherry - - Assistant Professor, CMLLC
"Bodies in Motion: Spaces, Crossings, Journeys"


Nicole Coleman - - Assistant Professor, CMLLC
"Privilege of Border Blindness: Transnational (Im)Mobility in A.T.'s Noise of B. and A.K.'s Village Indian"


Hernan Garcia - - Assistant Professor, CMLLC
"Performing the Low-Tech Cyborg: The Poetics of Peripheral Technology in Alex Rivera's Film ‘Sleep Dealer’"


Nadejda Marinova - - Assistant Professor, Political Science
"Engaging Diasporas: Insights from US Policymaking and Lebanese-American Organizations"


David Merolla - - Assistant Professor, Sociology
"Racial Differences in Social Mobility across Three Generations"



The Humanities Center
Attn: Walter F. Edwards, Director
2226 Faculty/Administration Building
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48202