Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Responsive image

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 you must have the Dean's and Chair's signatures on your coversheet.

Please click here for the application guidelines.

Please click here for the application cover sheet

Please click here to apply online

Explication of the theme


Theme: "The Future of Failure"


At first glance, it might be tempting to think of “Failure” in purely negative terms—it does typically connote a lack or defeat of some kind—but failure can also be the first step to success. From Oprah Winfrey to Henry Ford, many leaders and innovators note the necessity of failure in their own trajectories moving forward. But what does it mean to fail?

For the 2019-2020 Faculty Fellowships Competition, the Humanities Center solicits research proposals that explore the full spectrum of failure, understood in the broadest sense. From the failure of political, economic, or religious groups to how “failure” has been utilized as a buzzword of 21st-centry trendsetters, how might we begin to conceptualize and theorize failure? Research questions might center on the historical legacies of failure, personal failures versus public ones, the subjectivity of failure, or failure as a strategic choice or a source of opportunity. We also encourage proposals that center on ideas related to academic failure: what are the gaps, problems, or dead-ends of particular disciplinary methods or academia more generally? How do we learn from failure, and how is it incorporated into our classrooms and our research? Finally, what are the creative possibilities of failure? How is failure a routine part of scientific, humanistic, and artistic practice?

We welcome proposals that examine failure from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives.

Click here to Read Flyer

Congratulations to the Faculty Fellows in the Spring of 2019 - 2020 for their proposals on "The Future of Failure"


erin
Patrick Cooper McCann - Assistant Professor, Urban Studies and Planning, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"Reframing the Shrinking City"


erin
Kristin Taylor - Assistant Professor, Political Science, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"Do All Failures Lead to Change? A comparative analysis of policy failure and learning after natural disasters and infrastructure crisis"


erin
Natalie Bakopoulos - Assistant Professor, English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"A Little History had to Intervene"


erin
Billicia Hines - Assistant Professor, Theater and Dance, College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts

erin
Ras Mikey - Assistant Professor, Dance, College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts
""Decolonization of the Arts: An Altered Perception of Failure""


erin
Samantha A Noel, Ph. D. - Assistant Professor, Art History, Department of Art & Art History
""Diasporic Art in the Age of Black Power""