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The Institute for the Humanities announced Thursday a new Summer Fellowship program for tenured/tenure-track faculty and lecturers II/III/IV. The program is eight weeks long with residence in the institute, and it will accept eight fellows this summer — four tenured/tenure-track faculty and four lecturers. 

The institute also provides a year-long fellowship; however, that is open only to tenure-strain faculty and their graduate students. This summer program is meant to parallel the one held during the year but includes both lecturers and tenure-strain faculty. Peggy McCracken, director of the Institute for the Humanities, said including lecturers and tenured faculty together is unique program for the humanities.

“I’m really happy we’ve been able to put together this program that includes both tenure-strain faculty and lecturers,” McCracken said. “Our goal is to create an intellectual community, and so that’s the benefit to the Institute and to the faculty that will participate.”

The application for the program opens Monday and looks for project ideas in the humanities. McCracken said faculty working in the humanistic social sciences such as anthropology and sociology may apply to the fellowship. The Institute promotes interdisciplinary research, and faculty from the School of Art & Design or Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning are also encouraged to apply.

The summer fellows will be given the use of a private office at the Institute to conduct their research. The fellows will participate in a twice-weekly seminar to share their work with other fellows.

“For people who will be in Ann Arbor and seek to be in a community of scholars during the summer term, we hope they will apply,” McCracken said.

Lecturer IV Gina Brandolino, who hopes to apply to the fellowship in the future, discussed with other lecturers and faculty the possibility of lecturers being eligible to apply to the Institute earlier this year. Brandolino said in an email interview lecturers work for many years without any sort of sabbatical.

“A (summer) at the Humanities Institute is dissimilar from a sabbatical in a lot of ways and it isn't available to you every few years as a sabbatical is,” Brandolino said. “But it's something, and it's something lecturers, as a part of the University community, deserve a chance at.”

The Lecturers’ Employee Organization has been engaged in negotiations with the University of Michigan recently in attempt to secure higher wages, job security and more visibility on campus.

Ian Robinson, the president of LEO, wrote in an email interview that the eligibility for lecturers to apply to the Summer Fellowship presents an exciting opportunity.

“The regular Humanities Institute fellowships—as distinct from those for the new summer program—are among those from which Lecs were excluded,” Robinson wrote. “In fact, being able to compete for those fellowships was one of our bargaining demands, so it is gratifying to see this movement on the part of the Humanities Institute.”

While the opportunity of the summer fellowship is a good start, Brandolino said she hopes it will lead to a future where lecturers are eligible for year-long fellowships from the institute.

“This acknowledgement that Lecturers ought to be eligible for such programs also contributes to the emergence of a university community culture that does not reify differences in the work focus of tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty into rigid, non-overlapping categories,” Robinson wrote. “That shift will increase the faculty collegiality.”

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