Call for Applications – Graduate Research Fellowships

Annual Topic: Places of Language, Languages of Place

Materials are due by Friday, June 1, 2018.

Detail, Mandy Katz,  Pocket Field Guide to Plants of the Lower Schuylkill River , Ecotopian Toolkit 2017

Detail, Mandy Katz, Pocket Field Guide to Plants of the Lower Schuylkill River, Ecotopian Toolkit 2017


The Penn Program in Environmental Humanities is now accepting applications for Graduate Research Fellows for the Academic Year 2018-2019.

In 2018-2019, PPEH programs, research initiatives, workshops, seminars, performances, and public engagement projects are designed around the central theme: Places of Language, Languages of Place.

Do we need new names for our changing planet? What might a planetary language sound and look like?  In 2018-19, at PPEH, we are considering these questions – and a raft of others which aim to tease out relationships between language and place across a variety of tongues and locations. Our faculty and students will ask, for example, what makes a language "foreign"? What does it mean to be "native," as in a “native” speaker, “native” species, or “native” person?  What is the relationship in a globalized world between national language and national territory? How does language extinction relate to other extinction events? Can words provide tools for revitalization or repair?

Competitive stipends for up to five graduate students are available in AY 18-19 to explore this topic. Each fellowship carries a $2,000 stipend designed to support EH projects and provide alternative academic career exposure and training. In addition to the individual project (either the dissertation or research in preparation for it), the award brings with it participation in a year-long Collaborative Research Colloquium, to develop and execute cross-disciplinary, public engagement projects, as well as enrollment in the spring 2019 Public Environmental Humanities course, taught by PPEH Faculty Director Bethany Wiggin (ANTH 543, COML 562, GRMN 544, URBS 544).

Past PPEH Fellows’ collaborations include public art/history/science installations, organization of reading groups and workshop series, a conference or un-conference, co-authored articles, a co-edited book, an installation, and Data Refuge. Participants in the 2018-2019 PPEH Fellows colloquium also support regular contributions to the PPEH Fellows Blog, another Fellows’ collaboration. Each Fellow edits the blog for a six-week period, inviting and creating content that intersects and expands our annual topic. Fellows are expected to attend and contribute to all PPEH events and symposia. In regular meetings, we will frame the role of the environmental humanities and think about how public and digital outreach enhances scholarship. For further information, visit us at

To apply, attach the following word documents to PPEH Director, Bethany Wiggin, at, including PPEH Fellowship Application in the subject line:

  • 1000-word research statement. This statement should include a project abstract, a brief statement about how the project intersects with the environmental humanities and about how it might foster collaboration across disciplines.  

  • 250-word statement addressing the candidate’s vision for public, collaborative humanities projects

  • C.V.

  • A brief letter of support from the Ph.D. advisor or Graduate Chair.