Information on WFU’s Engaged Humanities Mellon Grant

Please review these exciting opportunities in the Engaged Humanities provided by a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant aims to advance work in the engaged humanities across the university and builds especially on ongoing faculty interest in cross-disciplinary collaboration, digital scholarship, and partnerships between the WFU Reynolda campus, historic Reynolda, WFU at the Innovation Quarter, and our surrounding community in Winston-Salem and beyond.

Click here for the Call for Proposals for the Reynolda Conference in the Engaged Humanities to be held Summer 2018 on the Wake Forest University Campus!

Click here for the Call for Proposals for Engaged Humanities (EH) Course Planning and Implementation Grants!



Funded by a Major Grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation,
July 2016-June 2019
(click here to download as a Word Document)


  • New Staff in Digital Humanities (ZSR Library). Grant funding is partially supporting ZSR staff who will help meet increasing faculty demand for assistance with the design of new digital humanities projects and web development.
    • Digital Humanities Research Designer. Carrie Johnston (Ph.D. in English and American Literature) will collaborate with humanities faculty and library colleagues to expand modes of humanistic research through emerging and existing technologies and design thinking. In providing research project support and conducting workshops on the use of various tools, she will translate and share ideas and concepts effectively across diverse interdisciplinary audiences.
    • Web Developer. Ben Ellentuck will research, build, recommend, test, and subsequently implement innovative software applications that are well-suited for digital scholarship activities.
  • Engaged Humanities (EH) Course Planning and Implementation Grants (College). These competitive grants provide new opportunities for cross-disciplinary faculty to team-teach engaged humanities courses in the curriculum, particularly those that facilitate course-based research addressing problems or challenges facing the Winston-Salem community or our region, and which have the potential to be taught more than once.
    • Grants will support up to four pairs of cross-disciplinary faculty (including partnerships with Wake Forest’s law, medical, and divinity schools) planning to design and offer team-taught courses, linked courses or co-taught sequential courses that will engage students in public humanities and emphasize collaborative research or creative work.
      • Two grants will be awarded in project years two and three (two teams of two faculty members each, per year) at $4,000 per faculty (a total of eight participating faculty).
      • Each of the four EH teams will also receive $3,000 in research funds to support the implementation of class-based research.
      • Although planning will not typically include a course release, proposals may request up to one course release per faculty team.
    • The first Call for Proposals will be announced in early November 2016. Course Planning Grants will cover Summer 2017 and Course Implementation Grants will cover Fall 2017 and/or Spring 2018, and/or possibly Summer 2018, according to each faculty team’s teaching plans.
  • Humanities Matters Summer Course Planning Grants (Humanities Institute). Funds up to three summer course planning grants of $2000 each, beginning Summer 2016, for faculty who will also seek course implementation support through the Humanities Institute’s Winston-Salem Partners in the Humanities or Humanities Matters These grants are for single humanities courses that emphasize faculty-student collaboration on public humanities projects and/or problem-focused humanities research. The next Call for Proposals will be issued in Spring 2017.
  • Reynolda Conferences (Reynolda House). A contemporary revisiting of an intellectual practice in Reynolda House’s early history, these intensive, WFU faculty-led interdisciplinary week-long seminars will catalyze research, creative work, and course development in the engaged humanities and liberal arts at Wake Forest and beyond. In the 1920s, Reynolda Conferences presented national panels of educators, scientists, and religious leaders in public debates about such controversial topics as women’s leadership, moral instruction in public schools, and the need to reconcile religion with scientific findings in geology and evolutionary biology. In the 21st century, each seminar will emphasize problem-focused work and bring together university, community, national and/or international thought leaders, to address critical issues. Planning will be convened by Reynolda House, the College, and the Humanities Institute.
    • Competitive funding of $20,000 each for two faculty-led seminars in the spring/summer of 2018 and 2019 (one seminar per year) will cover the cost of hosting local, national and international participants for each weeklong seminar. Each seminar will feature an event (panel discussion, lecture, etc.) that will be open to the public.
    • Call for Proposals for Spring/Summer 2018 will be announced early in the Spring 2017 term.
  • Symposium on the Engaged Humanities for the Common Good (College). Planning for this Fall 2018 symposium will be convened by the College and Humanities Institute, and will invite the participation of programs across the university. The conference will bring to campus leading voices in the public humanities and showcase faculty-student engaged humanities research at Wake Forest. It will highlight national work in the public humanities, examples of locally engaged research and creative work that WFU faculty and students are generating, and the connections between such work and our community’s history. It will provide the university the opportunity to assess past work and help chart the course for continued curricular development.
  • Reynolda Fellowship (Reynolda House and College): A research and teaching fellowship shared between Reynolda House Museum of American Art and our main WFU campus will fulfill ongoing scholarship needs that enrich the interpretation of historic Reynolda, including its relationship to the Reynolds family’s multi-faceted legacy, its impact on Winston-Salem, and its contemporary connectivity to student learning at Wake Forest. The Reynolda Fellow’s teaching responsibilities in the College will dovetail with emerging public-humanities initiatives, while research efforts will draw on the archival resources of the estate, in essence stitching back together the key founding components of this historic place.The Fellowship coincides with a current effort, on the occasion of the historic Reynolda estate’s centennial (2017), to interpret with greater depth the function of Reynolda as a community, both a century ago and today. It will allow a visiting scholar, possibly at the senior level, to engage with the Museum’s nationally known art collection, as well as the complex and transformational history of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and the Reynolda estate. The Museum’s archival collections offer scholars singular opportunities to research race relations, gender roles, education, civic responsibility, as well as food production and healthfulness, in the context of the American South, for the benefit of public audiences and students. The Fellowship will be posted in Summer 2017 for AY 2018-2019.
  • Narrative Medicine: The Story, Health and Healing Initiative (Humanities Institute). Funding for interdisciplinary faculty training and development in narrative medicine supports a Fall 2016 conference and capacity-building workshops held during the grant period. Interested faculty should contact Humanities Institute Assistant Director, Aimee Mepham, for more information.