The WFU Humanities Institute establishes programs and provides funding for university faculty in the humanities and other fields of study engaging in humanistic inquiry and scholarship. We are a member of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) and the National Humanities Alliance (NHA).

The Institute also fosters collaboration among faculty, and between faculty and students, to generate new scholarship and creative work, inspire new directions in teaching, and create vibrant university wide networks in interdisciplinary humanities, digital humanities, narrative medicine, and the engaged humanities. Since its founding in 2010, the Institute has collaborated with more than 230 university faculty across disciplines in the humanities, arts, social sciences, sciences, and the schools of law, medicine, divinity,
and business.

In addition to the regular programming outlined below, the Humanities Institute hosts special events and opportunities announced on our homepage and on Facebook.

For more information, contact Dean Franco, Director, WFU Humanities Institute & Professor of English at or Aimee Mepham, Associate Director at

Faculty Support & Development

  • Humanities Conversations

    Humanities Conversations offer faculty the opportunity for informal discussion and reflection on our own implication in the latest “humanities crisis,” including the question as to whether we think there is one, and the relevance of the national conversation for what we do here at Wake Forest University.

  • Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminars

    The Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminars harness the intellectual energies of the Wake Forest humanities and arts faculty to promote and support interdisciplinary collaboration and research that represents the leading edge of humanities scholarship and creates exciting bridges between different disciplines and units within the University. These groups, which meet regularly over the course of a semester or academic year, receive modest project funds and participate in the annual Faculty Seminars Symposium that the Humanities Institute hosts every spring.

  • Editing Grants for Humanities Proposals for External Funding

    The Humanities Institute provides up to $500 funding for professional editing assistance on Humanities proposals for external funding. Faculty may seek the assistance of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs in securing an editor.

  • Guest Speaker Grants

    The Humanities Institute sponsors and co-sponsors university-wide guest speakers and supports the Humanities Institute’s goal of bringing leading scholars in the humanities to the campus and community. Priority consideration will be given to guest speakers whose scope or methods span more than one discipline, and whose topics are of interest to faculty and students across the humanities.

  • Interdisciplinary Conferences and Symposia Grants

    This program fosters cross-unit and cross-departmental collaboration by co-funding interdisciplinary symposia on topics in the humanities. Priority is given to proposals that are coordinated with faculty seminars, collaborative research, or interdisciplinary course design.

  • Narrative Medicine: The Story, Health, & Healing Initiative

    Narrative Medicine: The Story, Health, and Healing Initiative brings together faculty, students and health care professionals at Wake Forest University and the broader community to critically examine, teach and reflect upon the practice of narrative medicine as well as the roles of story, writing, and art in health and healing. Programming draws on academic and experiential knowledge, and responds to the national call for inter-professional education by creating opportunities for faculty, providers and students across the health care professions and contexts to interact and explore the integration of narrative into health education and practice. In addition to welcoming the participation and contributions of cross-disciplinary faculty and centers at Wake Forest University, the initiative invites the collaboration of community partners, including Reynolda House Museum of American Art, the Sawtooth School for Visual Art, and the Thomas Wolfe Center for Narrative at Lenoir-Rhyne College. Narrative Medicine: The Story, Health, and Healing Initiative sponsors a range of activities, including: guest speakers; reading/writing circles; workshops in narrative medicine; faculty development opportunities.

  • Summer Humanities Writing Grants

    The Humanities Institute will fund up to four $4,000 competitive Summer Writing Grants for university faculty working in the humanities to complete or make significant progress on a MS for a monograph that is either under contract or in which a publisher has indicated written interest. Applications are open to all full-time faculty, with priority for two of the grants given to proposals submitted by tenure-track humanities faculty working on a first monograph. Typically the grant cannot be paired with a leave taken during the preceding or subsequent semester, nor can it be combined with another writing grant. Single projects are eligible for no more than one writing grant. Grant recipients will be asked to give a talk on their work-in-progress during the academic year.

  • Summer New Course Planning Grants

    The Humanities Institute offers competitive summer planning grants for faculty who plan to re-work an existing course or develop a new course in Disability Studies, Medical Humanities, or Engaged Humanities. Successful applications will include a rationale for the course, information about the proposed course-content, a statement of expertise or justification for faculty teaching the course, and a brief note of approval from the applicant’s department chair.

  • Winston-Salem Partners in the Humanities Grants

    The Humanities Institute fosters and encourages the development of partnerships that demonstrate how the humanities impact and contribute to the common good, illumine and inform social issues, and help link classroom learning to the larger world. Funding should facilitate direct interaction and collaboration with community partners and can support a wide range of partnering endeavors, including single or recurring class site visits, guest lecturers for classes, and specific research by faculty, teams of faculty and students, or classes doing faculty-directed research on topics of interest to the local community or to a particular organization. Research funding can support engaged humanities projects, digital humanities work, special humanities symposia, exhibitions, or other activity that brings together humanities scholars and community partners.

  • Faculty Development Workshops

    The Institute hosts workshops and discussions to support a range of faculty endeavors, including scholarly writing; participation in Humanities Institute programs; publication in interdisciplinary venues; grant writing; and grant opportunities.

  • Emeriti Faculty Grants

    The Humanities Institute provides research grants to Emeriti faculty working on projects in the humanities that were begun during the faculty’s tenure at WFU. A limited number of awards of up to $1,000 may be used to support project expenses, including travel and publication-related costs.

Faculty-Student Engagement

  • Faculty-Student Collaborative Humanities Research Grants

    The Humanities Institute funds faculty-student research, scholarship, or larger scale endeavors or creative activity in the humanities, including but not limited to co-authoring essays, conducting archival research, co-translating primary texts for publication, and collaborating on digital humanities projects. Awards can cover the cost of materials (except for hardware), consultations with other scholars, expenses related to publication, travel to conferences, and other kinds of activities. Faculty collaborating with student partners who are receiving URECA or other student funding are eligible and encouraged to apply for College Collaborations co-funding. Eligible research projects may be co-curricular or paired with independent studies.

  • Faculty-Student Reading Groups in the Humanities

    The Humanities Institute supports faculty-student co-curricular reading groups in order to give small groups of faculty and students (undergraduates, or a combination of graduates and undergraduates) the opportunity to engage in co-curricular study of select interdisciplinary topics in the humanities. Formerly called Collegiate Seminars, the groups are informal, noncredit reading or activity groups comprised of a faculty member and a core group of four or more students who agree to meet at least three times over the course of a semester or summer. Topics vary and can be related to a campus event. The Institute provides faculty a modest stipend in recognition of their involvement as well as funding to defray the cost of materials.

  • Humanities Matters: Problem-Focused Faculty-Student Research

    The Humanities Institute supports problem-focused, faculty-student collaborative research in the humanities that addresses particular social problems or areas of public need. Topics may be drawn from an array of disciplinary or interdisciplinary areas in the humanities, including humanities and the environment, humanities and medicine, public history, etc. Awards will be given to faculty-student collaborative projects led by individual humanities faculty or interdisciplinary faculty teams that include at least one faculty in a humanities discipline. Funds can cover the cost of materials (except for hardware), consultations with other scholars, expenses related to publication, travel to conferences, and other kinds of activities. Eligible research projects may be course-generated, co-curricular, or paired with independent studies. Funding may support faculty collaboration with an individual student, small groups of students, or entire classes.

Digital Humanities and New Media

  • Innovations in Digital Humanities Grants

    The Humanities Institute supports faculty who are: (1) working on digital humanities projects that are independent of other institute programming; or (2) seeking support for training in the digital humanities. The Institute can cover a range of expenses including, in full or in part, software (not hardware), attendance at Digital Humanities workshops and other training opportunities, and consultation with other scholars working in related areas in the digital humanities.

  • Digital Humanities Summer Stipends

    Faculty who wish to explore the implications and applications of digital methods and tools for existing research may apply for a $1,000 summer stipend to support work in collaboration with the ZSR Digital Humanities Research Designer. Open to all full-time, continuing faculty. Proposals for DH Summer Stipends must include a statement of support from the Digital Humanities Research Designer (

  • Humanities Viewpoints: An HI Podcast

    Humanities Viewpoints is a podcast featuring a conversation between host and Humanities Institute Associate Director, Aimee Mepham, and a WFU faculty member working in the humanities. The conversations focus on a timely subject — a current event, holiday, cultural moment — and how this subject connects to the faculty member’s field and expertise. The conversations are broadcast to a wide audience. Faculty who are interested in participating or who would like to submit a topic should contact Aimee Mepham at