Founded in 1959, the Institute for Research in the Humanities (IRH) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison sponsors some 40-45 external and internal fellowships. We encourage innovative research and interdisciplinary exchange asking large questions of history, culture, literature, ideas, language, and the arts. The Institute's weekly seminars and informal brown bag lunches create a dynamic research environment of diverse scholars open to learning from each other. Collaborating closely with the Center for the Humanities, the Institute also sponsors symposia, conferences, lectures, and workshops of broad significance for the Humanities. Fellowships are not limited to a specific theme, with the exception of four theme-based fellowship programs: 4-5 Solmsen Fellowships on pre-1700 Europe (external); 1-2 Kingdon Fellowships on Judeo-Christian religious traditions and their role in society from antiquity to the present (external); 6 Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowships, based on annual themes (external); and 3 fellowships on Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity Fellowships (internal).
The Institute awards stipendary and non-stipendary fellowships to internal and external applicants each year. Fellowships are open to applicants in any discipline or field whose project has a clear relationship to and significance for the humanities. They are awarded across the spectrum of the humanities on the basis of the significance of proposed research, the record and potential of the applicant, and the promise of interdisciplinary engagement in the Institute's intellectual community. All fellows are expected to participate in the weekly Institute seminars and are invited, schedule and space permitting, to present their work have an office, and engage in the Institute's many events and synergies. The Institute administers fellowship competitions, with Selection Committees appointed by the director and involving the associate deans for the humanities.
IRH Senior Fellow Mary Louise Roberts (History) was featured in the New York Times for her work on sexual assualt after the U.S. liberation of France.
Former IRH Senior Fellow Rob Nixon (English) received the 2013 award for best book in environmental studies from the American Society for Literature and the Environment for his 2011 monograph Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor.