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Humanities Without Walls

2019 Humanities Without Walls PreDoctoral Workshop Callout

In summer 2019, HWW is holding its second national, in-residence summer workshop for doctoral students interested in learning about careers outside of the academy and/or the tenure track system. Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF)—a leading public humanities organization—designs and runs the summer workshop in consultation with HWW. Through a series of workshops, talks, and field trips, participants learn how to leverage their skills and training towards careers in the private sector, the non-profit world, arts administration, public media and many other fields.


We invite applications from doctoral students pursuing degree in the humanities and humanistic social sciences to participate in this three-week, in-residence summer workshop. This is a limited-submission application. Eligible doctoral students must be nominated for this fellowship by their home institutions, and only one nomination may be made to HWW by each university. 


About the Workshop


Launched in 2015 as an initiative of the HWW consortium, the workshop welcomes thirty participants each summer from higher education institutions across the United States. HWW Summer Workshop Fellows work in a variety of academic disciplines. They are scholars and practitioners who bring experience in community building, museum curation, filmmaking, radio programming, social media, project management, research, writing, and teaching. They are invested in issues of social justice and seek ways to bring humanistic values, insights, and skills to the public and private sectors



All applicants must be enrolled in a doctoral degree program in a humanities discipline at a PhD-granting institution within the United States. Applicants may be at any stage of their doctoral work, but they cannot have already received the doctoral degree at the time the workshops take place. Ideally, applicants will have completed some coursework towards the PhD, and they may have been advanced to candidacy but are not yet finishing their dissertations. International students are eligible to apply, but are responsible for confirming their registration and eligibility status at their home universities; HWW is not responsible for issuing visa paperwork. 

Application Requirements

  • A completed application cover sheet
  • A narrative of no more than 1,000 words explaining the applicant’s intended career trajectory and addressing the following questions:
    • Why do you want to attend the workshop?
    • What are the most important pieces of information you are seeking?
  • A 2-page cv; and,
  • Two letters of recommendation. One letter should be from the applicant’s primary adviser/dissertation chair; both should emphasize the applicant’s fit for this workshop.

Details about eligibility

Purdue Application Procedures 2018-19

Letters of recommendation should be submitted to the  CLA Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education Office ( by September 30, at 5:00pm CDT.  The CLA Associate Dean's 

Applicants should prepare and submit the rest of the required application materials to by September 30 at 5:00pm CDT 

Purdue may nominate one finalist from the applications we receive.

The announcement of fellowship awards will be made by the end of the year. 

2018 Humanities Without Walls Fellows

College of Liberal Arts graduate students named 2018 Humanities Without Walls PreDoctoral fellowship recipients. 

HWW A. HajkovaAlzbeta Hajkova

Department of Philosophy
Research Focus - Social and Political Philosophy

Undergraduate Institution - Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts (Slovakia)
Master's Degree Institution - KU Leuven (Belgium)

Alzbeta's research focuses on pluralism of ideas within the democracy and is engaging primarily with the work of Hannah Arendt. Arendt saw political society as a platform where people face each other as equals, and argued that the struggle of their opposing ideas is what ultimately moves us forward. However, the crucial question that Alzbeta hopes to explore is where to locate the boundary between the sorts of ideas that do indeed move us forward, and those that in fact undermine the very platform that allows them to spread freely in the first place.

Since Alzbeta's previous professional experience pertains to the political and non-governmental sphere, she hopes that Humanities Without Fellows program will deepen her understanding of what does it take to establish and run a public or private institution that positively contributes to local community and society. She also hopes to acquire a better sense of the many real-world applications of her philosophical studies, and to discover new ways in which she can take advantage of her own personal skill set and gain awareness of the limitations that she will need to work on in order to actualize her ambitions.


Keturah Nix HWW 2018 RecipientKeturah Nix

School of Interdisciplinary American Studies
Research Focus - Nineteenth and Twentieth Century African American  - History, Populuar Culture, Material, Activism, Resistance, and Social Movements

Undergraduate Institution - Tuskegee University
Master's Degree Institution - Purdue University

Keturah C. Nix is a doctoral candidate in American Studies with a concentration in Activism, Resistance, and Social Movements.  Ms. Nix's  dissertation examines the historical and popular culture implications of hustle in the African American community. More specifically, she traces how the laws of the American chattel slavery system heavily impeded black educational and economic development which in turn created a more strategic, and sometimes subversive, demand for institutional progress. She connects the historical concept of the “self-made man” to a hustler’s mentality; thereby, demonstrating the entrepreneurial spirit of African Americans in achieving the American Dream. Performing a historical case study on educator and entrepreneur Dr. Booker T. Washington, she leverages his commemorative legacy as a means to discuss the generational impact his hustle mentality has had on various American social movements. This Montgomery, Alabama native is currently a Graduate Lecturer in the African American Studies and Research Center. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tuskegee University with her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and earned her Master of Arts degree in American Studies from Purdue University. Her other research interests include: Black Intellectualism; Racial Uplift Politics; Material/Popular Culture; and, 19th & 20th Century African American History & Culture.  

2017 Humanities Without Walls Fellow

College of Liberal Arts graduate student named 2017 Humanities Without Walls PreDoctoral fellowship recipient. 

brian albertsBrian Alberts 

Department of History
Research Focus - German Immigrants and Brewing in the 19th Century Midwest

Undergraduate Institution - University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Master's Degree Institution - Purdue University 

Project:  "Beer to Stay: Brewed Culture, Ethnicity, and the Market Revolution 1840-1873"

Brian hopes to use his research on brewing and German immigrants in Chicago and Cincinnati, specifically how beer production and consumption helped them navigate the cultural and economic transformations of the mid-19th century, to blur the line between scholarly and public engagement. Growing interest in beer throughout the United States continues to define the beverage as a junction for economic, political, moral, and social forces. Increased historical context for this process and its antecedents will improve collective understanding of the legacy and potential of American beer. For Brian, applying beer's history to its present is not merely possible, it's a professional imperative.

Through participation in Humanities Without Walls, Brian will work to better adapt his academic training for public audiences as well as develop skills the skills to form professional relationships which bridge the gaps between scholarship, education, and industry. Identifying positive applications for research, discussing academic experiences in private sector terms, and exploiting professional opportunity beyond academia are rapidly becoming essential skills for PhD recipients in the 21st century. The opportunity not only to engage these issues but also share the resulting insights with the wider Liberal Arts community at Purdue, is too promising to ignore.

2016 Humanties Without Walls Fellows

Katie WhitmoreKatie Whitmore 

Department of Anthropology
Research Focus - Bioarchaeology

Undergraduate Institution - Arizona State University
Master's Degree Institution - University of Florida 

Tombos Cemetery Project, Sudan

Katie Whitmore is currently working on the Tombos Cemetery project in Sudan through the Anthropology Department. The project seeks to answer questions about the Egyptian and Nubian cultures from thousands of years ago through research and anthropological findings. Katie found this opportunity through Purdue Liberal Arts, and has taken advantage of the program’s reputation and high caliber faculty. She credits her advisor, Dr. Michele Buzon with sharing Purdue’s opportunities with her and allowing her to expand her research. As a member of the Purdue community she was exposed to multiple interdisciplinary and inter-institutional connections which in turn provided her with opportunities to participate in programs such as Humanities Without Walls.

Through the Humanities Without Fellows program, Katie hopes to widen her graduate experiences. She plans to use the opportunity to expand on her research as well as network with humanities scholars and professionals from a large range of institutions. “I am interested in learning about ways to apply my humanities doctoral training, experiences, and education outside of academia.”


Kadari Nzinghalisa Taylor-Watson

School of Interdisciplinary Studies (American Studies)Kadari Taylor-Watson
Research Focus: Race, Gender, & Material Culture

Undergraduate Institution -  Hampton University
Master's Degree Institution - Purdue University 

McGee, Zina T., Whytnee Foriest, Kadari Taylor-Watson, Tiffany Hampton, Amanda Reed and Brittany Kirkland. (2011). “From the Inside: Assessing Patterns of Coping and Adjustment Among Women in Prison II.” Published in It’s a Crime: Women and Justice edited by Roslyn Muraskin. Prentice Hall (Fifth Edition)

Sechrist, Jori, J. Jill Suitor, Catherine Ruffin, Kadari Taylor-Watson, and Karl Pillemer. (2011). “Race, Gender, and Parental Favoritism in Later Life Families: The Role of Mixed Methods in Revealing Complex Association.” Journal of Family Psychology 25(6): 837-84.

Apparel Design & Technology & American Studies
Fashion & Technology Independent Study Project

Kadari has an interest in expanding the term educator, and she believes that the Humanities Without Walls will be the perfect outlet to do so. While she recognizes and respects traditional forms of educating, Kadari realizes that education is most beneficial when offered in many formats. She hopes to reach a larger audience of learners with her research and educational techniques. “In my personal experience, I recognized that some of my most meaningful moments of education were outside of the university.” 

Through the Humanities Without Walls program, Kadari is interested in expanding her strengths and developing a unique career path that simultaneously involves history, fashion, and education. She especially hopes to better understand how the role that public media professionals play in education. With this opportunity, she also hopes to continue developing programs. In addition, she strives to grow programs she has already established, such as Hairitage, a program which advocates for self-love of black natural hair in girls who are at a young impressionable age. 

2015 Humanities Without Walls Fellows

Amy Elliot - Department of English 

Matthew Shownir - Department of History