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Faculty Summer Reading Groups

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Faculty Summer Reading Groups

Summer 2021

A black and white photograph of a group of girls sitting around a table reading books with a teacher or governess. From the New York Public Library.

Deadline: Friday - April 26, 2021, 5:00 PM


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many disruptions to our daily lives, and one of the most profound disruptions felt in Academia has been scholarly isolation. As individuals, this isolation affects our own sense of well-being. But it also hampers our ability as scholars to think creatively, write with passion, and energetically engage our disciplines. In order to foster the kind of scholarly excellence brought about through a robust community of scholars, the Arts & Humanities Forum will sponsor 2-3 Faculty Summer Reading Groups for the summer of 2021.

In this pilot program, the Arts & Humanities Forum will focus on developing intellectual community, as a productive way to address the isolation and intellectual disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will encourage OU faculty to form reading groups around areas of shared academic interest and will serve to advance the expertise of the participants in their chosen area of focus. Successful groups will be formed around a focused set of readings around a shared area of interest.


Although the topical area of focus is open, potential reading lists could crystalize around themes like:

·      Technology and Society 

·      Memory

·      Environmental Justice 

·      Sovereignty

·      Anti-Racism 

·      Postcolonial/Decolonizing Studies

·      Critical Race Theory 

·      Feminist Ontologies


Teams will consist of a lead organizer and several participants. Groups will organize among themselves when and how they will meet- in regularly scheduled sessions throughout the summer or in an intensive week-long session. The expectation is that the groups will meet for a minimum of 10 hours over the summer and should be reading on the order of 5 books (or the equivalent in articles).


Participants in the selected reading groups will receive $650 each, with the organizer receiving $800. Funds can be taken as research funds or as supplemental salary. The OU Arts & Humanities Forum will also provide selected books to each participant.


Applications must be submitted by email to  by 4/26/2021 at 5pm.

Each group should consist of 4-6 participants. Tenure-track and ranked renewable term junior faculty as well as tenured faculty in the humanities, arts, and interpretive social sciences are eligible to apply. Participants must be drawn from at least two different departments.


Faculty may only apply with one reading group. 

Proposal Content and Format

Proposals must use a font of 11 points or larger. Page margins should be 1” on all four sides. Line spacing must not be smaller than 1.5 lines. Please be certain that you have included all required components, in order. Late or incomplete applications will be disqualified from consideration.  


The project description should include each of the following components and be submitted as a single PDF file. Email completed applications to


1.     Cover Sheet: 

Complete the proposal cover sheet. Incorporate a scanned copy of the form into your final proposal.  

2.     Project Abstract (500 words maximum)

Outline the main objectives of the reading group. Make sure to clearly explain for non-specialists how the topic fits into broader conversations in the Arts and/or Humanities, and a brief justification for the selected readings that are included in your list. 

3.     Bibliography of Potential Readings

We expect the reading level to be on the order of around 5 books or equivalent articles. We are especially interested to see engagement with recent and cutting-edge work. 

4.     Proposed Schedule of Meetings

Groups can choose how organize their meetings. They can hold regularly scheduled sessions throughout the summer or in an intensive week-long session. They can meet in person, virtually, or in some hybrid combination of the two. The expectation is that the groups will meet for a minimum of 10 hours over the summer. 

5.     Information on Participants 

For each participant (including organizer), please include a 100 word Bio sketch, including areas of specialization and research interests. Also, please include 2-3 sentences explaining how the reading group will benefit each participant’s scholarly development and/or publications. 

6.     2-page CV for the organizer

The Forum’s Faculty Advisory Committee will review all proposal materials and select successful applications. Proposals will be evaluated for feasibility and anticipated impact of the reading group in terms of future publications and extramural funding.

Recipients of an Arts & Humanities Faculty Reading Group Grants are subject to the following requirements:



By 9/15/2021, the group organizer is required to submit a brief (1-2 page) report on the reading group activities, as well as a finalized bibliography of works read and discussed. 


Acknowledging AHFF Support  

All written publications (whether in hard copy or electronic form) that have benefited from Arts & Humanities funding must acknowledge the support of the OU Arts & Humanities Forum.



Please contact Kimberly Marshall, Faculty Director (Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology):