Carolina Public Humanities is pleased to announce the continuation of a fellowship for graduate students in the humanities, arts, and social sciences: “The Maynard Adams Fellowship for the Public Humanities.” This fellowship honors the distinguished philosopher E. Maynard Adams (1919-2003), who was a long-time professor at UNC-Chapel Hill and a prominent advocate for the value of the humanities in public life and in public education. He also strongly supported the creation ofUNC’s Program in the Humanities and Human Values, which was established in 1979 to foster faculty engagement with people outside the University and throughout North Carolina. This Program has recently been renamed Carolina Public Humanities, but its outreach mission and humanistic themes have not changed. The Adams Fellowships, made possible by a generous gift from the Taylor Charitable Trust, exemplify this mission.

Duties and Benefits of the Fellowship Recipients: The “Adams Fellows” will join an interdisciplinary graduate workshop that will meet twice on Tuesday evenings in the fall semester (October and November) and twice in the spring semester (February and April) during the 2017-18 academic year. The April meeting will be part of a weekend symposium on April 13-14 with the distinguished NYU philosopher Jeremy Waldron. Ten Fellows will be selected from disciplines such as Philosophy, History, English, Religious Studies, Art History, Music or other disciplines in which public engagement is important for graduate education. The main task for the Adams Fellows will consist of mealtime conversations about short readings and about the public role of the humanities, but each fellowship recipient will also be expected to develop a “public outreach” project or event.

The readings for the workshops will focus on issues that were important to Maynard Adams and remain important in modern, democratic societies: the nature of philosophical truths, the importance of public education, the discussion of humanistic knowledge in the media and public debates, the development of human identities, and the value of the humanities for well-informed participation in contemporary political cultures.

The Adams Fellows will also attend the annual Maynard Adams Symposium in the spring semester and meet with the visiting keynote speaker, Jeremy Waldron.

Stipend: Each “Adams Fellow for the Public Humanities” will receive a stipend of $2,000 (payable in two distributions) for reading the assigned materials, participating in the workshop/meal conversations, attending the Adams Symposium in the spring, and developing a public project or event. There are no fees for meals or reading materials; and there are no required papers or written projects, but Adams Fellows will be required to attend all meetings.

Applications: Graduate applicants must have completed at least one year of study in a discipline that includes scholarship and teaching in the humanities, social sciences and/or arts. Although philosophy will be one of the important fields, candidates in other disciplines are strongly encouraged to apply. The following application materials are required:

A) The applicant’s current CV

B) A statement from the applicant (up to 1,200 words or two single-spaced pages) that describes (1) why and how she/he has an academic interest in links between the humanities and public issues, or (2) why and how she/he thinks humanists and artists should engage with public audiences, or (3) why and how she/he plans to pursue a career with humanistic themes outside academia. Applicants may address any or all of these themes in their statements.

In addition to this summary of interests and themes, the two-page application statement should briefly describe an outreach activity or event that the applicant envisions as a possible “public humanities” project. This description could become the framework for an actual project in the coming year (including, for example, a collaboration with a community college, public school, museum or other institution).

C) A one-page letter from the applicant’s graduate advisor, explaining why the Adams Fellowship for the Public Humanities would be valuable for the candidate and how this applicant might contribute to the workshop’s activities.

Applicant Selection Process: Applications are due by 5:00 PM on September 1, 2017; the applicant’s CV and statement of interest should be sent as email attachments to Dr. Max Owre at Carolina Public Humanities at with “Adams Fellows Application” in the subject line. Letters from faculty advisors should be submitted separately by the professor to the same email address. The Adams Fellowship Selection Committee will include faculty from various departments, and the Fellowship recipients will be announced by September 18, 2017.

Carolina Public Humanities serves our University and state by strengthening public engagement with humanistic knowledge, connecting the faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill with people outside the University, and supporting public education. Our programs draw on diverse cultural traditions to examine the complex issues of personal and public life, and our overall goal is to help create a more humane world by fostering dialogues and new insights that emerge from the humanities. Based in the College of Arts and Sciences, Carolina Public Humanities and its Carolina K-12 partnership with public school teachers bring outstanding faculty and innovative scholarship into creative interactions with citizens, educators and Carolina alumni. These exchanges take place in interdisciplinary weekend seminars, lecture series, bookstore talks, book reading groups, teacher workshops, and other public events.

Carolina Public Humanities also connects people across North Carolina through collaborations with museums, theaters, bookstores, libraries, and community colleges as well as a large database of humanities-centered classroom materials at

Please share this information widely with graduate students and faculty.

Download the Adams Fellows Application to Share