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"While I learned some things that will definitely advance my specific work related to our project's theme..., what stands out for me when I think about the year are those moments when we worked through something difficult together. Our discussions...struck me as an ideal instance of a bunch of smart people putting their minds together to negotiate some tough theoretical terrain."

—Michael Thurston, Associate Professor of English
Undergrounds Underworlds (2007-2008)

Alice Hearst and Lois Duban

Types of Faculty Fellowships

Faculty Fellowships provide opportunities for Smith College faculty members from an array of disciplines to work closely together on projects of broad scope. There are two types of Faculty Fellows:

Organizing Fellows propose projects to the Kahn Institute Director. After a project is approved by the Director and the Kahn Advisory Committee, its Organizing Fellows work with the Director to select participating faculty and student, and to develop a program of related public events. The Director will also help to identify and invite visiting scholars who can offer different ideas from, provide constructive criticism to, and challenge the Fellows in order to provide a range of perspectives on the issues the Fellows are grappling with. Organizing Fellows are released from teaching one course in order to lead their project's Kahn Research Colloquium during the project year and supervise the work of Student Fellows.

Faculty Fellows engage in all of the project's activities and assist the Organizing Fellows in planning public events.

About Faculty Fellowships

The most vital components of every Kahn project are scholarship and fellowship. For long-term projects, scholarship is realized in the weekly colloquium meetings. Participating Faculty Fellows meet for two hours each week with Student Fellows at the Kahn Institute. During these meetings, Fellows develop their research and critique one another’s work-in-progress from the perspective of their own disciplines and intellectual interests. In addition, Project Fellows may invite scholars, artists, and others to share their research with their colloquium and may invite others to participate in public events (e.g., films, lectures, performances) that are open to the college and the broader community.

Fellowship is fostered at a weekly lunch or dinner for all Faculty and Student Fellows in a project. In general, the meal immediately follows the colloquium meeting and provides Fellows with an opportunity to get to know one another better and to discuss their interests and the day's topic in a more informal setting.

Each long-term project, whether semester-long or yearlong, typically includes approximately ten Faculty Fellows and five to seven Student Fellows. One of the goals of these long-term projects is to foster communities of scholars in which faculty and students participate as equals, where the line between student and teacher is dissolved.

The Kahn Institute provides a budget for to enable Fellows to pay honoraria, housing, travel, and other expenses for visiting scholars invited to participate in the project. It also provides funds, organizational support for all project activities, and publicity for public events. Faculty Fellows receive research grants in the amount of $3,000 for yearlong projects and $1,500 for semester-long projects to support their scholarship.

Faculty Fellows may also participate in short-term projects that provide new contexts for exploring topics of common intellectual concern that bear on their own research. The structure and duration of short-term projects varies depending upon the needs of the project and its Faculty Fellows; the formats of short-term projects can be adapted to meet a variety of needs. Short-term projects have a single Organizing Fellow and have included activities such as workshops, meetings, panel discussions, public lectures, and symposia.

Faculty Fellow Ann Leone

Applying for Faculty Fellowships

All current Smith College faculty and emeritus faculty are eligible to become Fellows in Kahn Institute projects; faculty from the Five Colleges and other area colleges and universities may also apply for fellowships.

Faculty members who are interested in applying for fellowship in a Kahn Institute project should begin by carefully reading its Project Description (Project Descriptions are available on the Kahn Institute Web site, in the Kahn Chronicle newsletter, and upon request from the Institute’s office. Project Descriptions are also sent to faculty mailboxes at the beginning of each academic year and whenever applications are being accepted for short-term projects.)

Faculty Fellowship applications should include a brief explanation of why you are interested in the project, what you hope to get out of it, and what you think you will be able to contribute to it. Applications can be submitted via email or by campus or U.S. mail; they should be sent to the Institute's Director, Rosetta Cohen (


Faculty Fellowships

Student Fellowships

Visiting, Senior & Postdoctoral

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