The Critical Digital Humanities Initiative (CDHI), a University of Toronto strategic initiative, supports trans-disciplinary collaborations that emphasize questions of power, social justice, and critical theory in digital humanities research. Our vision is to forge a new paradigm of critical humanities scholarship, one that bridges the humanities’ emphasis on power and culture in historical perspective with the tools and analysis of digital technology. The CDHI is new mix of research workshop and design atelier, equipping humanities researchers with the technical and design expertise to use digital tools to ask new questions, share new knowledge, and analyze power and inequality in historical perspective.
The Graduate Fellowship Program in Critical Digital Humanities will support a small interdisciplinary cohort of University of Toronto Ph.D. candidates over the 2023-24 academic year. Students will need to articulate their own project, which might involve engaging with digital humanities methods as the basis for a dissertation chapter or article; building a digital public humanities project or exhibit; or other DH research. For most applications, this project is likely to be part of the dissertation project. Applications are due May 12, 2023 at 4:00pm EST.
Fellows will form a community of practice and meet monthly between September and April. Over the course of the fellowship, each fellow will be expected to consult with relevant digital scholarship librarians whose expertise is aligned with the fellow’s research methods. Each fellow must commit to participating in two DH methods training workshops (at least one in the Fall) and will present on their research at a late Spring 2024 event. Funded fellows must join the CDHI graduate student network and participate in CHDI activities including attending research symposia, roundtables, and visiting scholar talks. Complete funding is contingent on fellows’ participation in the cohort.
Fellows will receive a stipend of $10,000 for participating in the program and will be expected to dedicate approximately 300 hours for the fellowship between September and April.
University of Toronto graduate students who will have passed their comprehensive exams by 1 September 2023. Priority will be given to students who have not yet benefited from this CDHI fellowship program.
How to Apply
Please send the following to firstname.lastname@example.org in one PDF file by the deadline, using the following file naming format:
LastName_FirstName_CDHI Grad Fellowship Application:
- Application cover sheet with a 250-word summary of the proposed project, written for a non-specialist audience, as well as the names and emails of two recommenders (see below)
- Research proposal outlining your critical digital humanities project (maximum 2 single-spaced pages + up to one additional page for references and any other supporting documentation, if necessary.) The 2-page proposal should include a statement of the research, with research questions; situate the research in relevant critical DH literature; describe the project’s methodology; and discuss the project’s objectives and deliverables over the fellowship period, with a timeline. If you plan to work with specific digital scholarship librarians or other collaborators, please indicate. Similarly, if your work is community-engaged, please describe the nature of your collaboration.
- If applicable, please include a prototype of digital tools or artworks central to your project, such as new digital tools for preserving, analyzing, and making accessible digital resources, digital maps or data visualizations, or photo/video documentation of artworks, performances, exhibitions, digital artworks, etc.
Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria:
- Ability to clearly articulate the research questions, project goals, and methodology
- Clear demonstration of the research significance
- Project’s relationship to research that emphasizes questions of power, social justice, and critical theory in making and analyzing digital technologies
- Feasibility of the project timeline
- Priority will be given to students who have not yet benefited from this CDHI fellowship program
An interdisciplinary awards subcommittee, drawn from the CDHI Steering Committee, will adjudicate applications. The CDHI Steering Committee is composed of community partners, faculty researchers, and digital scholarship librarians from each of the three campuses, the Faculty of Arts and Science, OISE, the Faculty of Information, and University of St. Michael’s College.
Fellows will be expected to report on their fellowship by 1 April 2024. Recipients should anticipate submitting a brief report describing what was accomplished or what outcomes were achieved over the course of the fellowship.
Suggestions for Preparing Your Application
- Situate your work in relationship to critical digital humanities. We recommend situating your work in relationship to the literature in the field, as you define it.
- Consider your project’s data. By data, we mean the primary sources of humanistic inquiry, such as images (photographs, artworks); archival material (personal papers, company records, ephemera); sound recordings; moving images; text (emails, social media, books, plays); tabular data (statistics, charts, census records); maps, and other primary sources. Does this data already exist? Will you be producing it as part of your project?
- Consider your project’s research approach. To get a sense of the wide range of methodologies in Digital Humanities, please skim the “Topics in DH” page of the online Digital Humanities Literacy Guidebook (Weingard, Grunewald, & Lincoln, 2020). This resource provides a good sense of the wide variety of tools and methods that can be included under the very broad umbrella of “digital humanities.”
How to Reach Us
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