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Public Humanities Graduate Assistantship at the Chicago Humanities Festival

Modified: November 29, 2017

The Public Humanities Graduate Assistantship at the Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) is a competitive 12-month opportunity awarded to an outstanding graduate student from Northwestern University. The assistantship provides each student with the following: working experience in the country’s leading public humanities organization, access to world-renowned humanities scholars, interaction with Chicago’s top cultural institutions, and a mentored team environment in which to build varied skills for future employment. Students are expected to make progress on their dissertation research and writing while working at CHF; the opportunity is designed to approximate typical assistantship time commitments and responsibilities.

Principal Responsibilities

  • Work with Artistic Director Alison Cuddy and the rest of the program and production staff’s team effort to propose, research and develop program ideas for CHF’s Fallfest, Springfest, and year-round CHF Now events
  • For assigned programs, manage presenter communications and logistics, including requesting program materials, generating web content, and arranging travel/lodging
  • Organize participants and logistics for annual Fallfest graduate student seminars
  • Assist in preparations for Humanities Without Walls, a three-week summer workshop designed to help humanities doctoral students explore careers outside the academy


  • Student is expected to commit one quarter of academic year assistantship and one quarter of summer assistantship already guaranteed as part of funding package toward support for this award; The Graduate School will provide two additional quarters of assistantship to student to make opportunity possible for 12 consecutive months.
  • Tuition scholarship will be paid in full for all assistantship quarters


  • Student must be a PhD student in the humanities or humanistic social sciences
  • Student must have achieved candidate status and be ABD, with exams passed and prospectus approved
  • Student must have at least 2 remaining quarters of guaranteed funding from The Graduate School (please contact TGS with questions)
  • Student must be available locally from beginning of winter quarter 2018 through end of fall quarter 2019

Who Should Apply

  • Doctoral students with an interest in exploring how humanists can contribute to public discourse 
  • Students who are curious about the ways in which their doctoral training can be applied in a wide range of settings, including in seeing through CHF’s Fallfest from conception from execution.  
  • Students who are interested in learning what goes into programming and producing large multi-program events.


  • Statement of purpose, providing an articulation as to why and how this opportunity would be essential to the applicant’s professional and academic advancement (up to 350 words)
  • Abstract or abbreviated description of dissertation topic (up to 200 words)
  • CV or Resume
  • Brief letter of support from advisor (dissertation/thesis director)

Applications should be sent via email as single PDF attachment to Associate Director of Graduate and Postdoctoral Professional Development, Mearah Quinn-Brauner by 5 PM on Friday, December 15, 2017.

About the Chicago Humanities Festival

The Chicago Humanities Festival believes humanity thrive when people gather, connect, are inspired by others and open themselves to ideas that go beyond their individual experience. We celebrate the social life of ideas, through entertaining and smart programs, including our annual Fallfest, Springfest, and year-round CHF Now events.

Contact information:

500 N Dearborn St.
Ste 825
Chicago IL 60654
p. 312.661.1028

Humanities, Professional Development