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DEADLINE EXTENDED: Public Humanities Graduate Assistantship at the Chicago Humanities Festival

Created: February 12, 2018

The Public Humanities Graduate Assistantship at the Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) is a competitive 6-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. 
  • Tuition scholarship will be paid in full for all assistantship quarters



  • Student must be a PhD student in the humanities or humanistic social sciences within years 2 – 5 of their academic program
  • 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 March 1 – August 31, 2018


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 signed letter of support from advisor (dissertation/thesis director) saying, “I [Faculty Name] support [Student Name’s] participation in the Public Humanities Graduate Assistantship at the Chicago Humanities Festival.”


Applications should be sent via email as single PDF attachment to Associate Director of Graduate and Postdoctoral Professional Development, Mearah Quinn-Brauner by 5pm on February 19, 2018


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

Professional Development