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NEH Object Lessons Workshop: Apply by June 30

Apply to an Object Lessons Workshop

Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities

How can scholars and nonfiction authors write for broader audiences while maintaining intellectual rigor and developing their academic profiles?

In 2017 - 2018, Object Lessons will host four NEH Institutes. These workshops will offer guidance and strategies for answering this question, especially in light of trends in the humanities toward open access publishing; evolving expectations for tenure and promotion; and the emergence of new publishing opportunities such as e-books, digital media projects, and online venues that cater to blended audiences across academia and general readerships.

This institute is designed for academics and writers who seek to write and publish for broad audiences, particularly about contemporary technology, everyday objects, and digital culture. The institute’s workshops—geared to scholars as well as nonfiction writers from across disciplines—aim to better equip participants to pitch their ideas and publish their writing in venues that exist fruitfully between both traditional academic and trade publishing routes.



The hosts are Dr. Ian Bogost and Dr. Christopher Schaberg, founding editors of the Object Lessons essay and book series published by The Atlantic and Bloomsbury. Bogost and Schaberg—along with guest authors, editors, and publishers—will help participants navigate the new frontiers of academic publishing and increasing pressures on the academy to make its work legible to broad audiences.



The institute will offer four separate two-day workshops open to college/university faculty, staff, independent scholars, advanced graduate students, and journalists. Each workshop will coincide with a major academic field conference; however, you may apply even if you are not planning to attend one of these conferences.

1.     Early November, 2017. Tempe, AZ. (around the annual conference of the Society for the study of Literature, Science, and the Arts [SLSA], Nov 9-12, 2017)

2.     Late November, 2017. Washington, DC. (around the annual conference of the American Anthropological Association [AAA], Nov 29-Dec 3, 2017)

3.     Early January, 2018. New York City. (around the annual convention of the Modern Language Association [MLA], Jan 4-7, 2018)

4.     Early March, 2018. Tampa, FL. (around the annual conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs [AWP], Mar 7-10, 2018.)

Exact dates will be announced soon; pending final logistics, we hope to hold all workshops the two days prior to each conference.



The workshops will feature lectures and practical exercises from the organizers, as well as discussions with visiting experts in journalism and publishing (trade and academic). Topics covered will include pitching, proposing, and crafting articles and book manuscripts.

The expected outcome of the workshops is for each participant to leave with a project suitable and ready to pitch and/or propose to a publisher or other venue. Such projects include (but are not limited to) online articles, longform essays, and general audience books. Work will not be limited to the Object Lessons series, although participants are welcome to pitch to us, too.



Yes. Participants will receive a stipend to offset the costs of travel, lodging, meals & incidentals during the institute. Stipends may vary based on unique circumstances at each venue and for each participant, but an average value of $1,000+ is expected. Participants who have already planned to travel to the conference can use the stipend in tandem with, or in place of, other institutional funding.



You can find additional details and the application form here (scroll to the bottom of the page):


Applicants should apply to a single workshop, below, no later than Friday, June 30, 2017.

Applicants will need to submit:

1.     A short statement of interest (no more than 500 words)

2.     A concise C.V. (no more than two pages)

3.     A writing sample (no more than 2,000 words)

4.     A letter of support


Successful applicants will be notified by July 31, 2017.





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