Call for Proposals: Blast Courses in the Humanities Instructors for Summer ’23

Blast Short Poster with CFP date and workshop dates.

We’re back for the FOURTH run of Blast Courses in the Humanities. This year, we invite proposals from KSAS grad students (in the humanities and humanistic social sciences) for courses to run across five weeks in July–Aug. 2023. We will select 10–12 courses which: 1) offer a topic in the humanities aimed at an audience of interested but non-expert adults, and 2) showcase the building blocks of our disciplines—critical thinking, close reading, sustained logical inquiry, evidence gathering and analysis—as fundamentals of engaging with the world.

For Summer 2023, courses will run for 5 weeks, beginning the week of July 10th and concluding by Friday, August 11th. All courses will meet virtually and will be free to students (intended for adults of all ages, locations, and professional backgrounds).  Apply by Interfolio by April 3rd.

We welcome topics on anything of general interest across the humanities—particularly topics where a student would benefit from an interactive learning component. Baltimore-focused topics are especially welcome. Past Blast courses have included: “Tolkien and the Ancient World,” “The Atomic Age Today,” “Reading The Second Sex,” “Surgery, Herbs, and Amulets: A Social History of Ancient Medicine,” “How to Read Poetry,” “What is Knowledge?” and more.

New for 2023

AGHI will host a required Proposal Workshop for all prospective Blast instructors—on Zoom (~1hr) on March 9th and March 15th. More info about this Proposal Workshop below.

In 2023, two main course formats will be offered:

  1. One asynchronous lecture (~1hr) + one asynchronous Q&A video, responding to interactive questions/activities from students (~1hr)
  2. One asynchronous lecture (~1hr) + one synchronous, virtual discussion group session (recorded with additional elements to accommodate students who cannot attend) [~1hr]

In addition, we welcome proposals for new formats:

  • New formats should describe how you will use ~2hrs. of classtime across 2+ sessions per week, emphasizing interactive options for students who are not available during normal working hours. (Format should not be 100% live/synchronous nor require that students attend more than 2hrs. per week; optional additional sessions are at the discretion of the instructor.)

We aim to fund 10–12 courses for Blast in Summer 2023. Preference will be given to new instructors and to instructors who are near or past the end of their departmental funding support. All KSAS grad students and recent postgraduates (defended since summer 2022) are eligible to apply. Approved courses will include a $2,000 instructor stipend.

Proposal Workshop (New for 2023)

This year, AGHI will introduce a required Proposal Workshop for all prospective Blast instructors. Instructors must attend the workshop either on March 9th or March 15th  (Zoom, 12-1pm). The session will cover the goals of the program and how we imagine instructors can address these goals in their intended courses. We strongly encourage attendees to bring an idea (a germ of one idea, or several) for potential topics they might propose. During the workshop, we will brainstorm ways to address potential conflicts and how to structure course topics, schedules, and activities so as to meet the Blast program’s core mission. At the end of the workshop, attendees will leave with a clearer sense of how the AGHI board will select courses to run for Summer 2023 and what further tweaks or adjustments may be recommended.

To Apply:

To apply, please submit the following via Interfolio by no later than Monday, April 3rd:

  • Cover letter (1-2pp.)—outlining your rationale for offering this topic to a non-expert public audience, current status (dept., year, and funding status), prior teaching experience, prior public humanities experience, and preferred (and back-up) course format;
  • Course outline—sketching 5 weeks of course topics, subtopics, general skills/learning objectives, activities, and proposed schedule;
  • One faculty letter of support (≤1p.).

For all questions, please email [email protected] and mention “Blast” in the subject line.