Join the CHCI Initiatives

All CHCI members currently running, planning, or seeking to develop a program or research project related to one of the Initiatives themes are encouraged and welcomed to join. Participating centers and institutes will be invited to join all the CHCI-facilitated activities and events hosted over the course of each Initiative. All interested centers and institutes are also welcome to apply for financial support from CHCI.

What are CHCI Initiatives?

Initiatives represent the next phase of CHCI’s model for humanities research collaboration. Each Initiative will convene all CHCI member centers and institutes to address together a pressing global issue through their research projects, local programming, and public engagement. CHCI will coordinate and facilitate exchange and collaboration between participants, disseminate their contributions and ideas within and beyond the CHCI membership, and leverage the work of this worldwide network to advocate for global humanities research and methods to address matters of global and urgent import.

There will be two inaugural CHCI Initiatives for 2025-2026: Global Justice and Humanities Practices and Human Craft in the Age of Digital Technologies. Both are open to all CHCI members conducting a research project or running a program related to one of those themes between January 2025 and July 2026. CHCI expects to provide financial support for up to 12 participating projects per Initiative. The deadline to apply for financial support is December 1, 2024. This is also the deadline to express interest in participating without financial support.


Global Justice and Humanities Practices

For the first Initiative, CHCI seeks the participation of humanities centers and institutes that are currently running, planning, or seeking to develop programs or research projects that leverage the transformative power of the arts and humanities to address critical issues of global justice and equity. Interested centers and institutes are invited to respond to this call for participation by sending us descriptions of their projects or programs related, but not limited to: historical injustices and their legacies; language, power, and identity; environmental justice; human rights and justice movements; critical pedagogy and education reform; cultural heritage and memory; arts and social change. We welcome projects and programs that draw the broadest range of humanities practices and methods, including those of the health humanities; migration and diaspora studies; indigenous studies; gender and sexuality studies.

Human Craft in the Age of Digital Technologies

For its second inaugural Initiative, CHCI invites the participation of centers and institutes that are currently running, planning, or seeking to develop programs or research projects related to reading, writing, and interpreting in the age of digital technologies. Interested centers and institutes are invited to send us descriptions of their projects or programs that can help us think what it is to be human, to create, to know, in a context increasingly dominated by digital technologies. Examples of such technologies could include, but are not limited to, artificial intelligence, large language models, algorithms, data-mining and big data, augmented and virtual reality, digital disinformation, and more generally any digital technology that presenting challenges or opportunities for literacy, critical thinking, and creativity.


The Initiatives themes are intentionally defined broadly, as CHCI views this call for participation as an invitation to our membership to mobilize its collective imagination and expertise to further define both themes. Beyond the examples of topics above, we welcome bold, innovative projects that bring humanities questions to bear on those two topics, and demonstrate the effective use of humanities methods to address related global challenges. Projects spanning multiple themes and employing intersectional approaches are particularly welcome.

Both CHCI Initiatives will involve:

  1. Research projects and programs conducted by participating HCIs, often but not exclusively on their campus or through local engagement with their publics;
  2. CHCI-facilitated activities and events, including online workshops and in-person sessions, which all Initiative participants will be invited to join;
  3. Further dissemination of select work in CHCI’s Ideas along with advocacy for the work of the humanities globally.


Eligibility, Partnering Centers, and Participants

All CHCI members are encouraged and welcome to join either Initiative.

All are also welcome to apply for financial support from CHCI. With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, CHCI expects to offer financial support for up to 12 projects per Initiative.

Tier 2 and 3 CHCI members that seek funding support from CHCI are required to secure a financial match. In the case of collaborative projects or programs, this match can be split between partner institutions. Please note that other extramural grants, as well as “in-kind” support –i.e. the value of space, staff, etc.–, will not be considered as a forms of financial match.

For projects seeking financial support from CHCI, preference will be given to collaborative projects. CHCI especially encourages collaborative projects and programs built around a partnership with Tier 0 members or centers, institutes, or organizations that are not primarily humanities-focused but share the topical interests, intellectual framework, and the methods of “traditional” arts and humanities disciplines. For instance, scholars, centers, departments, or programs affiliated with HBCUs, TCUs, HSIs are all welcomed partners. Likewise, university-adjacent organizations steeped in the values and goals of the arts and humanities, especially in world regions where academic humanities centers or institutes are not a dominant form, are also welcomed partners.

Interested centers and institutes can design projects and programs that involve scholars and individuals not affiliated with their host institution. There are only two limitations on who can participate in proposed projects or programs that seeks financial support from CHCI:

  1. at least half of the participants in the proposed project or program should be early-career scholars (i.e. recent PhDs, doctoral students, or undergraduate students);
  2. less than half of the proposed budget should be dedicated to the payment of honoraria.

Expectations of Initiative Projects

While partnerships between centers are encouraged, collaborative programs and research projects that are focused on a local community and rely on partnership with other units on a campus are also eligible. In any case, projects and programs should be designed to be collaborative and to produce outcomes, develop models of participation, or employ methods of interest to other CHCI member centers and institutes.

The programs or projects joining either initiative should run for 6 to 12 months between January 1, 2025 and June 30, 2026.

Here are some examples of programs or projects of different scales that could join the Initiatives:

  • A collaboration of two humanities centers in different continents on a two-part conference, held at one center at the beginning of the funding term and the other near the end, devoted to exploring the politics of reproduction, including histories of abortion rights in their national contexts, with one of the goals being publication in a special issue of a journal.

  • A public symposium on artificial intelligence and copyright, involving legal scholars, artists, historians of the book, and open knowledge advocates, advertised widely to a local public and live-streamed.

  • A symposium addressing the questions: What is intelligence? How has intelligence been conceptualized historically across cultures? How does human-centered intelligence differ from the intelligence embodied in and distributed across other organic species? How do these modes of intelligence depart from artificial intelligence or machinic intelligence? Two courses—one undergraduate, the other, a graduate seminar—will engage the issue of intelligence; the symposium, to be held at the end of the semester, will provide a culmination to inquiry. Course development funds will be provided.

Financial matches are required for projects or programs that seek financial support from CHCI. In case of existing and already funded projects, CHCI will accept the current budget as a form of financial match. Member centers and institutes that belong to Tier 0 and 1 of our membership, do not need to secure a financial match. In the case of collaborative projects or programs, the match can be split between partner organizations.

In addition to running their proposed programs or projects, participating centers and institutes are expected to join CHCI-facilitated activities and events:

  • Dedicated Initiative sessions at the 2025 and 2026 CHCI Annual Meetings.
    Those special sessions of the Annual Meeting, open to all conference attendees, will provide an opportunity to share and discuss outcomes of Initiative projects, to reflect on the development of sustainable programs beyond the Initiatives.

  • Plenary Virtual Workshops. All participating projects are expected to join two online workshops, one in the second half of 2025, and one in the first half of 2026 (note: each Initiative will have its own two workshops).

Organized and moderated by CHCI, the virtual workshops will provide an opportunity to all Initiative participants to 1) reflect collectively on the Initiative’s theme, 2) share the goals and methods of their programs or projects, 3) develop collaborative components between the participating Initiative projects.

Also organized by CHCI, the in-person sessions at the Annual Meeting will be open to all and offer an opportunity to share outcomes and engage with the work being done across the Initiative network of participating programs and projects. Attendance and participation in the in-person sessions is required for participants receiving funding from CHCI. Annual Meeting travel grants will be available for Tier 0 and Tier 1 Initiative participants leading a CHCI-funded program or project.


How to join the Initiatives?

All CHCI members interested in joining either one Initiative should use the Participation Form form below. Interested participants that are not seeking financial support from CHCI only need to describe their program or project and leave the financial support section blank. If you are interested in joining both Initiatives, please fill out and submit the form twice, but please note that CHCI can only grant financial support to the same center for one Initiative.

Interested participants seeking financial support from CHCI must fill out the financial support section of the form and select the level of funding support that best suits the scope and nature of their project. Four different levels are offered: $5,000, $10,000, $15,000, and $25,000.

What are the next steps?

The deadline to submit expressions of interest is December 1, 2024 for both Initiatives. CHCI will confirm participation in the Initiatives and communicate financial support decisions by January 31, 2025.

The first Initiative Virtual Workshop will be held in late April 2025, followed by in-person sessions at the CHCI Annual Meeting in Germany in June 2025.

What if we have other questions?

CHCI will host two Initiatives online information sessions in the second half of September 2024, to answer questions from interested centers and institutes. Those sessions will offer further guidelines, including the criteria that will be used for the selection of projects receiving financial support. This information will also be added to this page.

For members with further inquiries, please contact Guillaume Ratel, CHCI Executive Director, ratel@berkeley.edu.


Participation Form

If your center or institute is interested in joining either of the upcoming CHCI Initiatives, please use the form below. If your program or research program is already funded or will be funded either by your institution or an external sponsor other than CHCI, please submit the form without filling in the optional Financial Support Request section.

If you are interested in joining both initiatives, please fill out and submit the form twice. Please note that CHCI can only grant financial support for participation in one initiative.

CHCI will be in touch with all interested centers and institutes by January 31, 2025.