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Humanities First - For Faculty



HUM 101 is a 150-student lecture course taught by a team of three instructors from three different departments in the humanities or Humanistic Social Sciences. While the class meets as a group in Weeks 1 and 11, in Weeks 2 - 10 students are broken into 50-person cohorts and the instructors cycle through these cohorts in three-week rotations. Each instructor is responsible for a series of six lectures from their research or content area that connects to the annual topic, which they will teach three times: in Weeks 2-4, 5-7, and 8-10.

Humanities First is currently accepting individual applications for HUM 101 instructors for the Autumn 2021 quarter. The topic for the 2021-22 academic year is Health and Wealth.

Humanities First instructors receive one course release for the class (this is not an overload); your home department will receive course replacement funds for a PT (50%) lecturer. Further, each department with a Humanities First instructor is provided with funding for a graduate Teaching Assistant (TA) for the Autumn quarter to assist in course instruction and evaluation. Each TA appointment is selected from the home department of the instructor; e.g. an instructor from Slavic Languages & Literatures will receive funding for one TA from Slavic Languages & Literatures for Autumn quarter.

Student work will include 3 brief topic-specific response papers, team-built Instagram, Flipbook Zines, and Podcasts, and a final e-portfolio that reflects on the interplay between topic and text and that serves as a launchpad for the rest of the year and beyond. Templates for assignments, rubrics and Canvas pages are included in the program.

If you have any further questions, please email the Program Director, Sarah Stroup (

If you are ready to submit an instructor application, please email the following to Barbara Mack (

  •  A 300-600 word statement on how your research, teaching, and/or scholarly interests dovetail with the topic of Health and Wealth. Why does this topic particularly interest you, and what texts, objects, and places do you envision bringing to the course? Please be as specific as you can.
  • A current CV.
  • NOTE: Your application must be approved by your department chair.

Preference will be given to applications received by October 15th. Successful applicants will be notified by early November and introduced to the other two team members. Invitations to participate must be accepted by November 10th.




  • I’m not so sure about team teaching with people I don’t know!
    • One of the goals of Humanities First is to encourage communication and collaboration across Humanities Division departments. We hope that students and faculty alike will take this program as an opportunity to learn more about research areas and approaches across the humanities.
  • I already have a team in mind. May we submit team applications?
    • Because one goal of HUM 101 is to foster new faculty connections across the Division, only individual applications are accepted. However, if you have a team in mind, you may indicate in your letter up to two other applicants with whom you would like to be matched, and explain why.
  • How much “team” is in this “team teaching?”
    • Teams will be put into contact with each other immediately. The program will provide structure and support throughout the “lead-up” year as you get to know each other and—hopefully—meet now and then to share your thoughts on the Topic. While we ask that you make your “texts” (be they literary texts, objects, films, etc.) available to your team as soon as you have decided on them, and while we urge approximate consistency in the length of reading assignments per week, your chosen texts and lecture content are wholly your own.
  • I taught HUM 101 last year. May I submit an application for this next year, too?
    • Yes, but because we want wide representation across the Division, priority will be given to applicants who have not taught HUM 101 in the prior year.
  • I would like to suggest an alternate topic for the coming year. May I do this?
    • No. Topics are chosen in advance by the Program Committee and have been approved by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Topic selection occurs early in the program timeline because the topic is an important element of our outreach and recruitment.
  • I like the sound of student Instagram, Flipbook Zines, and Podcasts, but I don’t know the first thing about them!
    • Don’t worry! Humanities First has a dedicated IT assistant who will help the students (and you) wrangle any technical details.