Current Themes and Calls for Research Proposals

The American Communities Program, 2017-18
Call for Fellowship Proposals

Application period for the 2017-18 Fellowship Program is closed.

Civility often is taken for granted as necessary to community building and social formation, or lamented as a lost good.  However, few examinations of what constitutes civility and its embodied and discursive enactments exist.  This year’s theme invites humanities-based analyses of the uses, pitfalls, forms, and structures of civility as a cultural practice in the past, present, and future.

Tenured and tenure-track faculty at CSULA are invited to submit proposals for two different fellowship programs: 1) ACP Working Group Fellowships (working groups may include graduate or advanced undergraduate students) and 2) ACP Individual Fellowships. While individuals may apply for both, only one fellowship may be accepted.

This year’s theme asks questions including, but not limited to, the following:

  • In what specific ways can the theme be theorized? How has civility been defined and deployed and to what ends? Is civility a viable and legitimate enterprise? What are its benefits and limits?
  • What practices of engagement beyond civility are possible and what might they yield?
  • How does critical study of civility allow us to rethink community, what it signifies, and how it can be brought into being? How might it enable us to rethink alliances and the processes by which they are forged?
  • What can the specific modes of inquiry grounding the humanities as a specific mode of inquiry infuse into practices and theories of civility, and what can studies of civility offer the humanities?
  • Etymologically, “civility” initially referred to citizenship and civil order before acquiring connotations of politeness, courtesy, and secularity. How do the various meanings of civility and incivility inform analyses of cultural and national boundary-making, colonialism, and/or structures of value?
  • What are the intersections between civility and democratic ethics? Between civility, discipline, violence, and/or dissent?
  • Civility assumes that societies or cultural formations are rational and functional. What happens to our theories of civility and communalism if we foreground the irrational?
  • What material and epistemological conditions hinder and/or promote civility and its efficacy?
  • How is civility inflected by issues of race, class, gender, and/or sexuality?
  • Is there an affect of civility? How does it function?
  • How might individuals or communities respond to the absence of civility?
  • What role might the University play in fostering or exemplifying civility?
  • What intersections between scholarly knowledge, cultural performance, pedagogical innovation, and/or civic engagement do new theorizations of civility make visible?