American Communities Program

Below is the Current Year Theme, Past Themes, and Proposal Guildlines for the American Communities Program.

Current year theme:

Past themes:

Proposal Guildlines: American Communities Program

The American Communities Program

2015-16 Theme and Call for Research Proposals


The 2015-16 American Communities Program theme is designed to deepen our understanding of the construction and perpetuation of American identities, cultures, and communities through humanities-based inquiry. In particular, this year’s theme asks us to consider how research in the humanities can help us analyze the artifacts, structures, practices, and ontologies that make various forms of relation possible and meaningful.

In other words, through what means are relations between bodies, species, objects, ideas, and/or communities mediated, managed, forged, and/or foreclosed? What bases for relations are relevant to particular American communities?  How are relations imagined, manifested, and represented and to what effects?

We invite proposals from tenured and tenure-track faculty at CSULA that engage questions including, but not limited to, the following:

  •          material culture and the function of objects in mediating relations or rendering them visible/invisible
  •          the temporal and/or spatial dimensions of relations
  •          innovative methodologies that explore relations such as Border Studies, New Mobility Studies, and Food Studies, as well as evolving theories of relation in discourses such as aesthetics, ontology, and Marxist or psychoanalytic theory
  •          political treaties, contracts, gifts and promises, and other codified or informal acts of obligation; sovereignty, citizenship, privacy, treason, terror, and betrayal
  •          particular aesthetic forms and modes of representing affinities and connections whether material and embodied or linguistic and referential
  •          power relations, force, and violence; a-relationality
  •          pedagogical possibilities informed by the ethics of relation
  •          new conceptualizations of American communities in relation to global or hemispheric contexts
  •          intersubjectivity, permeability, attachment, and theories of the self

The Fellowships

Up to three fellowships will be awarded to applicants who engage in humanities-based inquiry. One of the three fellowships, the Bailey Fellowship, may be awarded to an original project that applies this year's research theme to African American communities and/or individuals and preferably involves archival materials.

The program welcomes proposals from the arts that can be presented in a lecture/recital. All proposals, however, must include a research or analytical component based in the humanities. Each fellowship awards 8 units of release time and a $750 stipend for a student assistant or other project-related expenses. Fellows must present their research at the ACP's Spring 2016 symposium and are expected to attend the 2015 symposium on May 19.

Application Materials

Please submit your application via email to as well as submit a hard copy to
Director of the American Communities Program
Dean’s Office
College of Arts and Letters
MUS 229

Application materials consist of a two-page curriculum vitae, a 500-word research proposal, and a research budget outlining the use of the stipend. Proposals should explain the relevance of the proposed project to this year's research theme and the significance of the research. Proposals will be judged for innovation and capacity for generating campus conversations on the theme. Proposals that include student research and/or community engagement are welcome. The submission deadline for the 2015-16 fellowships is 5pm, April 17, 2015.