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The final call for 2021-2022 Collaboration Grants is now closed and all funds have been expended. We thank you for your interest.


Call for Mellon Partners for Humanities Education Collaboration Grants

The Mellon Partners for Humanities Education program is pleased to announce the fourth and final round of collaborative grants to support the shared teaching and research goals of faculty in the humanities and humanistic social sciences from our consortium of partner institutions: Berea College, Fisk University, Tennessee State University, Tougaloo College, and Vanderbilt University. Applicants may apply for grant funds totaling between $1,000 and $20,000 for a one-year project. Three types of projects are eligible:

  1. Collaborative research projects involving faculty from two or more partner institutions;
  2. Research, demonstrations, publications, performances, or other academic activities by faculty and students from one institution that would include outreach to and participation/attendance from faculty, students, and/or staff from at least one partner school; and
  3. Sponsored visits of short duration (from one day to three weeks) of faculty or students from partner institutions to any other partner school to engage with faculty and students around research or teaching and utilize partner school resources such as archives or digital facilities. Such visits include virtual or in-person workshops and symposia, as permitted, held at any of the partner institutions, especially those involving the digital humanities.

Proposals with a digital and public humanities focus are especially welcome, as are projects which seek to further our shared humanistic understanding of the stakes surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.

Grant funds may be used for such collaborative enterprises among faculty of two or more of the partner institutions. All tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure track faculty and staff (including postdoctoral fellows and graduate students) at the five partner institutions are eligible to apply. Funds may be used for travel expenses, research assistance, fees, space rental, honoraria, software licenses, specialized training, or other applicable expenses, provided these expenditures are permitted by the employing institution. Grants may not be used to pay salary or stipends to faculty applying for grant funds. All funds must be expended by June 30, 2022.

To apply, include:

  • A cover sheet listing the title of the project and a list of all collaborators, including their institutional affiliation, position, and contact information. One person must be designated as the corresponding project  director.
  • A proposal (no more than 1,000 words) that explains the nature of the collaboration, the suitability for the collaborators to carry it out, an explanation of the planned outcomes of the collaboration, and a timeline for completion by June 30, 2022.
  • A budget that accounts for all requested expenses and division of funds among collaborators (up to $20,000).
  • A brief CV from each collaborator (no more than 5 pages).

All of the application materials must be collected into a single PDF and submitted via email to starting August 1, 2021. Proposals will be accepted on a rolling deadline until funds are exhausted. All recipients of the Mellon Collaboration Grants must provide a report upon the completion of the project.

Please direct any questions to Angela Sutton, Assistant Director, Mellon Partners for Humanities Education Program at


Congratulations to our 2021-2022 Grant Winners!

Strings and Yarns- Needleworkers Forming Community through Creativity, Connections, and Stories 

Laura Carpenter, Vanderbilt Sociology
Cynthia Gadsden, TSU Art History

HEART- Unifying Communities Language and Textile Art Workshop 

Elvira Aballi Morell, Vanderbilt  Spanish and Portuguese
Vladimir Betancur Bedoya, TSU Intensive English Center Coordinator
Marcela Castano Velez, Textile Artist

Toles Family Video Archive 

Vera Pavlovic, Vanderbilt Art
Courtney Adair Johnson, TSU Director of Van Hiram Gallery

Digitizing the Essential Grantland Rice Papers 

Jason Smith, Tougaloo Humanities Division
John P. Koch, Vanderbilt Communications Studies
Paul C. H. Lim, Vanderbilt Divinity School

HBCUs and Public Health in Nashville: An Oral History Project and Symposium 
Andrea Ringer, TSU History
Sekhmet Maat, TSU History and Africana Studies
Learotha Williams, TSU History
KT Ewing, TSU History
Hannibal Leach, Fisk Political Science

Transformative Imaginations: A Speaker Series about the Nature of Collaborative Work on Social Issues 

Rochelle Spencer, Fisk Humanities
Susannah Felts, The Porch
Katie McDougall, The Porch
Destiny Birdsong, Vanderbilt English
Marlos E’van, Co-Director of McGruder Arts
Major Jackson, Vanderbilt Creative Writing
Courtney Adair Johnson, TSU Director of Van Hiram Gallery
Tayari Jones Johnson, TSU Galleries
Magana Kabugi, Fisk English
Sharon Kay, General Manager at Jazzy 88.1 FM, Fisk
Kiese Laymon, The Porch
Xuam Lawson, Director at Jazzy 88.1 FM, Fisk
La Tanya Rogers, Fisk Literature and Drama
Robert Spinelli, Special Collections Library, Fisk
Shatika White, Metro Board of Parks & Recreation
Robert Wingfield, Fisk Chemistry

Nashville Sites Lesson Plans 

Kayleigh Whitman, Vanderbilt History
Learotha Williams, TSU History
Brandon Owens, Fisk Libraries

2020-2021 Grant Winners

The Afro-Guajiros Digital Archive 

Dr. Emma Banks, TSU Sociology
Dr. David Padgett, TSU Geography
Dr. Johnnie Mae Maberry, Tougaloo Art
Dr. Stephen Rozman, Tougaloo Political Science

The Transatlantic Bodies Project: Mapping Disease and Medical Knowledge in Brazil

Dr. Tiago Fernandes Maranhao, Tougaloo History
Maria Paula Andrade, Vanderbilt History

Connecting Sites, Sounds, and Stories: Digital Storytelling, Inclusive Geography, and African-American History in Nashville

Dr. Learotha Williams, TSU History
Dr. Linda Wynn, Fisk History
Dr. Brandon Owens, Sr., Fisk Library Services
Kayleigh Whitman, Vanderbilt History

Engine For Art, Democracy, and Justice: Living in Common in the Precarious South(s)

Dr. Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Vanderbilt Fine Arts
Jamaal Sheats, Fisk Art

Neuroracism: How neuroscience imaging can perpetuate a false narrative about drug use and addiction

Dr. Kendra Oliver, Vanderbilt Pharmacology
Dr. Grace Kim-Butler, Vanderbilt Communications of Science & Technology
Dr. Megan Doherty, Berea Art & Art History
Dr. Phoenix Savage, Tougaloo Art
Dr. Cynthia Gadsden, TSU Art History

2019-2020 Grant Winners

Text Mining for the Humanities

Dr. Clifford Anderson, Vanderbilt Libraries
Dr. Jason Cohen, Berea English
Dr. Mario Nakazawa, Berea Computer Science
Dr. Mark Schoenfield, Vanderbilt English

Increasing Public Accessibility of Berea’s Historical Collection via Digital Preservation: A Collaborative Research Partnership in Digital and Public Humanities

Dr. Laura Stark, Vanderbilt MHS
John Calvin Gross, Berea Libraries

A Cross-Campus Network for Digital Projects

Dr. Madeline Casad, Vanderbilt DH
L. Abby Houston, Berea Libraries
Lori Myers-Steele, Berea Libraries
DeLisa Minor Harris, Fisk Libraries
Sharon Hull Smith, TSU Libraries
Tony Bounds, Tougaloo Archivist
Susan Springer, Tougaloo Libraries
Stephanie Taylor, Tougaloo Libraries
Dr. Daniel Genkins, Vanderbilt DH
Sarah Swanz, Vanderbilt Libraries
Andrew Wesolek, Vanderbilt Libraries

History of Black Studies at HBCUs in Nashville: An Archival Project and Digital Exhibit

Dr. Sekhmet Maat, TSU Africana Studies
Dr. Andrea Ringer, TSU History
Dr. A. Hannibal Leach, Fisk African American Studies & Political Science

Mappalachia: Optimizing and Sustaining a Digital Humanities Project on Two Campuses

Dr. Chad Berry, Berea History
L. Abby Houston, Berea Libraries
Dr. Jan Pierce, Berea Computer Science
Sarah Swanz, Vanderbilt Libraries
Andrew Wesolek, Vanderbilt Libraries

Textual Healing: The Humanities, Intergenerational Trauma, and Self-Care

Dr. Deann Armstrong, Tougaloo English
Dr. Ebony Lumumba, Tougaloo
Dr. Mickey Casad, Vanderbilt Digital Humanities

Building an Inventory of Collections Held at the Pine Mountain Settlement School

Jesse Montgomery, Vanderbilt English
Dr. Jason Cohen, Berea English
Dr. Kylie Korsnack, Berea English

The Daniel Hand School Digital Archive: Engaging Students in Historical Research

Dr. Sharron Streeter, Tougaloo CS
Dr. Jason Cohen, Berea English
Dr. Thea Black, Tougaloo Education

2018-2019 Grant Winners

Historic Black Nashville in Augmented Reality

Dr. Ole Molvig, Vanderbilt
Dr. Reavis Mitchell, Fisk
Dr. Learotha Williams, TSU
Dr. Mary Ellen Pethel, Belmont

Descendants of Fort Negley: The Present and Future of Nashville’s African American History

Dr. Learotha Williams, TSU
Dr. Angela Sutton, Vanderbilt
Dr. Madeline Casad, Vanderbilt
Dr. Reavis Mitchell, Fisk
Krista Castillo, Fort Negley Visitor’s Center

“Black at Brown” Photography Exhibit and Discussion at Tougaloo’s Humanities Week

Dr. Phoenix Savage, Tougaloo
Dr. Claudine Taaffe, Vanderbilt

Partners Workshop on Haiti: The Need to Preserve and Know the Past

Dr. Jane Landers, Vanderbilt
Yvonne Boyer, Vanderbilt
Dr. Brandon Byrd, Vanderbilt
Dr. Madeline Casad, Vanderbilt
Dr. Celso Castilho, Vanderbilt
Paula Covington, Vanderbilt
Nathan Dize, Vanderbilt
Dr. Miriam Erickson, Vanderbilt
Dr. Julia Gaffield, Georgia State University
DeLisa M. Harris, Fisk
Dr. David LaFevor, Univeristy of Texas Arlington
Dr. Frank Robinson, Vanderbilt
Dr. Angela Sutton, Vanderbilt
Sharon Hull Smith, TSU
Dr. Charlton Yingling, University of Louisville

Pataj/Partage: Shared Visions Between Fisk and Haiti

Dr. Brandon Byrd, Vanderbilt
Jamaal Sheats, Fisk
DeLisa Harris, Fisk
Nathan Dize, Vanderbilt
Nikoo Paydar, Fisk

The Role of Microaggressions in the “Blind Curtain” Selection Process of National Symphony Orchestras

Dr. E. Kelly Sanford, TSU
Dr. Anthony Williams, Fisk

Visual & Literary Representations of Black Womanhood in France and the US: A Cross-Campus Film Screening of Mariannes Noires with Producer Dr. Mame-Fatou Niang

Dr. Raquelle Bostow, Fisk
Dr. Tracy Sharpley-Whiting, Vanderbilt
Cara Wilson, Vanderbilt