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The Summer Institute in the Arts & Humanities

Information for Student Applicants

2014 Program Dates and Application Information

June 23rd - August 22nd, 2014

About the 2014 Institute Theme: "Native Modernities: Histories, Politics, and Arts of Indigeneity"

    Against ideas that Native people are “out of place” and "out of time" in the modern world, Indigenous peoples of all the continents, from the Arctic to Patagonia and Cascadia to Tanzania, have developed a rich set of strategies, practices and narratives of resistance, governance, and sovereignty. This Summer Institute in the Arts and Humanities invites students to explore rich histories of Native struggles, contemporary (trans)national Indigenous social movements, and repertoires of decolonizing artistic, cultural, and intellectual production. Students will also explore the long-standing double-bind that Indigenous peoples face: their practices are seen as out-of-place (or dangerous) by the rules of settler-societies and “inauthentic” when they employ the logics and languages of dominant markets and states. As Native peoples have contributed to contemporary political, literary, cinematic, economic, scientific, and ecological debates, students from across the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences are invited to apply. We welcome student projects that explore topics that include (but are not limited to) Indigenous social movements, encounters between European and Native epistemologies (in debates over archaeology, genetics, nature, and religion), contrasting colonial and Native temporalities, and Native artistic production (including literature and the visual, plastic, and performing arts).

Please note that the online application will ask for the following:

  • Completed Student Application Form
  • A response to one essay prompt of no more than 500 words, and to one 250 word essay prompt
  • A letter of recommendation from a University of Washington faculty member familiar with your coursework and/or prior research experience.

And either:

  • A writing sample from one of your courses or personal work (8-10 double-spaced pages preferred, not including works cited/references).


  • A work sample: portfolio of digital images, pdf files, and/or video/sound clips. Submission format should be the URL for your work samples such as your website. IMPORTANT: Include an image list and 3 page portfolio statement in printed form with submission URL.

Application Deadline

Friday, March 14, 2014


All Summer Institute participants will be named Mary Gates Scholars and will receive a $4000 Mary Gates Research Scholarship award in two installments, one at the beginning of the Summer Institute (June 24) and again at the beginning of B-term (July 25).

Please note: Housing and tuition fees are the responsibility of the student participant and are not funded by the Summer Institute in the Arts and Humanities.

Student Life

The Summer Institute will utilize instructional and studio space on the UW Seattle campus, as well as meeting space in the Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities.. The Summer Institute affords ample opportunity for interaction among students and faculty. Participants also enjoy an opening luncheon at the beginning of the Summer Institute and a final formal symposium to showcase and celebrate the accomplishments of the Summer Institute participants. A formal institute schedule will be determined by the faculty and announced the first day of the Summer Institute.

Academic Credit

All Summer Institute participants will register for 12 summer quarter credits in HUM 498. A-term will be taken as credit/no-credit (6 credits); B-term (6 credits) will receive a formal grade.


University of Washington (Seattle, Bothell, Tacoma) undergraduate students in good academic standing who are interested in an intensive experience in scholarly research in the arts and humanities may apply to participate in the Summer Institute.


Summer Institute participants are expected to devote themselves to this intensive experience. The Summer Institute is a full-time commitment. Therefore, if selected you will not be able to take additional course work during summer quarter.