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2024 Summer Institute in the Arts & Humanities

The Summer Institute in the Arts & Humanities is proud to announce its open application and this year’s theme hosted by the Simpson Center for the Humanities.

The Office of Undergraduate Research, with the Simpson Center for the Humanities, is elated to introduce this year’s Summer Institute in the Arts & Humanities (SIAH) theme, teaching team, and application! SIAH offers an opportunity for undergraduates to engage in scholarly research with accomplished scholars and peers while earning full-time academic credit. This scholarly experience occurs in the context of seminars and tutorial-style lessons with faculty who offer expertise from disciplinary and interdisciplinary points of view in a space that encourages mutual learning with peers as well as independent thought.

Student participants develop individual, original research ideas related to an interdisciplinary theme, create a scholarly research paper or project, work through a faculty and peer critique process and formally present their work at a closing symposium.


More-than-human Worlds: The Poetics and Politics of Life

What becomes possible when we decenter the human in the arts and humanities? This course aims to cultivate an appreciation of the more-than-human-world —from plants to animals to water to rock—as agentive, animate, and inextricably entangled with human lifeworlds. To this end, the course will introduce frameworks and methods ranging from Indigenous epistemologies to critical animal studies to multispecies ethnography, while reckoning with histories and present realities of racial formation, settler colonialism, extractive industries, captivity, war, and other forms of violence. Ultimately, students in the course will be encouraged to cross disciplinary as well as species boundaries in crafting imaginative responses to the pressing problem of the differential mattering of lives.

In the initial weeks, the Summer Institute teaching team invites students to engage with texts and invited speakers that explore the crisis around conceptions of the human and the toll of human-centeredness, such as climate change and species extinction. With the conceptual tools and frameworks of Indigenous Studies and other critical intellectual traditions, students will explore the more-than-human entanglements at work in multiple forms and genres, like oral narratives, literary fiction and poetry, visual arts, cinema/time-based art, and other forms of storytelling, signifying, and witnessing. The second half of the course allows students to further explore those themes and develop, discuss, and produce in-depth research projects (which can include creative work) with the mentorship of the teaching team. A background in the arts and humanities is not what is most important; rather, it is your interest in joining a respectful, open, and at times difficult conversation about the role of the arts and humanities in reconceptualizing a world that holds many worlds.


The application opens 8 January 2024 and closes 1 March 2024 at 11:59pm. This opportunity is available to UW Students only. You can learn more about eligbility, financial information, and commitment here. The application consists of two parts, demographic/personal information and three essay responses.


2024 Application

2024 Teaching Team


Diversity Statement

We believe that diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences enhance scholarly inquiry. We strongly encourage applicants from diverse student populations, including but not limited to community college transfer students; first generation college students; international students; undocumented students; trans*, non-binary, gender non-conforming students, and students of different sexual orientations; students with disabilities; students from low-income backgrounds, and groups who are underrepresented in higher education (e.g. African American/Black, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Latinx/Chicanx, Southeast Asian, and Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, immigrant, refugee).