2024-25: CFA—Stories of Place

Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society (CCHS)

2024-25: CFA—Stories of Place





CFA: 2024-2025

CCHS Bingham Faculty Fellowships

Image Credit: "I am Going 1" (Acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 48 x 60 inches) 2023 by Suyun Son, MFA candidate at the Hite Institute of Art + Design, UofL

Stories of Place

Application Deadline: Friday, January 12, 2024


The Commonwealth Center for Humanities and Society develops an annual theme that provides the foundation for the academic year’s scheduled events and for the Bingham Faculty Fellows program. The theme for the 2024-2025 academic year will be Stories of Place.

Places tell a story. They may be simultaneously wild and/or constrained, natural and/or constructed, hyper local even as they are connected to global trends. By materializing who and what matter, stories of place build, reflect, and shift our values just as they reaffirm, deny, or remake our sense of belonging. Consequently, examining stories of place can help us attend not only to the entangled forces articulating our natural and built environments, but also to the ways we may act and make meaning in the context of these forces.


We imagine the 2024-25 Fellows may explore this theme in a variety of ways, including but not limited to the following questions:

  • What places come to be sites of contested stories? What historical, economic, cultural, artistic, environmental, legal forces shape these determinations? How do we understand places that exceed the bounds of story, whether through sacredness, wildness or unintelligibility?

  • What bodies matter? How are bodies erased or sacrificed? How do malleable social formations like gender, sexuality and race overlay understandings of embodiment? What are the psychological and bodily harms caused by systemic, cultural amnesia/denial surrounding the materializations of certain bodies?

  • What stories of place matter? How do they come to matter, whether because of how they are told, how they circulate, and/or how they are taken up? How have they become materialized in museums, history books, political agendas, nursery rhymes, insurance rates, dance, tree rings, and national holidays?

  • In what ways do non-human agents, such as animals, landscapes, or institutional structures, contribute to the narratives that define and give meaning to places? How do their interactions, presence, or the marks they leave behind influence the stories that emerge and the ways in which these stories are valued and interpreted?

  • What are the ways that people honor these stories of place (e.g., reverence, tourism, natural protections, song, ceremonies, laws, body art)? How have these expressions been suppressed, encouraged, and/or enforced? How do expressions of connection or disconnection from place inform our sense of belonging? How do these expressions resonate or become silenced as they draw us outward from the local to the global?

  • What stories of place are erased or sacrificed? What are consequences of cultural amnesia/denial surrounding certain stories of place? What are the environmental, economic, psychological and bodily harms that are caused by the systemic injustices that deny certain stories of place? How are stories of place shaped by global, hemispheric, and regional histories of migration, indigeneity, and colonization?

  • How do particular stories of place inform the ways we teach, research, create, and engage with our community partners?


About the Bingham Faculty Fellowship


For 2024-2025, the Commonwealth Center for Humanities and Society seeks to create an intellectually diverse group of up to six fellows who will benefit from conducting their research in a multidisciplinary setting. We are seeking a mix of tenured and tenure-track A&S faculty engaged in humanistic scholarship. People who have received a CCHS fellowship in the past are eligible to apply, though CCHS Advisory Board members are not eligible to apply.

  • Fellows are required to be in residence during the academic year, to present one lecture or one workshop on their research, and to participate in all the bi-monthly activities while completing their own research projects.

  • Fellows actively shape CCHS programming for the academic year, from inviting distinguished guest speakers to finding innovative ways to share scholarship with our arts and culture partners.

  • Fellows will receive one course release.

  • Fellows will receive a supplemental research/travel stipend from CCHS estimated at $1,500 (pre-tax).


Your Application


Applications are due Friday, January 12th, 2024:

  • Current CV

  • Proposal of up to 1,000 words. Primarily, your application should describe a project you will pursue as a Fellow, and how that project connects to this year’s theme. While theoretical, empirical, historical, sociocultural, and creative approaches in the humanities and social science are all welcome, your application should indicate how your project connects to humanities questions, projects and/or methodologies. Secondarily, you application should describe how your project would benefit from collaboration with scholars in other humanities-related fields.

  • If you have received a fellowship in the past, briefly (1-2 sentences) note the outcomes of your previous fellowship.

  • Brief letter of support from applicant’s department chairperson. This letter guarantees one course release, assures a teaching schedule that will not conflict with Fellow’s bi-monthly Friday meetings (12:00-1:00), and comments on both the substance of the application as well as the applicant’s ability to work in a collaborative setting.


Please email all materials to the CCHS Director, Mary P. Sheridan, . Fellows will be appointed by the Dean, as recommended by the CCHS Advisory Board, and will be named at the end of January 2024.

To learn more about the artist, Suyun Son, visit her website, Facebook, and Instagram