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Call for Applications: Nebraska Cather Collaborative Research Grants for Willa Cather Scholarship (2020)

The Cather Project of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) English Department, in cooperation with the Cather Archive of the UNL Libraries and the National Willa Cather Center (NWCC) in Red Cloud, announces the availability of research grants for visiting scholars. These grants provide financial support for scholars to travel to and reside in Nebraska for one to four weeks to conduct research on Willa Cather in UNL Archives and Special Collections and in the Archive of the NWCC. Scholars from advanced doctoral students through senior faculty are invited to apply (note the change from previous Woodress Scholars research grants program).

Proposed projects should reflect the need to conduct research in UNL Archives and Special Collections, although researchers are also encouraged to conduct research at the NWCC and to experience Cather’s Nebraska hometown during their residence. Red Cloud is 2 ½ hours from Lincoln by car. Successful applicants will be awarded $1,000 per week up to four weeks. The deadline for submission of materials is DECEMBER 1, 2019, and we will inform successful applicants by FEBRUARY 1, 2020. Weeks in residence, which need not be consecutive, should fall between March 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021.

The Cather Project will assist successful applicants with advice about travel and lodging. When successful applicants are in residence, they will receive advice and guidance from scholars associated with the Cather Project and the Cather Archive and, depending on schedule and availability, have the opportunity to present their work in progress.

The Cather Project produces the Willa Cather Scholarly Edition and Cather Studies, both published by the University of Nebraska Press. The Cather Archive (cather.unl.edu) is a digital project dedicated to study of Willa Cather’s life and writings and the home of The Complete Letters of Willa Cather. The Archives and Special Collections of the UNL Libraries holds the largest collection of letters from and to Cather; edited typescripts and manuscripts of her works; multiple editions of her works; and many other Cather-associated materials. For more on these collections, see the finding aids for the various Cather-related collections https://libraries.unl.edu/cather-collections. The growing archive of the National Willa Cather Center includes books, letters, photographs, and personal items. Information about these collections can be accessed here: https://www.willacather.org/learn/collections-and-archives-national-willa-cather-center

These grants are funded by the Willa Cather Fund and the Roberta and James Woodress Fund, both of which are administered by the University of Nebraska Foundation. When schedule and availability permits, the NWCC will provide In-kind support in the form of housing in Red Cloud.

To apply, please send to Beth Burke (eburke3@unl.edu), Cather Project Specialist, as e-mail attachments the following items:

  • your c.v. (please limit to 2 pages)
  • an application statement of no more than 3 pages describing your proposed research project and the importance of materials and resources at UNL and the NWCC to your project (please be specific).

In addition, one professional letter of recommendation should be sent directly by your recommender to Beth Burke (eburke3@unl.edu). The letter should be specific to the fellowship and proposed project rather than a general letter of recommendation (such as a letter from job placement dossier).

Please address questions about these grants to Professor Melissa J. Homestead, Director of the Cather Project (mhomestead2@unl.edu).

The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment.





The Department of English at Rice University, located in Houston, Texas, invites applications for an Assistant (tenure-track) or Associate (tenured) Professor of African American Literature and Culture in any period or area within this field. This position is part of a broader hiring and programming initiative led by the School of Humanities to further enhance the already vibrant interdisciplinary scholarship in African and African American Studies on campus.

We seek outstanding applicants working within the field and particularly welcome scholars specializing in one or more of the following areas: late 18-19th century African American Literature, contemporary Black Popular Cultures, Black Atlantic or African diasporic studies, Afro-futurism or speculative fiction, music and sound studies, visual and material cultures, environmental studies, medical humanities, digital humanities, science and technology studies, and gender and sexuality studies. Successful candidates will demonstrate evidence of a strong research and teaching portfolio, and a commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Department’s standard 2-2 teaching load includes instruction in both the undergraduate and graduate curriculums. The University expects faculty members to maintain an active program of scholarly research and publication, and to contribute service to the department, university, and profession.

REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must have a PhD by no later than June 2020 and evidence of effective writing and teaching. We will begin reviewing applications on October 30, 2019 and the position will remain open until filled. Only complete applications will be considered. Initial interviews will be conducted via ZOOM in December. All applications must be submitted through RICEWorks.

Applications should include cover letter, curriculum vitae, dissertation abstract or abstract of current research project, writing sample (max. 25 pgs.). Applicants for the Associate Professor position (tenured) must include three references and their contact information on their applications. The search committee chair will solicit letters directly once a short list has been determined. Applicants for Assistant Professor (tenure-track) must submit three letters of recommendation at the time of application.

RICE UNIVERSITY AND HOUSTON: Rice University is a private, comprehensive research university located in the heart of Houston’s dynamic museum district and adjacent to the Texas Medical Center. The fourth largest and most diverse city in the United States, Houston provides an opportunity for scholars to collaborate with area universities, museums, and civic organizations, and to engage with the broader metropolitan community. Houston is home to some of the most dynamic and innovative work in black music and art like Project Row House. The Houston Museum of African American Culture and the Buffalo Soldier National Museum are in walking distance from campus. Our city boasts one of the few dedicated libraries for African American life and culture in the country—the Gregory School, a robust repository and cultural site archiving the longstanding presence of African Americans in our city. Houston has a distinguished history of congressional representation that includes Barbara Jordan, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Mickey Leland, and two African Americans have served as its mayor, including our current mayor, Sylvester Turner. Rice University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees across eight schools and has a student body of 4,001 undergraduates and 2900 graduate students. Rice ranks no. 16 among national universities and eighth in undergraduate teaching (2019 US News & World Report); its endowment ranks among the top 20 of US universities. Its hallmarks include a very high level of research activity and intellectual innovation, a 6:1 student- faculty ratio, and a commitment to diversity at all levels. As an Equal Opportunity employer, Rice considers for employment qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, genetic information, disability or protected veteran status.



  • Western Literature Association (WLA)

    Founded in 1965, the Western Literature Association (WLA) is a non-profit, scholarly association that promotes the study of the diverse literature and cultures of the North American West, past and present.

  • Western American Literature (WAL)

    (The Journal)

    Published by the Western Literature Association, Western American Literature is the leading journal in western American literary studies.