Summer Residential Research Programs

Overview

BLISS

 

 

BLISS is a 10-week summer residential program for Harvard undergraduates, designed to provide a formative and substantive social science research experience and to promote community, creativity, and scholarship. A diverse cohort of BLISS Fellows works on research projects led by Harvard faculty, and lives in one of the Harvard College houses with the other fellows in the Summer Undergraduate Research Village. In addition to conducting fulltime research, BLISS Fellows participate in rich variety of programming, including both social and academic activities. To participate, undergrads in good standing must apply and be selected to work on one of the pre-designated BLISS research projects.

 

The 2020 program will run from Monday, June 8, 2020 to Friday, August 14, 2020.

Project Descriptions

Application - Deadline February 11, 2020

The deadline for receipt of COMPLETE application materials is 12:00noon EST, Tuesday, February 11, 2020.  INCOMPLETE OR LATE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.

 


https://harvard.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0Mp8qSyMUvwSgf3
 

FAQs

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is BLISS open to non-Harvard undergraduates?
No. At this time only enrolled Harvard College students (in good standing) are eligible.

What does BLISS stand for?
Since the end of 2017 BLISS stands for “Build Learning through Inquiry in the Social Sciences”! It might also be said to represent the amazing summer experience we hope the Fellows will have.

Is the Program limited to applicants concentrating in the social sciences?
No, we accept applications from concentrators in any academic field, and in particular can envision fruitful pairings between social science faculty and students in fields like computer science, applied math, linguistics, statistics, human evolutionary biology, and so forth. However, BLISS applicants in non-social science concentrations must demonstrate how such cross-disciplinary research will contribute to their development as scholars.

Can I apply to BLISS if I have completed advanced coursework or already have undertaken a research experience in the social sciences?
Yes. BLISS has been designed to establish and cultivate a diverse community of scholars in the social sciences. Any continuing Harvard undergraduate is eligible as long they are committed to participating in the program and to conducting research in one of the BLISS-affiliated research projects. Note that preference will be given to individuals who have not yet participated in a summer research village program (e.g., PRISE, BLISS, PRIMO, SHARP, or SURGH).

Can I apply to BLISS if I'm an engineering concentrator who has done only one semester of social science coursework?
Yes. Any continuing Harvard undergraduate is eligible as long they are committed to performing social science research. Of course, your application would have to explain why you seek a research experience outside of your concentration, as well as how you relate the BLISS experience to your long-term academic and/or professional trajectory.

How important is academic achievement?
BLISS seeks to attract all undergraduates who are motivated to pursue social science research during the summer. Students must be in good academic standing and, as applicable, have taken coursework and/or had experience that would prepare them for the research projects they are interested in (some projects have prerequisites and some do not). The Program will draw from an academically diverse population. Individuals who have a demonstrated keen interest in the social sciences but have not yet had an opportunity to experience research are encouraged to apply.

Is financial need a factor in selecting BLISS Fellows?
Selection of BLISS Fellows will be need-blind. Fellows who are required to accrue savings to satisfy a requirement for financial aid eligibility ("summer savings requirement") will receive a term-bill credit in the amount determined by the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid recipients are encouraged to apply.

What does ". . . who are also interested in community, diversity, and the advancement of women and minority scholars" mean?
One of the goals of BLISS is to generate interest and enthusiasm for the development and preservation of stimulating undergraduate communities in research. Because women and minorities in many social science disciplines are underrepresented by notable margins at the professional level, there is an ongoing interest and commitment in the College to foster substantive and enriching opportunities that inspire these students to pursue their emerging academic and professional goals in those fields. In addition, the Program aspires to identify and assist individuals who may not have the opportunity to explore their research interests because of a need to work during the summer.

Do I have to be in one of those populations to be eligible?
No. The Program is designed to attract any continuing undergraduate who is interested in and can contribute to the principles of diverse community involvement and social science research.

Will BLISS help me get into graduate school?
Clearly, we cannot guarantee that BLISS will have any impact on graduate school admissions. However, BLISS Fellows will benefit from the opportunity to develop an interdisciplinary network of peers, and develop close interaction and working relationships with faculty. Many undergraduates do not have the opportunity to participate in this kind of community until much later in their careers. In addition, prominent faculty will participate in activities with the Fellows throughout the Program and may serve as future mentors.

Where can I do my research and participate in BLISS?
BLISS applicants must apply to one of the current year’s faculty-initiated research projects. Applicants are encouraged to indicate up to three choices. To the extent possible, individuals selected to participate in BLISS will be paired with their first-choice preferences.

Are there any limitations to the kind of research I can do and still be eligible for BLISS?
You may only participate in one of the BLISS-designated research projects.

Can I get housing but not participate in the lunchtime and evening activities?
No. Since a key component of BLISS is contribution to the community and professional development, participants must be willing and available to attend enrichment activities and events during non-research work hours.

May I live off-campus?
No. All participants will live together in one of the River Houses.

Instead of the meals offered through the program, could I get a stipend and cook myself?
Unfortunately, no. Due to existing programs and refurbishing activities across campus during the summer, the Program is limited to the facilities of the residential house of the Summer Undergraduate Research Village. Please also note that weekend meals are not included in BLISS and very limited cooking facilities are available in the residential facilities.

What do you mean by “contribute to, and benefit from, the BLISS and greater Summer Undergraduate Research Village residential community”?
The residential community means much more than free housing for the summer. Throughout the ten weeks there will be numerous opportunities to engage with your fellow students socially, intellectually, emotionally, academically. The community includes undergraduates pursuing research in numerous fields, from Linguistics to Astrophysics, from Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies to African & African American Studies, and everything in between. Why would being part of this community be important to you, and what do you bring to it? (Examples of current or past community engagement, loosely defined, or ideas for the summer, are encouraged.)

Does the Program pay for health insurance?
As a continuing Harvard College undergraduate, you are covered by your regular Harvard health insurance during the summer.

I am planning to travel during the month of August. Could I miss the last two weeks of BLISS?
No. Individuals who are selected for BLISS must commit to the entire ten-week Program.

Overview


 

The Program for Research in Markets and Organizations (PRIMO) is a 10-week summer program that aims to build community and stimulate creativity among Harvard undergraduate researchers in business and related fields. To participate in PRIMO, you must apply and be selected to work in one of the research areas which span diverse topics (finance, organizational behavior, marketing, etc.), disciplines (Psychology, Economics, Sociology), as well as methods (quantitative or qualitative). Successful fellows will be placed with pre-designed faculty projects at Harvard Business School. As part of the residential community of researchers, students will participate in enrichment activities such as faculty lectures, professional development workshops, presentation opportunities, and social events. PRIMO fellows are offered Harvard campus housing, a partial board plan, modest research support, and coverage of summer savings obligations for financial aid recipients.

 

The 2020 program will run from Monday, June 8, 2020 to Friday, August 14, 2020.

Overview


 

The Program for Research in Science and Engineering (PRISE) is a 10-week summer program that aims to build community and stimulate creativity among Harvard undergraduate researchers in the life, physical/natural, engineering and applied sciences. To participate in PRISE, you must find a research position on your own, and apply to PRISE separately. (NOTE: it is not necessary to have secured a research position by the PRISE application deadline). Selected fellows work on projects with Harvard-affiliated researchers and get to live with other PRISE fellows in one of the Harvard College houses and participate in extremely rich evening programming (that includes both social and academic activities). In addition to receiving free lodging and being members of a diverse, vibrant intellectual and social community, fellows also receive a nominal stipend, partial board, and (for those students on financial aid) full coverage of summer saving obligation.

The 2020 program will run from Monday, June 8, 2020 to Friday, August 14, 2020.

Application - Deadline February 11, 2020

The deadline for receipt of COMPLETE application materials is 12:00noon EST, Tuesday, February 11, 2020.  INCOMPLETE OR LATE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.


https://harvard.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0Mp8qSyMUvwSgf3

FAQs

What does PRISE stand for?

PRISE stands for the Program for Research in Science and Engineering.

Why is the Program being offered?

PRISE has been developed in response to the May 2005 report of the Task Force on Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), which recommended the development of a summer residential community for undergraduate scholars in the sciences.

This popular Program has been designed to enable motivated undergraduates to pursue summer research and also participate in a social network that will enhance the experience.

Who is eligible for PRISE?

Any continuing Harvard undergraduate (current first-year students, sophomores, and juniors) in good standing conducting research with Harvard-affiliated Faculty over the summer in the Cambridge-Boston-Longwood area is eligible to apply for the Program.

Does this mean anyone?

Yes, as long as the applicant is in good standing in the College.

Is the Program limited to specific concentrations?

No, applicants may be enrolled in any concentration. However, the Program is designed to cultivate a community of science scholars; thus, applicants in non-science concentrations must demonstrate how the research activity they are engaged in will contribute to their development as a scientist. The research fields for PRISE are limited to the life, physical, engineering, and applied sciences.

Can I apply to PRISE if I'm a Biology concentrator who's also completed two years of coursework in science?

Yes. PRISE has been designed to cultivate a community of scholars in the sciences. Any Harvard undergraduate is eligible as long they are committed to performing summer research with a Harvard-affiliated laboratory in the life, physical, engineering, or applied sciences.

Can I apply to PRISE if I'm a humanities concentrator who's only done one semester of science coursework?

Yes. Any Harvard undergraduate is eligible as long they are committed to performing summer research with a Harvard-affiliated laboratory in the life, physical, engineering, or applied sciences.

However, archival research, clinical activities, and technical laboratory assistance are not considered significant laboratory research for the purposes of this Program.

How important is academic achievement?

PRISE seeks to attract all undergraduates who are motivated to pursue scientific research during the summer.

The only specific criteria with respect to academic achievement are good academic standing and coursework and/or experience that would prepare one for research. The Program will include an academically diverse population. Individuals who have a demonstrated keen interest in the sciences but have not yet had an opportunity to experience laboratory research are encouraged to apply. That is also true of students undertaking a research project for their senior honors thesis.

Is financial need a factor in selecting PRISE Fellows?

Selection of PRISE Fellows will be need blind. Fellows who are required to accrue savings to satisfy a requirement for financial aid eligibility ("summer savings requirement") will receive a PRISE award supplement in the amount determined by the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid recipients are encouraged to apply.

What is the selection committee looking for?

Since a primary goal of PRISE is to develop a diverse residential community of undergraduate scientists, the selection committee is looking for individuals who are likely to contribute and gain from participation in such a community. Selection will be based on applicant responses to the essay questions and comments in letters of reference that the applicant is strongly suited for a successful summer enrichment experience.

What does ". . . who are also interested in community, diversity, and the advancement of women and minority scholars" mean?

One of the goals of PRISE is to generate interest and enthusiasm for the development and preservation of stimulating undergraduate communities in scientific research. Because women and minorities in many scientific disciplines are comparatively underrepresented by significant margins, both in undergraduate populations and beyond, there is an ongoing interest and commitment in the College to foster substantive and enriching opportunities that inspire these students to pursue their emerging professional goals in science fields. In addition, the Program aspires to identify and assist individuals who may not have the opportunity to explore their scientific research interests because of a need to work during the summer.

Do I have to be in one of those populations to be eligible?

No. The Program is designed to attract any continuing undergraduate scientist who is interested in and can contribute to the principles of diverse community involvement.

What are the benefits of participating in PRISE?

PRISE is an emerging, prestigious program, and the next cohort of PRISE Fellows will be a part of the College's high-profile initiative to support undergraduate research..

In addition to free housing and meals for a 10-week portion of the summer, PRISE will be beneficial in a number of ways:

  • The residential community of science scholars will allow Fellows to cultivate an interdisciplinary network of peers with whom they can communicate and collaborate outside the laboratory environment. Many undergraduates do not have the opportunity to participate in this kind of science community until much later in their careers.
  • The Program will allow Fellows to delve into topical and critical aspects of becoming a scientist through evening seminars and activities.
  • The Program will foster and encourage Fellows to explore the many exciting pathways and professional opportunities open to those considering a career in the frontiers of science.

Will PRISE help me get in to Med School?

Obviously, we cannot guarantee that PRISE will have any impact on any graduate school admissions panel. However, PRISE wis a high-profile program that supports summer research, and PRISE Fellows will benefit from the opportunity to develop an interdisciplinary network of peers. Many undergraduates do not have the opportunity to participate in this kind of science community until much later in their careers. In addition, prominent scientists will participate in activities with the Fellows throughout the Program.

Where can I do my research and still participate in PRISE?

Any laboratory in which a Fellow will be conducting meaningful scientific activity overseen by a Harvard Faculty member on the Cambridge campus or research institutes, or in one of the Boston area hospitals or research institutes is suitable. The key is not the lab location but the promise of oversight and mentorship by a Harvard Faculty sponsor.

Are there any limitations to the kind of research I can do and still be eligible for PRISE?

The PRISE participant must be engaged in a laboratory activity that supports scientific research in the life, physical, applied or engineering sciences. Archival research, clinical activities, and technical laboratory assistance are not considered significant laboratory research for the purposes of this Program.

Can I get housing but not participate in the evening activities?

No. Since a key component of the Program is contribution to the community and professional development, participants must be willing and available to attend enrichment activities and events during non-laboratory work hours.

May I live off-campus?

No. All participants will live together in the Harvard Summer Undergraduate Research Village (River House TBA), along with the participants in BLISS (the Build Learning through Inquiry in the Social Sciences), PRIMO (the Program for Research in Markets and Organizations), SHARP (the Summer Humanities and Arts Research Program), and SURGH (Summer Undergraduate Research in Global Health).

Instead of the meals offered through the Harvard Summer Undergraduate Research Village (River House TBA), could I get a stipend and cook myself?

Unfortunately, no. Due to existing programs and refurbishing activities across campus during the summer, the Program is limited to the facilities of the residential house of the Summer Undergraduate Research Village. Please also note that weekend meals are not included in the Program and very limited cooking facilities are available in the residential facilities.

Is this research funding?

No. This is participation in a residential community of scientists.

If I participate in PRISE, may I also get a grant or other award?

Yes, absolutely. Individuals who apply to PRISE are encouraged to seek funding for their independent research activities through one of the College's funding mechanisms, such as the Herchel Smith Summer Undergraduate Science Research Program, funding options available through concentration offices, and other programs. In addition, individuals who are working on a significant laboratory project under the direction of Harvard Faculty but are not being paid are also eligible. You may learn that your application for PRISE has been approved before you receive funding. You need only to verify that you have received a commitment from a Harvard Faculty member to oversee and mentor your research activity for the duration of PRISE.

Does the Program pay for health insurance?

As a continuing Harvard College undergraduate, you are covered by your regular Harvard health insurance during the summer.

I am planning to travel during the month of August. Could I miss the last two weeks of the Program?

No. Individuals who are selected for PRISE must commit to the entire ten-week Program.

Is there a strategy for choosing my reference?

One letter of recommendation is required for PRISE.

The letter of recommendation should be written by someone in the Harvard community who can comment on character, initiative, and interest in pursuing excellence. This letter should include brief but noteworthy examples demonstrating that the applicant will benefit from participation in and contribute to PRISE activities. First-year students may consider obtaining a letter from someone who knows them well academically or in a research context from before their arrival at Harvard.

One confirmation letter is required for PRISE.  

The confirmation letter is a statement of commitment from your Harvard Faculty laboratory sponsor. This letter should include information about your planned project, and should include an indication of the extent to which the sponsor will be involved in overseeing and mentoring the applicant. (Please note: this letter does not have to be submitted by the PRISE application deadline.)

How does the application cycle work?

Application instructions are available beginning in mid-December. Complete applications are submitted via the Centralized Application for Research and Travel (CARAT), before 12:00pm NOON on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. (Please see the "Application" section for details and instructions.) The selection process will conclude by the second week of March and applicants will be notified of results before the beginning of April. After an applicant has been selected, they must re-verify that her/his research opportunity with a Harvard Faculty member has been secured, and commit to the schedule and activities for the duration of PRISE.

Archives

PRISE Abstract Books

PRISE Final Presentation Schedule

PRISE Blogs

Other Archival Documents

PRISE Newsletters

Articles on PRISE

Calendar

Click to view the 2014 PRISE Calendar.

Announcements

Click to view the 2014 PRISE Announcements.

Overview

 

 

The Summer Humanities and Arts Research Program (SHARP) is a 10-week immersive summer program that aims to build community and stimulate creativity among a small cohort of Harvard undergraduate researchers in the humanities and arts. SHARP fellows work on research projects with Harvard-affiliated faculty, researchers, and senior library and museum staff. Fellows live together in one of the Harvard College houses and participate in rich evening programming that includes both social and academic activities. To participate in SHARP, you must apply and be selected to work on one of the available SHARP research projects.

The 2020 program will run from Monday, June 8, 2020 to Friday, August 14, 2020.

SHARP Summer 2020 Project Descriptions

*JUST ADDED, 2/7/20* Poetry in America (New)

Poetry in America

Project Supervisor

Professor Elisa New, Creator and Host of Poetry in America; Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature

Overview

I am currently at work on Poetry in America, a multiplatform humanities and media initiative at Harvard. Poetry in America began as a series of HarvardX modules, and has now expanded to a PBS television series, as well as a wide range of multimedia educational initiatives across Harvard and with WGBH, public television’s preeminent production house. Season 1 of the Poetry in America television series aired nationally in 2018, and I am currently producing Seasons 2 and 3 of the series (set to premiere April 2020 and April 2021, respectively) . In addition, my team is working to create state-of-the-art online course materials and teacher training materials in partnership with HGSE and DCE that connect the reading of poetry with other disciplines across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. In partnership with the National Education Equity Lab, the Harvard Extension School, and Arizona State University, we are also piloting an initiative to offer low-cost college credit to high-schoolers in Title I high schools around the country.

Opportunities

In the next 12 months my Production Team will be developing footage for the third season of the Poetry in America television series, as well as working with our Education Team to update and add to our suite of online courses aimed at K-12 teachers and students. Over the spring and summer months, our Education Team will also be analyzing survey and student performance data following the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 runs of our National Pilot program for high-schoolers in order to reflect and report on outcomes, and to make changes to future runs of the program.

We seek a SHARP fellow to assist with online course development and educational program evaluation. The fellow will work with project mentors to devise a project suited to his or her interests, but a few possible areas of focus include: conducting research on online education and Dual Enrollment models; reviewing existing and developing new assessments for our online courses; developing materials for teachers and students participating in our National Pilot program; and assisting with the rollout of the Fall 2020 run of the Pilot.

In addition, after launching our first successful Poetry in America for Teachers course in 2017, we received funding to begin developing video content and curricula on Shakespeare and on World Literature (in partnership with Stephen Greenblatt and Martin Puchner, respectively) for use in the K-12 classroom and for K-12 teacher education. If a SHARP fellow were interested in humanities education beyond poetry, this could be one possible avenue for research and work this summer.

The SHARP fellow will hone close-reading and research skills. She/he will become familiar with our library of footage, and become adept at watching, editing, and reviewing educational media, identifying key teaching moments, and developing curricula or assessments tailored to learning outcomes. The SHARP fellow will gain a nuanced understanding of copyright law, and assist the Poetry in America team with copyright compliance and rights acquisition.

Selection Criteria

The ideal candidate for this SHARP fellowship will be a self-motivated, organized, creative, and energetic undergraduate, preferably a rising junior or senior. The applicant should have some experience in literature, history, and/or the arts, and an interest in the digital humanities, multimedia education, and K-12 education. Students with an interest or background in film production or Web design are also welcome to apply; however, none of these skills are required, and there will be opportunities for learning on the job if applicants are interested in these areas.


 

Abolitionist Women and Their Worlds: Course Development Research (Miles, Shea, & Brown)

“Abolitionist Women and Their Worlds”: Course Development Research

 

Project Supervisors

Tiya Miles, Professor of History and Radcliffe Alumnae Professor
Ellen Shea, Head of Research Services, and Tamar Gonen Brown, Research Librarian, Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
 

Project Description

The Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America is part of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and is the only Harvard library dedicated to documenting and preserving the history of women. The year 2020 marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which removed federal barriers to women’s suffrage in the United States. To mark the occasion, the Library has launched a major project, with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to commemorate, interrogate, and redefine the narrative of American women’s citizenship. As part of that effort, the Library is spearheading the creation of Harvard College courses that draw heavily on the Library’s archival collections. The second of these courses, “Abolitionist Women and Their World,” will be taught by Tiya Miles in spring 2021. The course draws students into an exploration of nineteenth-century activist women’s lives that underscores the critical difference of the past from the present while also recognizing that some questions repeat across time, such as how does a person change her own life and make a difference in the lives of others?
 
We seek a SHARP Fellow to assist Professor Miles during summer 2020 with in-depth research to develop this archive-intensive course. The Fellow will conduct broad and deep research into the Library’s rich collections and will be tasked with locating specific materials, surveying collections, identifying potentially relevant sites and artifacts, and other research tasks as assigned.
 

Learning Outcomes & Skills

The SHARP Fellow will develop and hone historical research skills, will become well-versed in the history and debates surrounding abolition and women’s citizenship, and will become familiar with library and archival methodologies as well as the principles of course design.
 

Selection Criteria

We seek SHARP Fellows with strong research and writing skills and an interest in history, African and African American studies, law, digital humanities, WGS, or other related fields. No prior library or museum experience is required. Strong technical skills are desirable, but not required. Most important is the willingness to learn and explore, and a genuine curiosity and excitement about the project.

A Difficult Archaeologist: Digitization of the Papers of Clarence S. Fisher at the Semitic Museum (Der Manuelian)

A Difficult Archaeologist: Digitization of the Papers of Clarence S. Fisher at the Semitic Museum

Faculty Supervisor

Peter Der Manuelian, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, Anthropology, Director, Harvard Semitic Museum

Project Description

Clarence S. Fisher (1876–1941) trained as an architect at the University of Pennsylvania (B.S. 1897) and, from 1899 onwards, spent his professional career working on American archaeological expeditions in Iraq, Egypt and Palestine. He was architect and draftsman for the Harvard Excavations at Samaria, 1908–1910, begun by the founding Curator of the Semitic Museum, Harvard professor David Gordon Lyon, and directed in the field by Lyon’s star pupil, George Reisner. In Egypt Fisher excavated the palace of King Merneptah at Memphis, cemeteries at Denderah, and Theban tombs from the New Kingdom cemeteries of modern Luxor. As a scholar and architectural archaeologist, Fisher was gifted. As an individual and a field director, however, Fisher drove those around him, Americans and Egyptians alike, almost insane with his mercurial nature and paranoia. Discerning his “unique” personality will be part of the project—and part of the fun.

Over the course of four decades, Fisher accumulated a large archive of documents, photographs and technical drawings. Originally widely dispersed, Fisher’s archive is now deposited at the Semitic Museum, though divided among several different collections, some only partly catalogued. The objective of the Museum’s C.S. Fisher Archive Project is to unify—virtually, not physically—these disparate collections and create a common finding aid. This summer’s efforts will be devoted particularly to a collection of papers from Fisher’s work in Egypt, which is less well known than his work in Iraq or Palestine. Other material in the Museum’s Samaria Excavations Archive and the Museum’s Historical Archive relevant to Fisher’s life and works will also be digitized in conjunction with these papers.

The long-term objective of this project to digitize the entire Archive and to make it available publicly for purposes of research, teaching and museum exhibition. This will also support another ongoing project to compile an institutional history of the Museum, especially its early years (1889–1932) for which, in addition to Fisher, it has especially rich holdings.

We seek an undergraduate assistant intern, from June to August, to help in organizing, processing and digitizing the Fisher Archive material. While no particular prerequisite skills are required, we hope to take on a student interested in some or all of the following: archaeology, art history, history of the early modern Middle East, museum collection research, museum studies, and archival work. A combination of some of the following attributes will be helpful: excellent organizational and project management skills; basic computer database and Excel abilities, and perhaps even some rudimentary Photoshop and archival research experience. There will be lots of scanning of valuable archival documents involved.

Working together with Manuelian and the Museum’s deputy director, Joseph A. Greene, by the end of the project the intern should have a firm grasp of the innerworkings of university archaeological museum, how it organizes and cares for its archival collections, and how it uses those collections for teaching, research, public exhibition and outreach education. While there will be a fair amount of scanning involved, the intellectual component of the project lies in gathering the diverse materials spread across the Museum’s archives, organizing them electronically in an intelligent system, creating a finding aid reference document to them, and assessing Clarence Fisher’s role in the development of Harvard archaeology and interactions with Museum Director David Gordon Lyon and Egyptologist/archaeologist George Reisner. Background materials on Fisher, including possible interactions with his living grandson, should help bring the project alive.

I plan to be in Boston through most of the summer of 2020, and my deputy director will work directly with the student on a daily basis. The student will work in the Semitic Museum alongside Museum staff and other summer volunteer interns in a friendly, collegial environment. We believe this will provide a Harvard undergraduate a unique opportunity to learn how the products of “old” technology—in Fisher’s case pen, paper, drafting table, glass plate photography—can be transformed by modern digital technology to make them accessible to the scholarly and world community.

Digital Archaeology: The Giza Project at Harvard (Der Manuelian)

Digital Archaeology: The Giza Project at Harvard

Faculty Supervisor

Peter Der Manuelian, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, Anthropology, Director, Harvard Semitic Museum

Project Description

The Giza Project’s goal is the comprehensive collection, electronic preservation, scholarly study, and public presentation of data on the world’s most famous archaeological site: the Giza Pyramids of Egypt and their surrounding cemeteries and settlements (3rd millennium BCE to present). Building upon twenty years of academic data processing at Harvard and earlier at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Project has now reached a maturity and scope at which exciting new forms of outreach and education are possible. Using digital archaeology, the Project combines powerful online and traditional academic research tools with new teaching technologies for the world community, as a model of archaeological information management.

We have assembled electronic archival datasets through collaborative agreements around the globe, focusing mainly (but not exclusively) on collections from fifteen international institutions, in Berkeley, CA; Boston; Berlin; Cairo; Cambridge; Hildesheim; Leipzig; Philadelphia; Turin; and Vienna. Their pooled data comprise the largest collection of Giza archival materials ever compiled, all in electronic form. Through consolidation and standardized processing by the Giza Project this substantial volume of scattered records has become publicly available to the world community. Our pilot website is available at http://giza.fas.harvard.edu.

We seek an undergraduate assistant intern, from June to August, to help in organizing and processing part of our backlog of images and documents in the pipeline for our database and website. Some of these come from our European partners abroad; others consist of multiple views of statues and other objects in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (with multiple images of the same object, metadata processing becomes much easier).

While no particular prerequisite skills are required, we hope to take on a student interested in some or all of the following: archaeology, art history, museum collection research, database spreadsheet preparation, museum studies, and archival work. A combination of some of the following attributes will be helpful: excellent organizational and project management skills; basic computer database and Excel abilities, and perhaps even some rudimentary Photoshop and archival research experience. The student will assist with researching, describing, and properly labeling images in a spreadsheet in preparation for batch uploads to the Giza database and website. In the process s/he will learn museum collection research methods, collections management metadata skills, and the significance of intelligent linking between images, documents, names, and places that make the Giza Project website such a powerful tool.

Working together with Manuelian and the Giza Project’s deputy director, Nicholas Picardo, in Vanserg 130, by the end of the project the intern should have a firm grasp on the internal structure of large information management projects, and how to make them accessible to a wider audience.

I plan to be in Boston through most of the summer of 2020, and my deputy director will also work directly with the student on a daily basis. The student will work primarily in the Giza Project office in Vanserg 130, where other summer staff and volunteers will be on hand, in a relaxed and friendly environment. We believe this work provides a unique opportunity to become familiar with the most famous archaeological site in the world, and how scholars strive to apply new technologies to make it accessible to the world community.

Diversity in Digital Space (Oja, Shelley, and Linklater)

Diversity in Digital Space

Project supervisors

Christina Linklater (Keeper of the Isham Memorial Library and Houghton Music Cataloger)
Carol J. Oja (William Powell Mason Professor of Music)
Braxton D. Shelley (Assistant Professor of Music)

Project description

To mark the golden anniversary of the landmark book The Music of Black Americans (1971), Harvard Library staff (Christina Linklater), faculty (Professors Carol J. Oja and Braxton D. Shelley) and students are collaborating on an exhibition, a symposium and two concerts. These events, scheduled for the spring semester of 2021, will honor both the book and its author, Eileen Southern (1920-2002), who was the first African-American woman tenured in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

We invite two SHARP fellows to join us in this endeavor for a summer of editing, revision, research, and online exhibition curation. The position offers hands-on experience in designing and implementing an online exhibit, with the goal of reaching a diverse audience. It embraces core values of the public humanities, and it aims to generate conversations about race and music that will extend far beyond the walls of Harvard. At the same time, it offers intensive experience in data management and library techniques.

The fellows will be charged with verifying the accuracy of data in exhibition labels and other pieces of data created and gathered by Professor Oja's graduate students in a Fall 2019 seminar. They will additionally review closed-captioned video footage of interviews conducted by the seminar with Southern's colleagues and friends, checking for errors in the captions, helping to create metadata for deposit of these videos into Harvard Library's Digital Repository Service, and choosing excerpts to be included in a composite video. All these tasks will be geared to the primary goal, which is to collaborate with project staff to imagine a digital space into which the exhibition will extend, bringing together the graduate students' ArcGIS and other web projects into a cohesive online presence.

All in all, the various threads involved in this project will be undertaken with an eye to diverse access. What audiences might turn to this exhibition, whether in public libraries or secondary-school classrooms? How can the materials be edited and presented so as to attract the broadest possible audience?

Learning outcomes

The felows will become adept at working with the Omeka web-publishing system, data management, HOLLIS searching, and navigating the Harvard Library system. If interested, the fellows could receive training in metadata creation for Alma, Harvard's Integrated Library System.

Schedule and mentorship

One day per week throughout the summer will be devoted exclusively to developing a web presence for the exhibition. For the video review phase of the project, the fellows could each be reasonably expected to view one video per day, simultaneously composing descriptive metadata, comparing the audio track against its captions, and choosing segments for a future compilation. Other typical days could include transcribing data into a spreadsheet, searching HOLLIS or other resources provided by project mentors for the secondary source literature references, and retrieving that literature to check citations, indicating on the spreadsheet whether the citations were correct or, if necessary, how they ought to be emended.

At the beginning of each day, Christina Linklater will meet with the fellows to discuss the coming day's work and review that of the previous day. The felows will become adept at working with the Omeka web-publishing system, data management, HOLLIS searching, and navigating the Harvard Library system. If interested, the fellows could receive training in metadata creation for Alma, Harvard's Integrated Library System.

Professor Oja will also interact vigorously with the fellows, including regular in-person and Zoom consultations to discuss the conceptual frameworks being developed. Christina Linklater will be on campus for the entire summer, with the exception of June 15-19 and July 20-24, and will be responsible for the project's day-to-day management. Professor Oja will be both in- and out-of town, but steadily available via the internet. Professor Shelley will not be directly involved with this summertime phase of the project.

Selection criteria

A fundamental requirement is an interest in creatively shaping a digital exhibit to reach diverse audiences. Attention to detail and a strong command of grammar and spelling are also essential, as is willingness to learn and apply library and research techniques. Awareness of the conventions of writing for the internet would be helpful but could be learned. The fellows need not read music or know a foreign language.

Getting Started with Cultural Data - Harvard Art Museums (Steward)

Harvard Art Museums Getting Started with Cultural Data

Project Supervisor

Jeff Steward, Director of Digital Infrastructure and Emerging Technology (DIET), Harvard Art Museums

Project Overview

The SHARP fellow will work with the DIET team on researching and designing a guide for getting started in computational art and art history. The student will learn about the art museum's data; research how other museums and collections talk about and present data; and then use that research to help improve and extend the existing documentation for the Harvard Art Museums open dataset and API. A primary goal of the project is to make the guide and our documentation usable by those with limited knowledge of programming.

A few questions we’ll try to address and illustrate:

  • What is an API?
  • Why do museums have APIs?
  • What is cultural data?
  • Why do museums have data? What is in it?
  • What can I do with this data?

The fellow will work on designing basic coding and data mining exercises with the HAM API that answer these questions. The current HAM API documentation attempts to do this, but we make a lot of assumptions about technical experience and knowledge. We’ll look for the gaps and work on building a guide that shortens the amount of time it takes to get from idea to reality.

Agenda

The project will run in four phases. During the the first phase the fellow will meet with members of every department at the art museums (facilities, curatorial, communications, conservation, etc.) to learn what collections data is and what it means to staff across the business. The second phase includes research and benchmarking against peer institutions to better understand how other museums talk about and share data. The third phase will be to assess the documentation and tools Harvard Art Museums currently provides with its data. The final phase includes reporting on the findings, designing exercises to be included in the API, and editing/writing public documentation for our API.
The fellow will work with the Director of DIET at the Harvard Art Museums throughout the entire project.

Outcomes

The fellow will learn the full depth and breadth of collections data. They will gain experience using version control systems (GitHub) and writing readable code/documentation. They will gain experience writing and communicating for global, interdisciplinary audiences. We aim to make the art museum's collections available to diverse audiences including humanists, CS students, artists, creative coders, statisticians, etc. This is an opportunity to create tools that are utilized beyond Harvard. By default we build tools that are outward facing and designed to have a global impact. Thus far our tools have been used by students, educators, and engineers and have been featured on syllabi around the world (including at UC Berkeley, Tilburg University, SPbPU). The fellow will help expand the reach by identifying and writing for new global audiences. By the end of the term, the fellow will have learned how computer (cognitive, color, data, etc.) science and creative thinking are applied at art museums.

Selection Criteria

This is a great opportunity for those interested in exploring open access, digital humanities, computer science, and building connections between the arts and sciences. The fellow should be interested in making art accessible to new audiences through data and algorithms.

We're looking for an independent and organized student. Strong research, writing, and communication skills are required.

Some experience and knowledge of coding and data structures is helpful along with the ability to read and understand code snippets. It isn't necessary for the fellow to be able to write code, but if they can, great! (Don't worry about being able to write clean code. Programming is messy.) It’s more important that you can communicate about technical topics than be able to code. Our project is adaptable to your skills and experience.

No prior museum experience is necessary.

Restoring a Great but Forgotten Work of Political Theory from the Italian Renaissance (Hankins)

Restoring a Great but Forgotten Work of Political Theory from the Italian Renaissance

Project Mentor

James Hankins, Professor of History and General Editor, I Tatti Renaissance Library

Project Description

In December 2019 I published a monograph entitled Virtue Politics: Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy (Belknap Press). One of the book’s arguments is that Niccolò Machiavelli is not the only great political theorist of the Italian Renaissance, but that the little-known Francesco Patrizi of Siena (1413-1494) deserves to be considered its most compelling voice of “virtue politics.” Virtue politics is the Renaissance’s more idealistic approach to politics and contrasts with Machiavelli’s amoral realism. There is a lively discussion in modern America right now about the importance of virtue in politics, and it is too bad that Patrizi is not part of that conversation. He has much to offer.

The main reason that Patrizi is not appreciated today is that his political thought is contained in two very long Latin treatises, How to Found a Republics and On Kingship. Neither of these works has been edited in modern times, and neither has been translated into English. Most people who now work in the history of political theory do not read Latin easily, if at all. The best remedy for this situation would be a critical edition and translation of the Latin text, of the kind that we do in the I Tatti Renaissance Library, a series I edit for the Villa I Tatti, Harvard’s Renaissance studies center in Italy. However, from long experience I recognize that, even if I could find a qualified classicist interested in the project, it would be at least a decade to prepare an edition and translation of either text. 

Fortunately, there is an alternative though less ideal solution to making Patrizi available in English. In the reign of Elizabeth I, a well known translator, Richard Robinson (1544-1603) made an epitome of the more interesting of Patrizi’s works, How to Found a Republic (1465/71). Robinson translated Patrizi’s own presentations of political problems but eliminated most of his classical examples. In other words, the work, entitled A Moral Method of Civil Policy (London, 1576) makes Patrizi’s substantive arguments available, mostly in the form of direct translation of his texts rather than paraphrase. (Please see this attached sample translation.)

I am seeking a SHARP fellow to undertake the work of editing Robinson’s English epitome of Patrizi for online publication. A scan of the translation made from the only edition of 1576 is available online, on the database EEBO (Early English Books Online), but the scan has many errors and will be unintelligible and unusable to most English readers. The project will ask the SHARP fellow to correct the scan against the printed version (also available online), modernize spelling, capitalization and punctuation, and add explanatory glosses of archaic words and phrases. If there is time, the fellow might also help with the identification of classical texts quoted by Patrizi.

The first phase of this project can be done from any computer with an internet connection and does not necessarily require advanced knowledge of Latin (though that would help!). When identifying sources the fellow may have to work with Latin editions of Patrizi, which sometimes identify sources not identified in Robinson’s epitome. Most of these are online, but some may only be available in Houghton or another rare book library. I will meet with the SHARP fellow at regular intervals, weekly at first, to discuss problems of transcription, editing, and source identification. I will also be available via Skype.

In addition to being among the first modern readers to meet this great political thinker of the Renaissance, the SHARP fellow will learn a good deal about Elizabethan English and editorial method. He or she will also be introduced to the dying but still basic technique of identifying sources, distinguishing direct from intermediate borrowings, and analyzing their use and abuse by later writers. By studying Patrizi’s source base the student will acquire a better sense of what has been called “the classical bookshelf” of the Italian and English Renaissances, which is quite different from the Loeb Classical Library.

The fellow’s work product, if satisfactory, will be published under her or his name on my personal website, with links from from my site on academia.edu. This will bring it to the attention of most people working in the history of political theory.

Harvard Art Museums (Odo & Mani)

Harvard Art Museums

Project supervisors

David Odo, Director of Academic and Public Programs, Division Head and Research Curator
Camran Mani, Cunningham Curatorial Fellow in Academic and Public Programs

Project Description 

Harvard Art Museums welcomes applications from undergraduates of all disciplines to conduct research for, and think creatively about, art-based educational programs to expand our impact in the greater Cambridge and Boston metropolitan areas. Students will also deliver regularly scheduled tours for visitors, acting as the public face of the Harvard Art Museums throughout the summer. This work will include museum and collections research, workshops with Museums staff from curatorial, education, conservation, and other departments, and the development of educational and interpretive programming for public audiences.

The research, writing, and presentation work of the SHARP interns will draw on the intellectual, institutional, and artistic resources of the Harvard Art Museums – the Fogg, the Busch-Reisinger, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum – which feature works from the ancient world to the present, and from the Americas, Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Asia.

Agenda

The SHARP interns will produce a research report with recommendations to improve community access to the Harvard Art Museums. Interns will research visitorship data to the Museums in the context of the greater Cambridge and Boston metropolitan areas, and make recommendations as to which publics the Museums should better serve (e.g. family audiences, visitors with dementia, and visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing). The report will provide information about group’s special needs, list relevant resources, and propose strategies for providing tours or events for these groups, using specific objects in the Museums’ collections. Interns would strengthen and expand their research skills through field work with community members and work in libraries as well as in the museums’ objects files and archives. They would also explore how to teach with museum collections and develop a deeper sense of the diverse communities in which the Harvard Art Museums are embedded.

Outcomes

Interns will gain experience conducting research in art history and on art museum visitorship, teaching in a museum setting, and working closely with curators and Museums staff to develop educational materials and programs for public audiences. In addition, interns will gain in-depth knowledge of specific objects and collection areas they research in preparation for their tours, as well as general knowledge of museum practice through structured and unstructured learning opportunities with curators, conservators, and other professional museum staff. By the end of the program, the intern should have knowledge of Harvard Art Museums’ collections, improved research and communication skills, familiarity with different models for public engagement in museums, and experience writing and creating educational materials and tours for public audiences.

Selection criteria

No art history or museum experience necessary, but excitement about the Harvard Art Museums and its potential to become more accessible and inclusive is required. Strong research and writing skills are required. We are seeking students with a welcoming and engaging demeanor and a comfort with public speaking; prior teaching/tutoring experience preferred.

Harvard Museum of Natural History - Women in Science Exhibit Research (Gochberg and Sacco)

HMNH Women in Science Exhibit Research

Project Supervisors

Reed Gochberg, Assistant Director of Studies and Lecturer, History and Literature
Janis Sacco, Director of Exhibitions, Harvard Museums of Science and Culture

Project Description

Reed Gochberg is collaborating with the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture to develop a new exhibit for the Harvard Museum of Natural History that is planned to open in Summer 2021. The exhibit will feature the history of women in science, specifically their work at the Museum of Comparative Zoology and Harvard Museum of Natural History. Most histories of the museum have focused on the work of Harvard faculty, who were predominantly white men throughout the twentieth century. This exhibit will instead take an inclusive approach to foreground individuals who received less or even no public recognition. From assistants who sorted and catalogued collections in the late nineteenth century to contemporary curators and educators, women have been an integral part of the museum’s history, contributing to research, teaching, and public programs.

This exhibit will feature their stories for the first time in the main galleries of the Harvard Museum of Natural History. It will include photographs, letters, and scrapbooks, as well as specimens, illustrations, and other materials that demonstrate the range of women’s work and contributions. The exhibit is scheduled for installation in the Harvard Museum of Natural History in early summer 2021.

The SHARP fellow will work with us on two important aspects of the exhibit development process: researching content for the exhibit and conducting evaluation interviews with museum visitors.

Content Research: Research tasks will include developing working biographies of key figures, examining institutional history in the Museum of Comparative Zoology’s Annual Reports, and reviewing correspondence, photographs, other images, and manuscripts at the Ernst Mayr Library, Schlesinger Library, and Harvard University Archives.

Visitor Evaluation Research: Research tasks will include developing and documenting goals and procedures for evaluation interviews, developing effective interview questions, carrying out interviews with visitors in the HMNH galleries, analyzing the results of evaluation interviews, and drafting an evaluation report with findings and recommendations.

Summer Goals and Outcomes

The SHARP fellow will develop research and writing skills, including curatorial and archival research, evaluation research methods, goal-setting, and analysis. The SHARP fellow will also gain experience in public presentation and communication.

Selection Criteria

We will be looking to work with a highly motivated, independent, and organized student who shows curiosity and enthusiasm for the topic and a willingness to develop new skills. No prior library or museum experience is required, but the SHARP fellow should have strong research and writing skills and an interest in history, WGS, history of science, natural history, museum studies, and/or related fields.

 

Houghton Library (Greive and Donovan)

Houghton Library 2020 SHARP Fellowships

Project Supervisors

Kristine Greive, Head of Teaching and Learning, Houghton Library
Kate Donovan, Associate Librarian for Public Services, Houghton Library

Project Overview

Houghton Library is pleased to invite Harvard undergraduates to work with our collections in the summer with support of SHARP. These competitive fellowships are designed to fully support a summer of work at Houghton, Harvard’s world-class rare books and manuscripts library.

Houghton is home to the world famous and the almost entirely unknown, the ancient and the contemporary, the enduring and the ephemeral; as a researcher, a practitioner, an experimenter, we want to know what you can do with these materials. During the course of a fellowship, fellows work closely with library staff to discover new areas of interest or to delve into ongoing projects. Past fellows created an opera; identified and filled gaps in the literature about the American and British birth control movements; produced a series of podcasts on poetry and the archives; made surprising discoveries about the origins of American theater at Harvard; explored the life and works of John James Audubon; and the development of W.V. Quine's philosophical work; created interactive fiction; used the world’s largest collection of materials on altered states of being, written books and poetry; made art and created exhibitions. We invite proposals for this summer on any topic or discipline supported by our collections. Creative, digital, research, and performance projects are all welcome, as are those we haven't thought of yet.

Successful project proposals tend to be driven by your passions and questions and include concentrated work with collection materials at Houghton. Fellows will have the opportunity to be in residence at Houghton Library working in the Reading Room with guidance from staff throughout the summer. Fellows attend workshops on book history, book arts, archives, and other associated topics and also meet weekly with mentors and as a research cohort throughout the program.

Proposing a Project

Applicants should be prepared to describe their proposed project, including specific information about the Houghton Library materials or kinds of materials the project would make use of as well as the outcomes or manifestation/s for the project. This proposal narrative is limited to approximately 500 words. In the SHARP application, this proposal will be included as your first essay response.

To schedule a time to talk with a Houghton librarian about your project in advance, please email us at: houghton_library@harvard.edu.

Indian Philosophy Project (Patil)

Indian Philosophy Project

Project Supervisor

Parimal G. Patil, Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy

Project Description

Classical Indian philosophy is one of the great philosophical traditions of the world. And yet, it is all but invisible to contemporary Philosophy, let alone the humanities more generally. The Indian Philosophy Project is an attempt at correcting this.

Debates between rival Indian philosophers on topics such as the sources of knowledge, the nature of persons, consciousness, the meaning of words and sentences, moral motivation, the goals of life, aesthetics, and poetic language inspired generations of their successors. Even in the 21st century, philosophers writing in classical Sanskrit (as well as modern South Asian languages) continue to debate these issues. Unfortunately, it is still far too difficult for anyone other than specialists to engage with and learn from the work of any of these remarkable intellectuals. While some useful secondary material exists, useable translations do not. Most of the translations that do exist are designed for people who already know the primary languages and so are almost useless to those who do not. The same is true for much of the secondary scholarship, which is either too specific to be useable by non-specialists or too general to serve as a basis for future scholarship. Even worse, the overwhelming majority of Indian philosophical texts have never been translated. Imagine the humanities without translations of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, etc.

The Indian Philosophy Project takes a modest step towards correcting this problem, by making freely available the kinds of resources necessary for eventually solving it.

Summer Goals

The first goal for the summer of 2020 is create free, publicly available teaching modules on topics in Indian Philosophy. Each module will contain an edition of a relevant text; a minimally annotated translation of my own; and a detailed set of notes and argument reconstructions designed for both teachers and students. This summer, my goal is to put existing versions of three modules into their final form and post them to a soon-to-be created Indian Philosophy Project web site.

A second is goal is to develop new teaching modules, by identifying appropriate sections of currently translated texts to be re-edited, translated, and developed into new modules. This summer, I hope to develop new teaching modules in Buddhist philosophy of mind and classical Indian aesthetics e.g., theories of aestheticized emotions and metaphor. These modules will eventually find their way into my own courses at Harvard.

A third goal is to identify contemporary work in Arts, Humanities, and qualitative Social Sciences that can be brought into critical conversation with the Indian material. Realizing this goal, will require writing academic articles that can be submitted to peer-reviewed journals outside the field of South Asian studies. This summer, I hope to revise 2 such articles.

Opportunities

I am seeking a SHARP fellow to assist with this project. I would like the fellow to work through existing modules and give (critical input) into the translations and notes; read new translations and make suggestions for how they might provide a basis for future modules; and suggest new topics of interest to the SHARP fellow which, in time (and perhaps over the summer itself) can be developed into new modules. It is important to me that the fellow identify and work on a topic of specific interest to them.

During the summer, the SHARP fellow will further develop their already developed close- reading and research skills. They will become familiar with a broad range of Indian philosophical texts and learn how to use the existing data bases and digital humanities resources in the field. The SHARP fellow will also have the opportunity, through bi-weekly meetings with me, to discuss and debate the wide range of philosophical issues raised by the modules and texts they are working on. Finally, the SHARP fellow will gain an understanding of just what it takes to broaden our curriculum.

Selection criteria

The ideal candidate for this SHARP fellowship will be a well-motivated, creative, and energetic undergraduate, preferably a rising junior or senior. The applicant should have some experience in philosophy, as well as an interest in working through difficult, and at times, frustrating (but also fun) texts and arguments. The applicant should also have some interest, if not experience, in working with web-sites, though there will be opportunities for learning on the job. What is most important, however, is deep philosophical curiosity and an interest in exploring and grappling with the unfamiliar. No knowledge of South Asia, or any South Asian languages, is necessary.

metaLAB Curricle Lens (Schnapp)

metaLAB SHARP 2020 Fellow: Curricle Lens

 

Work brief includes: historical research, design work, and storytelling.

Mentoring: Mentored by metaLAB team, incl. Professor Jeffrey Schnapp and Matthew Battles, working in collaboration with metaLAB's visualization design consultant, Kim Albrecht.

Research themes: Harvard’s curricular and institutional history; the role of the liberal arts in society; design, data analysis, and visualization.

 

Curricle

Curricle sets the stage for a new experience of course selection and planning, providing students with powerful tools for browsing, discovering, and selecting courses at Harvard. Currently undergoing testing, the platform enables students to see the broader landscape within which they navigate the curriculum, offering opportunities for choice, customization, and sharing with advisors and peers.

 

To supplement the core platform, metaLAB has developed a web-native publication channel, entitled "Curricle Lens," to visualize the history of the Harvard curriculum and evolving roles of the liberal arts in society. Featuring exemplary stories excavated from the university archives as well as compelling experiments with the visualization of curricular data over time and across Harvard's schools, Lens tells the story of Harvard curricula in the making, understanding course offerings as a conversation between the university, its students, and the wider world.

 

Specific role for SHARP fellow

The SHARP fellows will be involved in researching, developing, and delivering content for Curricle Lens. This will involve research for historical micro-narratives, including interviewing notable alumni about their curricular choices and archival research into historical curricula at Harvard and Radcliffe, as well as work in the University Archives. Working with the Curricle project team, the fellows will also develop design scenarios using data visualization, text, and audiovisual media. The SHARP fellows will participate in weekly metaLAB and Curricle team meetings, and will have the chance to suggest and develop new paths of inquiry. There will also be the opportunity for metaLAB’s SHARP fellows to participate in metaLAB’s ongoing design and technology projects.

 

With the help of SHARP fellows through summers 2017-2019, the metaLAB team developed a robust, elegant platform for telling richly-annotated, data-situated stories of curricular change. We've designed a workflow that will enable our storyteller-intern to transform archival research, original media, and course data into stories efficiently and robustly. The 2020 intern will work with us to identify two or three stories and arguments to make about the history of the curriculum (examples might include changes in the teaching of ethics, the role of pop music in courses of study, or changing understandings of course selection in relation to career outcomes). The intern will research these stories in the Harvard University Archives and other repositories, complement archival findings with video, audio, and still photographic media where appropriate, and develop timeline visualizations of course histories on the Curricle Lens platform.

 

We're seeking an independent and organized student interested in furthering their experience in telling stories and producing knowledge. Preference will be shown for a fellow with interests in design, interdisciplinary studies, computation, and the history of education. The student will have a chance to contribute meaningfully to this exciting new tool, and to work with a small research lab comprised of designers, coders, artists, and scholars.

SHARP Independent Research Fellowships

SHARP Independent Research Fellowships

In addition to the menu of SHARP projects presented by faculty or led by our institutional partners, this year SHARP is inviting students to propose their own independent research projects on topics in the arts and humanities, broadly defined. For SHARP independent research projects, applicants must describe the proposed research project in detail and the scope of the work for the 10-week summer research period, including specific information about the resources and materials to be engaged on campus. Students must also identify a faculty mentor for the research project. In the SHARP application, your independent project proposal will be included as your first essay response.

Please note: For students proposing independent research projects, the academic reference letter should, in part, specifically address the project and your preparedness to undertake it.

Research Mentor Confirmation Letter

A brief note from your research mentor is also required, providing details about the proposed project and their involvement over the summer. If your academic recommender is also your summer research mentor, the letter of recommendation can also count as the confirmation, and you do not need to provide a separate mentor letter.

When confirmed, the faculty mentor should email their confirmation letter in pdf format to undergradresearch@fas.harvard.edu with SHARP and [YOUR LAST NAME] in the subject line. If you do not have your mentor confirmed by the application deadline, please have them email their confirmation letter as soon as possible.

More SHARP 2020 project descriptions coming soon!

Check back throughout January 2020 at project descriptions are added!

You can browse past offerings in the "Past Project Descriptions" tab below. 

Application - Deadline February 11, 2020

The deadline for receipt of COMPLETE application materials is 12:00noon EST, Tuesday, February 11, 2020.  INCOMPLETE OR LATE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.


https://harvard.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0Mp8qSyMUvwSgf3

 

FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What does SHARP stand for?

SHARP stands for Summer Humanities and Arts Research Program. 

Is the Program limited to applicants concentrating in the arts and humanities?

No, applicants may concentrate in any academic field. However, SHARP is designed to cultivate a community of arts and humanities scholars; thus, applicants in unrelated concentrations must demonstrate how the research activity they expect to be engaged in will contribute to their development as an arts and humanities scholar, as indicated in the selected SHARP-affiliated research projects.

Can I apply to SHARP if I have completed advanced coursework or already have undertaken a research experience in the art and humanities?

Yes. SHARP has been designed to establish and cultivate a diverse community of scholars in the arts and humanities. Any Harvard undergraduate is eligible as long s/he is committed to participating in the program and to conducting research in one of the SHARP-affiliated research projects.

Can I apply to SHARP if I'm an engineering concentrator who only has done one semester of humanities coursework?

Yes. Any Harvard undergraduate is eligible as long s/he is committed to performing arts and humanities research.  Of course, your application would have to elaborate about why you seek this kind of research experience, especially as it relates to the specific project you identify as your primary choice, or how you relate the SHARP experience to your own academic trajectory.

How important is academic achievement?

SHARP seeks to attract all undergraduates who are motivated to pursue humanities and arts research during the summer. Students must be in good academic standing and have taken coursework and/or had experience that would prepare them for research. The Program will draw from an academically diverse population. Individuals who have a demonstrated keen interest in the arts and humanities but have not yet had an opportunity to experience research are encouraged to apply.

Is financial need a factor in selecting SHARP Fellows?

Selection of SHARP Fellows will be need blind. Fellows who are required to accrue savings to satisfy a requirement for financial aid eligibility ("summer savings requirement") will receive a term-bill credit in the amount determined by the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid recipients are encouraged to apply.

Will SHARP help me get into graduate school?

Clearly, we cannot guarantee that SHARP will have any impact on graduate school admissions. However, SHARP Fellows will benefit from the opportunity to develop an interdisciplinary network of peers, and develop close interaction and working relationships with faculty. Many undergraduates do not have the opportunity to participate in this kind of community until much later in their careers. In addition, prominent faculty will participate in activities with the Fellows throughout the Program and may serve as future mentors.

Where can I do my research and participate in SHARP?

SHARP applicants must apply to one of the faculty-initiated research projects as indicated in the "Project Descriptions" section of this web site.  Applicants will be given the opportunity to make a first, second, and third choice.  To the extent possible, individuals selected to participate in SHARP will be paired with their first-choice preferences.

Are there any limitations to the kind of research I can do and still be eligible for SHARP?

You may only participate in one of the SHARP-designated research projects.

Can I get housing but not participate in the evening activities?

No. Since a key component of SHARP is contribution to the community and professional development, participants must be willing and available to attend enrichment activities and events during non-research work hours.

May I live off-campus?

No. All participants will live together in one of the River Houses.

Instead of the meals offered at the dining hall, could I get a stipend and cook myself?

Unfortunately, no.  Due to existing programs and refurbishing activities across campus during the summer, the Program is limited to the facilities of the residential house of the Summer Undergraduate Research Village. Please also note that weekend meals are not included in SHARP and very limited cooking facilities are available in the residential facilities. 

 Does the Program pay for health insurance?

As a continuing Harvard College undergraduate, you are covered by your regular Harvard health insurance during the summer.

I am planning to travel during the month of August. Could I miss the last two weeks of SHARP?

No. Individuals who are selected for SHARP must commit to the entire ten-week Program.

 

 

Past Project Descriptions

Summer 2019 Project Descriptions

Be the Change! Harvard Square and its Setting (Blier)

Mentor: Suzanne Preston Blier, Allen Whitehill Clowes Chair of Fine Arts and of African and African American Studies

Project description. This project addresses Harvard Square, its history, and its ongoing economic and cultural vitality.  Goals for the summer: We are looking for an individual who will help research and engage with local citizens and merchants here in helping to enhance the vitality of Harvard Square. Tasks will involve analysis of spatial use, mapping, research in Cambridge archives (such as the Historical Commission) and community outreach. We are looking for someone with a deep interest in contributing to the understanding and vitality of Harvard Square. This person will help to build new content (for example a set of web-based tours featuring Harvard Square historical events or cultural issues. A typical day: might include a two-hour interview with a local person knowledgeable in the history of a key period. Transcribing the interview, plotting out a walking tour that would illuminate key related places in the area, and exploring other online walking tours to identify effective examples of this.

My mentoring plan: I will meet with the student twice a week (in some cases with other neighborhood or city leaders and we will map out a work schedule for the week with specific goals. Through this project the student will learn important skills of online mapping, local research, effective community engagement, and well as other skills important to developing projects that emerge through this summer program. These skills will be important in terms of larger academic trajectory in areas ranging from urban planning, sociology, history, architecture and the environment. I do not plan to be away during the summer, but if it should happen I will ask the student to meet with one of the other leaders of this larger Harvard Square project.

PrerequisitesI am looking for a self-starter who is willing to work with a diversity of others, someone who listens and is also able to provide new insights and is results oriented. No specific academic background per se is required, although a deeper interest in urban planning and social engagement will be important. Basic data gathering and analysis skills (including statistical analysis) are required, including basic proficiency in MS Office Suite (excel included).

Caravaggio’s Calling (Burgard)

Project Supervisor: Peter J. Burgard, Professor of German

Project Description: This is a project in the study of art. The book is one-third complete in draft and will be the sole focus of my research this summer. It addresses two phenomena that I consider central to Caravaggio’s art: dissimulation and doubt. Thus far, there is a long section on The Calling of St. Matthew and a shorter one on The Incredulity of St. Thomas.

Besides reviewing what I have already written, revising it, and bringing the incorporation of art-historical scholarship up to date, I will be conducting new research and developing arguments on further paintings, such as The Calling of SS. Peter and Andrew, The Fortune Teller, The Cardsharps, the two Supper at Emmaus paintings, The Conversion of St. Paul, The Taking of Christ, Amor Vincit Omnia, St. Francis in Ecstasy, The Sacrifice of Isaac, Narcisse, Bacchus, and Sick Bacchus.

What I seek: A student who is eager to learn what it is like to conduct research in the Humanities, who is interested in the topic, and who is excited at the prospect of spending a summer working on it with me.

What you would be doing: Throughout the 10-week program, we would meet either once a week for two hours or twice a week for an hour of discussion, as suits the current work, and otherwise touch base as needed. At the start of the following phases of work, we would also meet for instruction on how to approach each of them:

±2 weeks studying (i.e., looking at and thinking about) some Caravaggio and other Baroque paintings and discussing with me what you see and what you think.
±3 weeks reading what I have already written (including a chapter of my new book on the Baroque) and discussing with me matters of understanding / clarification and aspects you might wish to question. During this time you would also begin conducting searches for recent scholarship on Caravaggio in general and on specific paintings.
±3 weeks reading the scholarship I select from the list you have compiled, reporting on it to and discussing it with me.
±2 weeks wrapping up remaining research work and discussing with me how your work has furthered the project and how I will proceed as a result of our collaboration.

What you would gain from the experience: Understanding of the nature and means of artistic expression; analytical and research skills; knowledge of art history and scholarship on art; better understanding of academic writing; insight into the research life of a humanities scholar.

Prerequisites: Some study of art and the desire to become more proficient in such study; some experience with online searches of scholarship (e.g., library databases, JSTOR, EBSCO) or determination to learn quickly; foreign language reading ability is welcome (e.g., Italian, German, French), but is ABSOLUTELY NOT A REQUIREMENT.

Houghton Library (Donovan, Capobianco)

Project Supervisors: Kate Donovan, Associate Librarian for Public Services James Capobianco, Reference Librarian

Project Overview: 

Houghton Library is pleased to invite Harvard undergraduates to work with our collections in the summer with support of SHARP Independent Research Fellowships. These competitive fellowships are designed to fully support a summer of work at Houghton, Harvard’s world-class rare books and manuscripts library.

We invite proposals for this summer on any topic or discipline supported by our collections. Creative, digital, research, and performance projects are all welcome, as are those we haven't thought of yet. Successful project proposals tend to be driven by your passions and questions and include concentrated work with collection materials at Houghton.

Proposing a Project:

Applicants should be prepared to describe their proposed project in detail and the scope of the work for the 10-week summer research period, including specific information about the Houghton Library materials or kinds of materials the project would make use of as well as the outcomes or manifestation/s for the project. Applicants should identify and secure the participation of a faculty mentor in their project. The faculty mentor must be available to provide in-person guidance, instruction and oversight of their research during the SHARP program.

Please refer to the SHARP Independent Research Proposals section of the SHARP website for additional information regarding references and details for providing a Research Mentor Confirmation Letter.

This proposal narrative is limited to approximately 500 words. In the SHARP application, this proposal will be included as your first essay response.

To schedule a time to talk with a Houghton librarian about your project in advance, pleaseemail us at: houghton_library@harvard.edu.

 

Women’s Suffrage Centennial Digital Humanities Research: Gender & the Vote (Guberman)

Project Supervisor: Rachel Guberman, Digital Humanist, Long 19th Amendment Project, Schlesinger Library

Project Description: Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America is part of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and is the only Harvard library dedicated to documenting and preserving the history of women. 2020 marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which removed barriers to women’s suffrage throughout the United States. To mark the occasion, the Library has launched a major project to commemorate, interrogate, and redefine the narrative of women’s suffrage history and citizenship. The Suffrage Research Portal is a central part of that effort. It will offer researchers, students, and the public open access to a vast array of archival sources, data, teaching materials, scholarly essays, and online exhibits about the history of women and the vote. One significant component of the Portal will be a “ data hub” that will allow users to interrogate and map the history of women’s rights, women’s political involvement, and women’s electoral history across the U.S. over time.

We seek two SHARP Fellows to begin research for this mapping project. The Fellows will research in both the Schlesinger’s collections and other collections available through Harvard Libraries to gather data on topics such as: Black women’s political organizations, women’s legal status on a state-by-state level before 1920, women candidates for office, suffrage protests and tactics, women’s organizing against suffrage, and more. The Fellows will contribute to the creation of datasets on various aspects of women’s rights, the fight for women’s suffrage, and the impact of the 19th Amendment. They will do this by conducting broad and deep research in archival collections and working with specialist librarians. They will work closely with the Schlesinger’s digital Long 19th Amendment Project digital humanist to create GIS-ready datasets that can be used to make maps and other data visualizations that help illuminate broad trends in the history of women’s rights, voting, and citizenship over time.

Learning Outcomes & Skills: The SHARP Fellow will develop and hone archival & historical research skills, will become well-versed in the history and debates surrounding the passage of the 19th amendment, and will become familiar with library, archival, and digital scholarship methodologies. They will also develop valuable digital scholarship skills including creating structured datasets and working with digital scholarship tools such as Open Refine, ArcGIS, and Tableau.

Selection Criteria: We seek SHARP Fellows with strong research and writing skills and an interest in history, government, law, digital humanities, women’s studies, gender, and sexuality, or other related fields. No prior library or museum experience is required. Strong technical skills are desirable, but not required. Most important is the willingness to learn and explore, and a genuine curiosity and excitement about the project.

*NEW* Painting Conversation at the Harvard Art Museums (Khandekar, Odo)

Project supervisors:

Narayan Khandekar Director, Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, Kate Smith Conservator of Paintings and Head of Paintings Lab

Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies & David Odo, Director of Student Programs and Research Curator of University Collections Initiatives

Project Description:

Harvard Art Museums welcomes applications from undergraduates interested in public humanities to spend the summer conducting research for special projects at the Harvard Art Museums. Students will also develop and deliver regularly scheduled tours for visitors, acting as the public face of the Harvard Art Museums throughout the summer. This work will include collections research, workshops with Museums staff from curatorial, education, conservation, and other departments, and the development of interpretive programming for special projects and exhibitions.

SHARP interns will conduct their research, writing, and conservation work in the rich collections of the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler Museums, newly united in a state-of-the-art facility designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Expanded galleries feature works from the ancient world to the present, and from the Americas, Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Asia.

Agenda:

All SHARP interns will spend the summer researching and designing public tours for visitors to the Harvard Art Museums. Interns will participate in a rigorous training program with Harvard Art Museums staff to gain knowledge of the Museums’ collections, develop skills in critical thinking, visual analysis, public speaking and leadership. Training will draw on scholarship and practice from multiple fields of knowledge, including curatorial practice, artistic practice, art history, conservation science, social sciences, and other areas, and will culminate in the creation of a unique, thematic tour of the Museums’ collections.

Tours will ideally integrate research and thinking from the intern’s focal project area. In addition to creating a tour, each SHARP intern will work closely with Harvard Art Museums staff on researching and developing interpretive material for one of the following special projects:

Painting conservation project:

The project intern will be introduced to painting conservation techniques by executing the treatment (supervised by the paintings conservation staff) of a portrait of Sarah Wyman Whitman by Helen Bigelow Merriman, which hangs in Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe. https://www.harvardartmuseums.org/collections/object/101775?position=0 It has been deinstalled for library renovations and is in need of conservation treatment before being reinstalled in the fall of 2019. Fundamentals of conservation documentation, removal of surface grime, structural treatment of canvas undulations, varnish application and inpainting of losses will be taught to and implemented by the intern. Conservation readings will be assigned to provide context to the work. The intern will also investigate the artist and subject of the painting by reading the curatorial file and related literature to compose a document of the painting.

Other activities will introduce the intern to the principles of preventative conservation, to include monitoring light levels and adjusting protective window shades, dusting paintings, and inpainting frame losses in the galleries before opening hours. With the paintings conservator in charge of campus loans, the intern will tour the campus to view the Harvard portrait collection on view. The intern will also spend time in the other specialization labs (paper, objects, analytical) to learn more about the work that happens across the entire conservation department.

Outcomes:

Interns will gain experience conducting research for special projects and exhibitions, developing interpretive materials and programs for the public, and working closely with curators and Museums staff in the final stages of special projects and exhibitions. In addition, interns will gain in-depth knowledge of specific objects and collection areas they will research to prepare their tours, as well as general knowledge of museum practice through structured and unstructured learning opportunities with a professional staff of curators, conservators, and technologists. By the end of the program, the intern should have knowledge of Harvard Art Museums collections, familiarity with fundamental principles and techniques of art conservation, improved research and writing skills, familiarity with different models for public engagement in museums, and experience writing and creating interpretive or programmatic materials for public audiences.

Selection criteria:

No art history or museum experience necessary, but an enthusiasm and excitement about the Harvard Art Museums is required. Excellent research and writing skills are required. We are seeking students with a welcoming and engaging demeanor and a comfort with public speaking; prior teaching/tutoring experience preferred.

 

Harvard Semitic Museum (Manuelian)

Project Supervisor: Peter Der Manuelian, Philip J. King Professor of Egyptology; Director of the Harvard Semitic Museum

Project Description:

The Harvard Semitic Museum is planning a renovation and new installation for our first floor gallery, with a possible deadline towards the end of 2019. To complement the already existing, full-sized reproduction of a house from ancient Israel, we envision using an entire gallery wall to reproduce an archaeologically excavated shipwreck in the Mediterranean. We hope to install a realistic cross-section of an Iron Age Phoenician shipwreck discovered off the north coast of Sinai by a Museum-sponsored project in 1999–2000. The Museum has the amphorae (ceramic vessels) and other objects recovered from the wreck which will be displayed “in situ” in a portion of the recreated hull of the ship. We plan to add video footage of the discovery, highlighting the international connections of the ancient Mediterranean world.

The SHARP intern will assist with both the Israelite house reconfiguration and the shipwreck exhibit, researching and creating individual object label information. For the Israelite house, these could be used in a digital exhibit/presentation of the objects exhibited in the house, to be posted on the Museum’s website for visitor access/gallery augmentation. Some objects (such as the threshing sledge or goddess figurine) could get special featured-artifact treatment with additional details, answering the questions: “What is that? How was it used?” etc. The student might assist with new object photography or creating video of experts discussing either the house or the shipwreck exhibit.

The student will work primarily under the supervision of the Museum director, deputy director, and curator in the Harvard Semitic Museum storage collections, where other summer staff and volunteers will be on hand. We believe this project will provide valuable exposure to all aspects of museology, archaeology, and public presentation.

We seek students interested in museums and exhibits, archaeology, and artifact research. The chosen intern will have excellent research and writing skills, show attention to detail, and be able to work unsupervised for periods of time. Basic computer literacy (word-processing, spreadsheets/databases) and photography skills are a plus.

Harvard Art Museums (Martinez, Odo)

Project supervisors: Jessica Martinez, Director of Academic and Public Programs & David Odo, Director of Student Programs and Research Curator of University Collections Initiatives

Project Description:

Harvard Art Museums welcomes applications from undergraduates interested in public humanities to spend the summer conducting research for upcoming exhibitions and special projects at the Harvard Art Museums. Students will also develop and deliver regularly scheduled tours for visitors, acting as the public face of the Harvard Art Museums throughout the summer. This work will include collections research, workshops with Museums staff from curatorial, education, conservation, and other departments, and the development of interpretive programming for special projects and exhibitions.

SHARP interns will conduct their research and writing work in the rich collections of the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler Museums, newly united in a state-of-the-art facility designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Expanded galleries feature works from the ancient world to the present, and from the Americas, Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Asia.

Agenda:

All SHARP interns will spend the summer researching and designing public tours for visitors to the Harvard Art Museums. Interns will participate in a rigorous training program with Harvard Art Museums staff to gain knowledge of the Museums’ collections, develop skills in critical thinking, visual analysis, public speaking and leadership. Training will draw on scholarship and practice from multiple fields of knowledge, including curatorial practice, artistic practice, art history, conservation science, social sciences, and other areas, and will culminate in the creation of a unique, thematic tour of the Museums’ collections.

Tours will ideally integrate research and thinking from the intern’s focal project area. In addition to creating a tour, each SHARP intern will work closely with Harvard Art Museums staff on researching and developing interpretive material for one of the following special project:

Undergraduate Student Conference report project:

This project relates to the Undergraduate Student Museum Conference held yearly at the Harvard Art Museums. The intern will be responsible for creating a draft of the yearly Conference Report, which is disseminated to all conference participants. Drawing on transcripts and video recordings from the conference, as well as research into current concerns in undergraduate museum education, the intern will put together a draft of a report that summarizes the key topics and themes of the conference. Interested applicants are encouraged to attend the public sessions of the conference, which will be held on April 6, 2019.

Outcomes:

Interns will gain experience conducting research for special projects and exhibitions, developing interpretive materials and programs for the public, and working closely with curators and Museums staff in the final stages of special projects and exhibitions. In addition, interns will gain in-depth knowledge of specific objects and collection areas they will research to prepare their tours, as well as general knowledge of museum practice through structured and unstructured learning opportunities with a professional staff of curators, conservators, and technologists. By the end of the program, the intern should have knowledge of Harvard Art Museums collections, improved research and writing skills, familiarity with different models for public engagement in museums, and experience writing and creating interpretive or programmatic materials for public audiences.

Selection criteria:
No art history or museum experience necessary, but an enthusiasm and excitement about the Harvard Art Museums is required. Excellent research and writing skills are required. We are seeking students with a welcoming and engaging demeanor and a comfort with public speaking; prior teaching/tutoring experience preferred.

Solidarity: First and Third World Feminisms from Empire to NGOs (Mitra)

Project Supervisors: Durba Mitra, Assistant Professor of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality; Rachel Guberman, Digital Humanist, Long 19th Amendment Project, Schlesinger Library

Project Description: Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America is part of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and is the only Harvard library dedicated to documenting and preserving the history of women. 2020 marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which removed barriers to women’s suffrage throughout the United States. To mark the occasion, the Library has launched a major project to commemorate, interrogate, and redefine the narrative of women’s suffrage history and citizenship. As part of that effort, the Library is spearheading the creation of a Harvard College undergraduate course that will draw heavily on the Library’s archival collections. The first of these course is “Solidarity: First and Third World Feminisms from Empire to NGOs,” taught by Dr. Durba Mitra takes an intersectional approach to the study of women’s and sexual rights in the transnational perspective from the late nineteenth century to today.  We seek a SHARP Fellow to assist Dr. Mitra in in-depth research to develop this archive-intensive course. The Fellow will conduct broad and deep research into the Library’s rich collections and will be tasked with locating specific materials, surveying collections and identifying potentially relevant artifacts, and other research tasks as assigned.

Learning Outcomes & Skills: The SHARP Fellow will develop and hone archival & historical research skills, will become well-versed in the history and debates surrounding the passage of the 19th amendment, and will become familiar with library and archival methodologies as well as the principles of course design.

Selection Criteria: We seek SHARP Fellows with strong research and writing skills and an interest in history, government, law, digital humanities, women’s studies, gender, and sexuality, or other related fields. No prior library or museum experience is required. Strong technical skills are desirable, but not required. Most important is the willingness to learn and explore, and a genuine curiosity and excitement about the project.

Poetry in America (New)

Poetry in America

Project Supervisor: Elisa New, Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature

Project Description:

I am currently at work on Poetry in America, a multiplatform humanities and media initiative at Harvard. Poetry in America began as a series of HarvardX modules, and has now expanded to a PBS television series, as well as a wide range of multimedia educational initiatives across Harvard and with WGBH, public television’s preeminent production house. Season 1 of the Poetry in America television series aired nationally last year, and I am currently at work producing Seasons 2 and 3 of the series. In addition, we are working to create state-of-the-art online course materials and teacher training materials in partnership with HGSE and DCE that connect the reading of poetry with other disciplines across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.

Over the last six years, we have shot and produced hundreds of hours of video footage for Poetry in America, filmed on location across the country and beyond, in Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Vermont, Colorado, and London. This footage features conversations with distinguished guests including Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Nas, Herbie Hancock, Elena Kagan, Tony Kushner, Eve Ensler, Regina Spektor, Bono, Billy Collins, John McCain, Cynthia Nixon, Shaquille O’Neal, and more.

Poetry in America will eventuate in several major outputs:

The first is a series of for-credit online courses . These courses are aligned with educational standards, including the Common Core. Teachers will be able to use these courses to strengthen their classroom practice while also developing their careers. These courses are also designed to stimulate and appeal to motivated high school students, thus increasing access to higher-level humanities content in secondary schools across the country.

Second, the PBS television series, with Seasons 2 and 3 now beginning production, will reach viewers of all backgrounds, who will have a chance to see that poetry is connected to every human activity.

Finally, other avenues for this content, including the HarvardX massive open online course and short form educational media appearing in a variety of outlets (including publications like Nautilus and The New Yorker), will provide even more avenues for viewers worldwide to connect to poetry in a way that both entertains and educates. We are currently in discussion with internet and media providers in China around distributing our content to a global audience.

Opportunities:

In the next 12 months my production team will be developing footage for the second and third seasons of the Poetry in America television series, as well as updating and adding to our suite of online courses aimed at K-12 teachers and students.

In addition, after launching our first successful Poetry in America for Teachers course in 2017, we received funding to begin developing video content and curricula on Shakespeare and on World Literature (in partnership with Stephen Greenblatt and Martin Puchner, respectively) for use in the K-12 classroom and for K-12 teacher education. If a SHARP fellow were interested in humanities education beyond poetry, this could be one possible avenue for research and work this summer.

We seek a SHARP fellow to assist with all stages of these projects, from research and development, to production and post-production. Involvement will be suited to the fellow’s interests and skills.

The SHARP fellow will hone close-reading and research skills. She/he will become familiar with our library of footage, and become adept at watching, editing, and reviewing educational media, identifying key teaching moments, and developing curriculums or assessments tailored to learning outcomes. The SHARP fellow will gain a nuanced understanding of copyright law, and assist the Poetry in America team with copyright compliance and rights acquisition.

Selection criteria:

The ideal candidate for this SHARP fellowship will be a self-motivated, organized, creative, and energetic undergraduate, preferably a rising junior or senior. The applicant should have some experience in literature, history, and/or the arts, and an interest in the digital humanities, multimedia education, K-12 education, and/or film production. Students with a concentration in VES and a background in video production or web design would be especially well suited for this project, but none of these skills are required and there will be opportunities for learning on the job.

Atlas Unlimited (Pandian)

Project Title: Atlas Unlimited

Mentor: Karthik Pandian, Assistant Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies

 

Visual artist and professor of video, sculpture and performance, Karthik Pandian, invites a creative, organized and motivated undergraduate to assist him in his studio in Harvard Square in the production, documentation and publicizing of his current project Atlas Unlimited, an on-going series of exhibitions produced in collaboration with choreographer Andros Zins-Browne and many others. Atlas Unlimited combines sculpture and performance, tracing the flows of people, art and artifacts across geographies and cultures in the past, present and future. Students with an interest in contemporary art, art history, architecture, conservation, storytelling and migration will find the studio a lively environment in which we will be planning an exhibition opening in New York City in the Fall of 2019, making models and prototyping sculptures for that exhibition as well as organizing, editing and disseminating documentation of previous exhibitions on the web and social media platforms.

 

The student will work closely with Professor Pandian on a daily basis Monday to Friday in the studio, which is set up for both “clean” digital work and “dirty” sculpture work. It is critical that the student is excited and physically able to do both of these types of work. Some familiarity with the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign) including basic video editing skills in Premiere is critical. Experience 3D modeling in Sketchup and/or designing websites is an added plus. Some experience, formal or informal, with building – whether architectural, model-making, or sculptural – is also a plus. Work could also include placing heavy objects so the ability to lift something up to 40lbs is a must. Whether a student has some or even all of these skills, organization, problem-solving, communication and a willingness to learn new things are the most important qualifications.

 

Based on the student’s interests and skills, we will set goals for the summer, as well as bi-weekly and daily goals, to give the student a clear set of expectations. Projects will include: organizing and editing photo, sound and video documentation of previous iterations of Atlas Unlimited; creating a scale model of the exhibition in New York; creating a website for the project. A typical day could include both a short-term project such as working on a model in foam core as well as longer-term work on subtitling an hour long performance video. Weekly meetings and daily check-ins will ensure good communication and feedback on progress. A single substantive project as well as check-ins over Skype will be assigned for the period of July 1 -14, when Professor Pandian will be out of the studio. A lunch at the beginning and another at the end of the summer will be time earmarked for mentorship and discussion about the student’s interests and professional aspirations.

 

metaLAB: Curricle Lens (Schnapp)

Project: Curricle. Work brief includes: historical research, design work, and storytelling.

Mentoring: Mentored by metaLAB team, incl. Professor Jeffrey Schnapp, Jessica Yurkofsky, Matthew Battles, and Alexandra Dolan-Mescal, and working in collaboration with metaLAB's visualization design consultant, Kim Albrecht.

Research themes: Harvard’s curricular and institutional history; the role of the liberal arts in society; design, data analysis, and visualization.

Project Description:

Curricle sets the stage for a new experience of course selection and planning, providing students with powerful tools for browsing, discovering, and selecting courses at Harvard. Currently undergoing testing, the platform enables students to see the broader landscape within which they navigate the curriculum, offering opportunities for choice, customization, and sharing with advisors and peers.

To supplement the core platform, metaLAB is developing a web-native publication channel, entitled "Curricle Lens," to highlight interesting facets of the history of the Harvard curriculum, the research and design challenges that using curricular data to explore teaching and learning entails, and the evolving role of the liberal arts in society. Featuring exemplary stories excavated from the university archives as well as compelling experiments with the visualization of curricular data over time and across Harvard's schools, Lens will tell the story of Curricle in the making, sharing the intellectual journey of the project beyond the limits of the software platform itself.

Specific role for SHARP fellow:

The SHARP fellows will be involved in researching, developing, and delivering content for Curricle Lens. This will involve research for historical micro-narratives, including interviewing notable alumni about their curricular choices and archival research into historical curricula at Harvard and Radcliffe, as well as work in the University Archives. Working with the Curricle project team, the fellows will also develop design scenarios using data visualization, text, and audiovisual media. The SHARP fellows will participate in weekly metaLAB and Curricle team meetings, and will have the chance to suggest and develop new paths of inquiry. There will also be the opportunity for metaLAB’s SHARP fellows to participate in metaLAB’s ongoing design and technology projects.

We're seeking two independent and organized students who are interested in furthering their experience in telling stories and producing knowledge. Preference will be shown for a fellow with interests in design, interdisciplinary studies, computation, and the history of education. The student will have a chance to contribute meaningfully to this exciting new tool, and to work with a small research lab comprised of designers, coders, artists, and scholars.

SHARP Independent Research Proposals

SHARP Independent Research Fellowships

In addition to the menu of SHARP projects presented by faculty or led by our institutional partners, this year SHARP is inviting students to propose their own independent research projects on topics in the arts and humanities, broadly defined. For SHARP independent research projects, applicants must describe the proposed research project in detail and the scope of the work for the 10-week summer research period, including specific information about the resources and materials to be engaged on campus. Students must also identify a faculty mentor for the research project.  In the SHARP application, your independent project proposal will be included as your first essay response.

Please note: For students proposing independent research projects, the academic reference letter should, in part, specifically address the project and your preparedness to undertake it. 

Research Mentor Confirmation Letter

A brief note from your research mentor is also required, providing details about the proposed project and their involvement over the summer. If your academic recommender is also your summer research mentor, the letter of recommendation can also count as the confirmation, and you do not need to provide a separate mentor letter. 

When confirmed, the faculty mentor should email their confirmation letter in pdf format to undergradresearch@fas.harvard.edu with SHARP and [YOUR LAST NAME] in the subject line. If you do not have your mentor confirmed by the application deadline, please have them email their confirmation letter as soon as possible.

More projects coming soon!

Check back throughout January as additional SHARP summer projects are added!

Summer 2018 Projects Descriptions

Literati in Middle Period China (Bol)

Project Supervisor: Peter K. Bol, Vice Provost for Advances in Learning and Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations

Literati in Middle Period China

Project Description:

This project is aimed at understanding how Chinese literati reacted to the Mongol conquest of China in the 13th century. The Fellow will be using the China Biographical Database to explore changes in social networks as Chinese literati come into contact with Mongols and Central Asians in China.

This research opportunity is part of the China Biographical Database project. The China Biographical Database is a freely accessible relational database with biographical information on about approximately 400,000 men and women, primarily from the 7th through 19th centuries. With both online and offline versions, the data is meant to be useful for statistical, social network, and spatial analysis as well as serving as biographical reference. The long term goal of CBDB is systematically to include all significant biographical material from China’s historical record and to make the contents available free of charge, without restriction, for academic use. The database is regularly being enriched and new biographical entries are being created for Tang, Five Dynasties, Liao, Song, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing figures.

The SHARP Fellow will work with faculty, project staff, and collaborators from China, Taiwan and Europe in conducting research on scholarly networks during the Yuan and early Ming dynasties (13th-15th c.). This research requires some ability to read Chinese, preferably literary Chinese. It does not require any technical expertise but the Fellow should want to learn various digital humanities tools. The research uses large amounts of biographical data to explore how scholars established strong local networks across kinship ties and used these networks to establish national connections, thus better to understand the spread of Neo-Confucian moral philosophy and new modes of literary culture during the period of Mongol rule in particular.

During the course of the project the Fellow will learn how to use a variety of historical sources and how to apply fundamental technological and analytic skills of the digital humanities to historical questions.

Trajectory over ten weeks:

1. Fundamentals of database design and database queries

2. Computational methods for extracting information from text corpora

3. Social network analysis

4. Geospatial analysis

5-6. Comparative analysis of Neo-Confucian teacher-student relationships and philosophical publications in three different regions

7-8. Comparative analysis of literary exchanges in three different regions

9-10. Temporal analysis of changing relationships between literati and government

This work will help provide a comparative context for my current project on the formation of literati communities in the southeast during the middle period, the construction of a new definition of “Chinese culture,” and efforts to establish a leading role for literati as the bearers of that culture. The Fellow will have space in the Database project office and will meet with me weekly and with other project staff daily.

SHARP-Schlesinger Library Women's Suffrage Exhibition (Brown)

Project Supervisors: Tamar Brown, Research Librarian, Schlesinger Library, and the exhibition’s guest curator, to be appointed in January 2018.

Women’s Suffrage Centennial Exhibition Research

Project Description:

Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America is part of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and is the only Harvard library dedicated to documenting and preserving the history of women. The library’s vast collections were formed in 1943 with a gift of letters, newspapers, books, and other ephemera documenting the women’s suffrage movement that was aggregated by Boston suffragist Maud Wood Park. 2020 is the centennial of the 19th amendment. As part of a larger project to commemorate, interrogate, and redefine the narrative of women’s suffrage history and citizenship, the Library will mount two large-scale exhibitions to commemorate the long, complex history of the woman suffrage movement. We seek a SHARP Fellow to begin research for the first of these exhibitions, which will center on the final push for the 19th Amendment, attempting to make visible through our collections that complex political achievement, its historical context, its considerable victories, and its unresolved contradictions. The SHARP Fellow will conduct broad and deep research into the Library’s rich collections that document the woman suffrage movement (https://guides.library.harvard.edu/schlesinger/suffrage). The Fellow will survey archival collections and identify important and visually interesting documents and objects for the exhibition. The Fellow will work closely with Schlesinger librarians and the exhibition’s guest curator – a scholar in the field of suffrage history – to begin drafting narrative and thematic content for a multimedia exhibition.

Learning Outcomes & Skills:

The SHARP Fellow will develop and hone archival & historical research skills, will become well-versed in the history and debates surrounding the passage of the 19th amendment, and will become familiar with library, archival, and museum studies methodologies. The SHARP Fellow will gain experience in working in a professional academic environment.

Selection Criteria:

We seek a SHARP Fellow with strong research and writing skills and an interest in history, government, law, digital humanities, studies of women, gender, and sexuality, or other related fields. No prior library or museum experience is required. Strong technical skills are desirable, but not required. Most important is the willingness to learn and explore, and a genuine curiosity and excitement about the project.

SHARP-Houghton Library (Hardman)

Project Supervisor: Emilie Hardman, Research, Instruction, and Digital Initiatives Librarian

Project Overview:

Houghton Library is pleased to invite Harvard undergraduates to work with our collections in the summer with support of SHARP. These competitive fellowships are designed to fully support a summer of work at Houghton, Harvard’s world-class rare books and manuscripts library.

Houghton is home to the world famous and the almost entirely unknown, the ancient and the contemporary, the enduring and the ephemeral; as a researcher, a practitioner, an experimenter, we want to know what you can do with these materials. During the course of a fellowship, fellows work closely with library staff to discover new areas of interest or to delve into ongoing projects. Past fellows created an opera; identified and filled gaps in the literature about the American and British birth control movements; produced a series of podcasts on poetry and the archives; made surprising discoveries about the origins of American theater at Harvard; explored the life and works of John James Audubon; and the development of W.V. Quine's philosophical work; created interactive fiction; used the world’s largest collection of materials on altered states of being, written books and poetry; made art and created exhibitions. We invite proposals for this summer on any topic or discipline supported by our collections. Creative, digital, research, and performance projects are all welcome, as are those we haven't thought of yet.

Successful project proposals tend to be driven by your passions and questions and include concentrated work with collection materials at Houghton. Fellows will have the opportunity to be in residence at Houghton Library working in the Reading Room with guidance from staff throughout the summer. Fellows attend workshops on book history, book arts, archives, and other associated topics and also meet weekly with mentors and as a research cohort throughout the program.

Proposing a Project:

Applicants should be prepared to describe their proposed project, including specific information about the Houghton Library materials or kinds of materials the project would make use of as well as the outcomes or manifestation/s for the project. This proposal narrative is limited to approximately 500 words. In the SHARP application, this proposal will be included as your first essay response.

To schedule a time to talk with a Houghton librarian about your project in advance, please use this form. You may also email us at: houghton_library@harvard.edu.

Paper Slips: Unbinding the Book in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (Lynch)

Project Supervisor: Deidre Lynch, Ernest Bernbaum Professor of English Literature

Paper Slips: Unbinding the Book in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Project Description:

We often hear about how in the twenty-first-century we’ve moved from being a culture that mainly stores its information in printed books to a culture that mainly stores it in electronic databases. People commenting on this shift, as on the shift between reading and e-reading, often highlight how such changes have cast into doubt customary definitions of the book.  The nature of the book at the present moment, we’re told, is far from self-evident. My recent research has taught me, though, that comments like these have projected into the past a rather homogenized and idealized account of books and reading. For the past few years, I’ve been looking to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a time historians often identify as the high-water mark in the stability of print, aiming to recover the “bibliodiversity” of the past.  I’ve been aiming in particular to bring back into view the many uses to which eighteenth- and nineteenth-century put their blank books--products of the stationers’ trade which became highly fashionable commodities in the English-speaking world around 1750 (a century later they would be displaced by photograph albums).  For the past few years, I’ve been investigating how ordinary people filled up the pages of those blank books: sometimes with original poetic or artistic content , sometimes with things (old tickets or menus, or dried plants or feathers), and very often with transcriptions, mistranscriptions, copies, and clippings of the poems and images they encountered in printed books and magazines.

The so-called commonplace books, family books, scrapbooks, and albums (and “cabinets of music, poetry and drawing” and “leisure hours amusements of young ladies”) that these people created testify to their desire to customize and to curate the print record--reworking it for private editorial requirements.  They also suggest these people’s readiness to challenge some of their culture’s dominant definitions of what a book was. If we include these books (or “books”?) when we describe the media ecology of the past, how does that change our understanding of what, for instance, a poem is or an author is? This is the kind of question I hope this research --and the book it will inform and which I’ve started to write--can illuminate.

Most of my research so far has involved examples in special collections libraries and archives in England and Canada.  But the practices of collecting, cutting, pasting, and amateur book-making that interest me were also pursued with great zeal in the new United States, and this handiwork is scattered across the Harvard libraries. I am hoping to have the assistance of one or two undergraduates this summer as I identify and take stock of our local holdings. The undergraduate(s) I work with would in addition help me systematize the research I’ve already done--with a view, in part, to preparing a small digital exhibition for the website Romantic Circles Gallery. 

Project Trajectory:

We’ll start our ten weeks together by reading a bit in recent scholarship by historians and literary scholars who have looked beyond print to think about the nature of the book in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. At the same time we’ll go to the Houghton Library together to look at specimens of these handmade books there.  In Weeks 3-4 we would move to research at the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America; in weeks 5 and 6, to research among the “class books” and commonplace books preserved at the University Archives. Our final month would be spent on working on a systematized database of the contents of the books we’ve examined--and then on curating the web exhibition.    

Learning Outcomes and Skills:

In some ways the most challenging part of this work involves learning to read a book all over again, when the book in question doesn’t conform to one’s usual bibliographical expectations. In addition to obtaining new skills in handling and interpreting archival materials (as you learn how to take notes on books of this sort), you’ll also learn to think like a book historian--you’ll learn, that is, think about how the material format of a text or an image shapes its meaning. We also be learning together to think strategically about how to use database tools to organize research and about how to design a web exhibition that will both entertain and instruct people about the bibliodiversity of the past.

Selection Criteria:

I seek SHARP fellows with interests in literature and in art and in the strategies that ordinary people have used to incorporate their experiences of both into their everyday lives. You should be willing to spend sunny days inside libraries.  Other skills sets--for instance, in web design and in using excel--would be appreciated but are not necessary. 

The Unknown Archives of Harvard Semitic Museum Founder David Gordon Lyon (Manuelian)

Project Supervisor: Peter Der Manuelian, Philip J. King Professor of Egyptology; Director of the Harvard Semitic Museum

The Unknown Archives of Harvard Semitic Museum Founder David Gordon Lyon

Project Description:

Harvard Professor David Gordon Lyon (1852–1935), founder of the Harvard Semitic Museum, passionately sought to highlight the contributions of the diverse Semitic cultures of the Holy Land to world civilization. He did this through archaeology, teaching, and the formation of a distinguished collection of antiquities. It is time to study, assess, and organize his personal and professional archive.

The Semitic Museum at Harvard stands today at an important and exciting crossroad. With renewed energy and clearly defined sense of purpose, our goal is to transform 6 Divinity Avenue into a must-see stop for students and any visitors to the Harvard campus. Eventually, we plan to publish a highlights and history of the Museum volume. This project will feed directly into that endeavor.

The Museum’s founder and first director was Prof. David Gordon Lyon. Lyon traveled throughout the Middle East, all in the service of Harvard, what would become the NELC Department, and the Semitic Museum. Details of his experiences are augmented by excerpts from his sixty-five years of daily diary entries (1870–1935), his turn-of-the-century photographs during several trips abroad, and his purchase of full-scale plaster casts of famous antiquities housed in the great museums of Europe. Lyon’s primary patron was New York financier and philanthropist Jacob Schiff, sometime rival to J.P. Morgan. Another acquaintance was Newport businessman Theodore M. Davis, who donated several Egyptian objects from his excavations in the famed Valley of the Kings and elsewhere at Thebes. Lyon also taught Egyptologist George Reisner and in 1905 assisted his student in establishing the wildly successful and long-running Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Expedition (1905–1947).

We seek an undergraduate assistant intern, from June to August, to help in organizing Lyon’s papers and correspondence in the Harvard Semitic Museum Archives. We have letters, invoices, and other documents that need transcribing, occasional scanning, and most importantly intellectual assessment. Thanks to recent efforts, the papers are housed in orderly conditions, but they have not received proper study.

While no particular prerequisite skills are required, we hope to take on a student interested in some or all of the following: archaeology, the ancient Near East, history (including 20th century Harvard history and Lyon’s interactions with Presidents Eliot and Lowell), biography, museum studies, and archival work. A combination of some of the following interests will be helpful: excellent organizational and project management skills, a sharp eye for reading difficult handwriting; basic computer database and scanning abilities, and perhaps even some archival research experience. The student will assist with researching Lyon’s Harvard career and travels through Middle East, and his interactions with all manner of important scholars and dealers all over the world. A particular focus will be his interactions on the Egyptian front, since that is the primary research focus of the current Museum director (Manuelian). An Egyptian focus also reflects the career of Lyon’s best pupil, Egyptologist/archaeologist George A. Reisner (1867-1942).

Learning outcomes for the student will include all the critical thinking skills associated with researching the intellectual history of this historic archive and the motivating factors behind Lyon’s philosophy. Working together with Manuelian and the Museum’s curators, by the end of the project, the intern should have a firm grasp on how such personal archival research is done, how to assess and organize it, and decide what the highlights are and how to make them accessible to a wider audience.

I plan to be in Boston through most of the summer of 2018, and my assistant director and curator will also work directly with the student on a daily basis.  The student will work primarily in the Harvard Semitic Museum storage collection, where other summer staff and volunteers will be on hand. We believe this archival work will provide valuable exposure to all aspects of museum work, as well as biographical, object and archival research, while illuminating a little-known chapter in Harvard’s archaeological history.

SHARP-Harvard Art Museums (Martinez, Odo)

Project supervisors: Jessica Martinez, Director of Academic and Public Programs and David Odo, Director of Student Programs and Research Curator of University Collections Initiatives

SHARP-Harvard Art Museums

Harvard Art Museums welcomes applications from undergraduates interested in public humanities to spend the summer conducting in-depth research for upcoming exhibitions and special projects at the Harvard Art Museums. During the course of the summer, fellows will explore in depth how museums communicate, educate and generate interest for art, installations and exhibitions to a broad audience. They will address this, in part, by developing and delivering regularly scheduled tours for visitors, acting as the public face of the Harvard Art Museums throughout the summer. Their work will include collections research, workshops with Museums staff from curatorial, education, conservation, and other departments, and the development of interpretive programming for special projects and exhibitions.

SHARP fellows will conduct their research and writing work in the rich collections of the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler Museums, newly united in a state-of-the-art facility designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Expanded galleries feature works from the ancient world to the present, and from the Americas, Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Asia.

Agenda:

SHARP fellows will begin the program by performing in-depth research of a small number of related objects, selecting them from the collections currently on display or from those to be included in one of the three exhibitions in preparation, described below. They will be asked to develop a profound understanding of each of their selections, asking questions about the multiple contexts of their creation, what each object reveals about these contexts, and how they work together to tell an engaging story. Throughout the course of the summer, fellows will explore the questions of intellectual and physical accessibility, first in relation to these objects, then to museum collections more largely, and how to communicate their interest to a broader public. In order to do this, SHARP fellows will participate in a rigorous training program with Harvard Art Museums staff to gain knowledge of the Museums’ collections, develop skills in critical thinking, archival and visual analysis, public speaking and leadership. Training will draw on scholarship and practice from multiple fields of knowledge, including curatorial practice, artistic practice, art history, conservation science, social sciences, and other areas, culminating in the creation of unique, thematic tours and presentations of the Museums’ collections.

The tours would ideally integrate research and/or the various approaches to objects they developed during the fellows’ initial focal project with the upcoming Bauhaus, Teresita Fernández public art project, or African ceramics exhibitions, which are to be central to the second phase of their SHARP experience in the museum collections. In addition to creating a tour, each SHARP fellow will work closely with a Harvard Art Museums specialist-mentor on performing curatorial research and developing interpretive and educational materials for one of the following upcoming exhibitions or special projects:

Bauhaus exhibition research project:

This project relates to the Harvard Art Museum’s major special exhibition “The Bauhaus and Harvard” (February 8 – July 28 2019), which marks the centennial of the founding of the Bauhaus school of art, design, and architecture in Germany and explores its key relationship to Harvard, which is now home to the largest Bauhaus collection outside of Germany. The SHARP fellow will perform library and archival research, and develop educational/interpretive materials and programming related to the Harvard Graduate Center, which was designed by Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius and his Cambridge-based architectural firm. Built in 1950, it is the first example of modern architecture on campus and featured art and furnishings commissioned from former Bauhaus affiliates and other modern artists. The Harvard Graduate Center project will be the focus of the final section of the exhibition.

Teresita Fernández public art project:

This project relates to a Harvard University Committee on the Arts initiative, a public art installation entitled Autumn (…Nothing Personal) by artist Teresita Fernández, to be installed in fall 2018. The SHARP fellow will perform library, archival and other curatorial research with their mentor to develop educational/interpretive strategies and programming ideas for the public installation, centered on an exploration of the text Nothing Personal by James Baldwin. Produced in collaboration with the photographer Richard Avedon in 1965, Nothing Personal is at the conceptual center of this 2018 installation by Teresita Fernández. Taking Baldwin’s text as inspiration, guide, and reference point, Fernández hopes the public installation will unfold as both a physical site and public conversation. As such, the focus for the fellow and mentor rests strongly on the question of how to create interactive, interdisciplinary, and engaging programs to encourage people to use this installation as a space to gather, debate, and protest.

African ceramics project:

This project relates to an upcoming exhibition that is being organized by the Museums entitled Clay: Design in Africa, scheduled to go on view beginning in fall of 2018. Framed broadly around the lens of design, this exhibition will focus on four regions—Egypt, Algeria, Kongo, and Liberia—allowing for a consideration of ceramics across time and culture. The installation will also explore design in other media, aesthetics of surface, and the relationship of clay to the body. The SHARP fellow focusing on this project will conduct extensive research into the objects included in the exhibition, culminating in the writing and editing of interpretive object labels or digital tools. The fellow will gain experience with best practices in museum interpretation, and writing for a public audience, along with extensive knowledge of African art and ceramics.

Outcomes:

Fellows will gain experience conducting archival and library research with a very precise curatorial focus for special projects and exhibitions. They will learn how to develop and write educational/interpretive materials and create programs for the general public by working closely with curators and Museums staff in the final stages of special projects and exhibitions. In addition, fellows will gain a very informed view and experience of museum practices through structured and unstructured learning opportunities with a professional staff of curators, conservators, and technologists. By the end of the program, the fellows should have knowledge of Harvard Art Museums’ collections, improved research and writing skills, and familiarity with different models for public engagement in museums.

Selection criteria:

No art history or museum experience necessary, but an enthusiasm and excitement about the Harvard Art Museums is required. We are seeking students with a welcoming and engaging demeanor and a comfort with public speaking; prior teaching/tutoring experience preferred. All applicants should indicate which of the three exhibitions/special projects they would prefer to work on, as well as whether they would be willing to work on any of the three

Poetry in America (New)

Project Supervisor: Professor Elisa New, Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature

Poetry in America

Project Description:

I am currently at work on Poetry in America, a multiplatform humanities initiative at Harvard. Poetry in America began as a series of HarvardX modules, and has now expanded to a wide umbrella of multimedia educational initiatives in collaboration with FAS, HGSE, DCE, and WGBH, public television’s preeminent production house. I am currently at work producing a Poetry in America TV series with WGBH, and creating state-of-the-art online course materials and teacher training materials in partnership with HGSE and DCE that connect the reading of poetry with other disciplines across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.

Over the last three years, I have shot and produced hundreds of hours of video footage for Poetry in America, filmed on location across the country and beyond, in Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Vermont, and London. This footage features conversations with distinguished guests including Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Nas, Herbie Hancock, Elena Kagan, Tony Kushner, Eve Ensler, Michael Pollan, Billy Collins, John McCain, Cynthia Nixon, Shaquille O’Neal, and more.

Poetry in America will eventuate in several major outputs:

The first, Poetry in America for Teachers, is a series of for-credit professional development graduate courses, developed with the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) to support K-12 classroom teachers. These courses are aligned with educational standards, including the Common Core. Teachers will be able to use this course to strengthen their classroom practice while also developing their careers. This project will also produce classroom-ready video content designed to stimulate and appeal to middle and high school students, thus enabling teachers to bring the content of their professional development directly into the classroom. This project will give teachers the confidence and tools to discuss poetry while also meeting English Language Arts goals and providing teachers with professional development opportunities.

Second, the TV element of this project, with Season 1 currently wrapping up post-production and airing in April 2018, will reach viewers of all backgrounds, who will have a chance to see that poetry is connected to every human activity. We hope to begin work on Season 2 in May 2018, continuing throughout the summer and fall.

Finally, other avenues for this content, including the HarvardX massive open online course and short films appearing in The Atlantic, Nautilus, and The Nantucket Project, will provide even more avenues for viewers worldwide to connect to poetry in a way that both entertains and educates. We are currently in discussion with internet and media providers in China around distributing our content to a global audience.

Opportunities:

In the next 12 months my production team will be drawing on the footage that we have filmed to create materials for Poetry in America for Teachers. The first Poetry in America for Teachers course focused on the urban environment-- our next course, Poetry of Earth, Sea, and Sky, will focus on the natural world.

In addition, after launching our first successful Poetry in America for Teachers course in 2017, we received funding to begin developing video content and curricula on Shakespeare and on World Literature (in partnership with Stephen Greenblatt and Martin Puchner, respectively) for use in the K-12 classroom and for K-12 teacher education. If a SHARP fellow were interested in humanities education beyond poetry, this could be one possible avenue for research and work this summer.

We seek a SHARP fellow to assist with all stages of these projects, from research and development, to production and post-production. Involvement will be suited to the fellow’s interests and skills.

The SHARP fellow will hone close-reading and research skills by helping to locate and select poems for use in the classroom. She/he will become familiar with our library of footage, and become adept at watching, editing, and reviewing educational media, identifying key teaching moments, developing curriculums or assessments tailored to learning outcomes, and assisting in discussion and planning with the Harvard Graduate School of Education, WGBH television, and other educational and media partners. The SHARP fellow will gain a nuanced understanding of copyright law, and assist the Poetry in America team with copyright compliance and rights acquisition.

Selection Criteria

The ideal candidate for this SHARP fellowship will be a self-motivated, organized, creative, and energetic undergraduate, preferably a rising junior or senior. The applicant should have some experience in literature, history, and/or the arts, and an interest in the digital humanities, multimedia education, K-12 education, and/or film production. Students with a concentration in VES and a background in video production or web design would be especially well suited for this project, but none of these skills are required and there will be opportunities for learning on the job.

metaLAB: Curricle (Schnapp)

Project Supervisors​: Mentored by metaLAB team, incl. Jeffrey Schnapp, Jessica Yurkofsky, Matthew Battles, and Sarah Newman, and working in collaboration with metaLAB graduate student Mindy Seu. 

Curricle

Project Description

Curricle is a prototype for a new experience in course selection: a digital platform that gives  students powerful tools in data visualization and analytics for browsing, discovering, and  selecting courses at Harvard. The platform will enable students to see the broader  landscape within which they navigate the curriculum, offering more opportunities for  choice and customization. Additionally, it will offer a historical research side for students  and scholars to explore and visualize Harvard’s curricula over time.  Curricle's power—and  its design challenge—consists in this use of data visualization both to map today's  curriculum, and to visualize its historical development in previously unseen ways.

Work includes: design work, historical research, user testing, student outreach, alumni interviews 

Research themes​: design, digital humanities, data visualization, interdisciplinarity, and the role of the liberal arts in society

Specific role for SHARP fellow:

The SHARP fellow will be involved in the final phase of Curricle's development at metaLAB.  This will include: student outreach to convey the utility of the platform, additional archival  research for historical micro-narratives, including interviewing notable alumni about their  curricular choices; testing the interface with Harvard students; and archival research into  historical curricula at Harvard and Radcliffe. The SHARP fellow will participate in weekly  metaLAB and Curricle team meetings, and will have the chance to suggest and develop new  paths of inquiry. There will also be the opportunity for metaLAB’s SHARP fellow to  participate in metaLAB’s ongoing design and technology projects.   We're seeking an independent and organized student who is interested in furthering his or  her experience in working with a beta version of a new technological tool; preference will  be shown for a fellow with interests in design, interdisciplinary studies, progrmaming, and  the history and role of the liberal arts in society. The student will have a chance to  contribute meaningfully to this exciting new tool, and to work with a small research lab  comprised of designers, coders, artists, and scholars.  

Sentinel Musicians & Soundscapes (Shelemay)

Project Supervisor: Kay Kaufman Shelemay, G. Gordon Watts Professor of Music and Professor of African and African American Studies

Sentinel Musicians. Sounding African Lives in Global Motion & Soundscapes. Exploring Music in a Changing World

Project Description:I have two big publication projects in process during summer, 2018, for which I would very much appreciate the collaboration of a student research partner through SHARP. First, I will be completing the manuscript of my ethnography on musicians who have immigrated to the United States from the Horn of Africa; it is titled Sentinel Musicians. Sounding African Lives in Global Motion. Second, I will also be revising my world music textbook, Soundscapes. Exploring Music in a Changing World, for its fourth edition. My publisher (W.W. Norton) and I are also discussing producing a new Soundscapes modular volume that would involve new case studies, including chapters by other ethnomusicologists. I would envision that a student’s day would be divided between editorial tasks such as editing text and checking references for manuscripts, as well as considerable time spent researching new literature and suggesting additions/ revisions to both books.

For Sentinel Musicians, the SHARP participant would aid with editing and a variety of bibliographical and other research tasks involved in preparing a manuscript for submission to a press. For Soundscapes 4, we would be correcting and amending existing case studies in the 3rd edition of the book with updates. If our plan to add a new, modular volume of case studies to the Soundscapes 4 edition materializes, there would be work in helping to organize contributions by other authors to that volume and aiding me in writing new introductions to the six divisions of this new book. Thus a research assistant would gain experience in a wide swath of materials from world music, with particular attention to music and migration, as well as participate in much of the process of preparing books for publication. The books include a scholarly monograph (Sentinel Musicians) and a textbook (Soundscapes), so there are different modalities of writing style ad audience involved as well. A student with whom I worked under the SHARP framework several years ago also spent time researching on line sites for musicians in my project, so our work will span different media, including recordings. 

I plan to be in the Cambridge area most of the summer and will meet with the student regularly to consult on research/writing and other tasks. I will be involved full time in these projects myself, so this will be a collaborative venture. Should I be away for more than a week, we will skype and talk on the phone during that period.

It would be helpful to have a student research associate who is interested in music in its varied cultural setting and who is comfortable working across cultural boundaries. A background in ethnomusicology, anthropology, or performance studies would be great, as would some musical interest/expertise. These are projects that call for intellectual curiosity and versatility, as well as an interest in unfamiliar materials. Technical musical skills are probably less important than excellent writing skills and an interest in music in fast-changing environments.

 

NEW, 2/6/18: Sermons in Song & Beyond the Song (Shelley)

Project Supervisor: Braxton D. Shelley, Assistant Professor, Department of Music and Stanley A. Marks and William H. Marks Assistant Professor, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

Sermons in Song: Richard Smallwood, the Vamp, and the Gospel Imagination

Beyond the Song: Virtuality, Materiality, Mediality and the Sound of Black Ecstasy

Project Description:

During the summer of 2018, I plan to work intensively towards the completion of my first monograph, Sermons in Song: Richard Smallwood, the Vamp, and the Gospel Imagination. This book consists of two parts, the first of which will be a re-working of my doctoral dissertation; the second contains three programmatic essays that consider the textual, temporal, and ontological issues that arise at gospel music’s intersection of sound and belief. Having discussed the project with several presses, the plan is to complete a draft manuscript over the summer, and to submit the manuscript late this fall. I would look forward to collaborating with a SHARP fellow in this endeavor. As I see it, the fellow’s work would be divided among three tasks: editing manuscript text, notes, and bibliography; researching new literature for the book’s final chapters; as well as locating and organizing the roughly one hundred audiovisual examples that will be featured on the book’s companion website.

A 2018 SHARP fellow would also assist in jumpstarting the next item on my research agenda, Beyond the Song: Virtuality, Materiality, Mediality and the Sound of Black Ecstasy, a study of the music that often accompanies ecstatic dance in many Black Christian churches. Unlike the songs that are the central foci of the first book project, this ecstatic music, often called “shouting music,” circulates in a kind of public domain, mediated by online venues including, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Unlike the traditional musical entity called song, there are no composers, no dates of composition, no authoritative recordings of these musical materials, yet they pervade the worship practices of churches across the United States, from some of the country’s smallest congregations to many of the largest. How, then, to handle with the tens of thousands of videos, most of which last for only a couple minutes? The SHARP fellow and I would grapple with this question collaboratively, setting a goal of archiving and categorizing 500 representative video clips, using this sample to develop a more systematic approach to this ever-expanding musical corpus.

Taken together, the two endeavors would offer a prospective fellow the opportunity to work closely over a ten-week period with a faculty mentor on one project that is nearing completion and another that is just beginning—one project for which the digital archive is supplementary and another for which it is foundational. The SHARP fellow would leave the summer having participated in substantial ways by performing research, contributing to the content, the direction and overall design of these works, while gaining insight into the writing and publication processes. Additionally, the fellow would leave this work having been deeply immersed in the material of a particular music culture while developing skillsets that are transportable to any number of humanities disciplines.

I am scheduled to spend the majority of the summer in Cambridge, working full-time on these research projects. Thus, I expect to maintain a regular (weekly) meeting schedule with the fellow I am assigned. When I travel, it will be for only a couple days. And when I am not in Cambridge, I will maintain virtual communication with my fellow.

While my work would benefit from engagement with any SHARP fellow, a student with background and interest in music, religion, or media would be especially well suited for the proposed tasks. Although my project includes a fair amount of music analysis, such technical skill is not required of a potential SHARP fellow. What matters most is intellectual curiosity, oral and written communicative skill, and attention to detail, a combination that should abound among Harvard undergraduates.

 

SHARP-Schlesinger Library: History of Women in America Digital Exhibition (Strauss)

Project Supervisors: Amanda Strauss, Manager for Special Projects & Digital Services, Schlesinger Library. This project will also be guided by Jen Petrelli, graduate student in Museum Studies from Harvard Extension School.

 

Creating & Unveiling a Digital Exhibition for Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America

 

Project Description:

2018 marks the 75th anniversary of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. The library is part of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and is the only Harvard library dedicated to documenting and preserving the history of women. To commemorate this milestone, the library has mounted a large exhibition, 75 Stories, 75 Years: Documenting the Lives of American Women at the Schlesinger Library, that will open on February 5, 2018 and includes more than 150 document and objects. The SHARP Fellow will work with librarians and a graduate student from the Museum Studies program at the Harvard Extension School in consultation with the Radcliffe Institute’s Arts Program Manager and Communications department to bring this monumental exhibition online. The objects and documents have been artistically photographed and transformed into digital assets. The content now awaits the careful attention of a SHARP Fellow to research and write short contextual essays for the objects and to assist with creating and designing the digital exhibition. The SHARP Fellow will also work on creating outreach material related to the exhibition and may also collaborate on the design and creation of print material.

Learning Outcomes & Skills:

The SHARP Fellow will develop and hone archival & historical research skills, will become practiced in writing for a general audience and writing for the Web, and will become familiar with library, archival, and museum studies methodologies. The SHARP Fellow will gain experience in working in a professional academic environment.

Selection Criteria:

We seek a SHARP Fellow with strong research and writing skills and an interest in history, material and visual culture, digital humanities, studies of women, gender, and sexuality, or other related fields. No prior library or museum experience is required. Strong technical skills are desirable, but not required. Most important is the willingness to learn and explore, and a genuine curiosity and excitement about the project.

SHARP Independent Research Proposals

SHARP Independent Research Fellowships

In addition to the menu of SHARP projects presented by faculty or led by our institutional partners, this year SHARP is inviting students to propose their own independent research projects on topics in the arts and humanities, broadly defined. For SHARP independent research projects, applicants must describe the proposed research project in detail and the scope of the work for the 10-week summer research period, including specific information about the resources and materials to be engaged on campus. Students must also identify a faculty mentor for the research project.  In the SHARP application, your independent project proposal will be included as your first essay response.

Please note: For students proposing independent research projects, the academic reference letter should, in part, specifically address the project and your preparedness to undertake it. 

Research Mentor Confirmation Letter

A brief note from your research mentor is also required, providing details about the proposed project and their involvement over the summer. If your academic recommender is also your summer research mentor, the letter of recommendation can also count as the confirmation, and you do not need to provide a separate mentor letter. 

When confirmed, the faculty mentor should email their confirmation letter in pdf format to undergradresearch@fas.harvard.edu with SHARP and [YOUR LAST NAME] in the subject line. If you do not have your mentor confirmed by the application deadline, please have them email their confirmation letter as soon as possible.

Summer 2017 Project Descriptions

SHARP-Peabody Essex Museum Partnership (Bailly, Rodley) APPLY BY 3/24

Project Contact: Hannah Swartz, PEM New Initiatives Manager

SHARP-PEM Fellowship
The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) and SHARP are partnering to provide a 10-week summer immersion experience to two Harvard undergraduates seeking a formative experience in humanities or arts-based research. This unique opportunity enables two selected candidates to participate in a project that is meaningful to both PEM and the student. Summer researchers will have access to PEM’s staff, resources, and unique collection; learn what it is like to work within an organization of PEM’s scale and focus; participate in onsite and offsite field trips to learn more about the museum field; network with academic colleagues and peers from across disciplines, as well as other PEM and Harvard College interns and fellows; build skills in creative thinking, project management, teamwork and leadership. This is a rare opportunity for both research and professional development.

Project #1: Build a Network: New England Women Artists at the Peabody Essex Museum
Project Supervisor: Austen Barron Bailly, The George Putnam Curator of American Art

Goal of the project: Through research and documentation, develop a strong understanding of the opportunities, accomplishments, and impact of women artists active in New England between 1830 and 1960 and their art. Research and reports on the women artists and the paintings in PEM's historical American art collection will directly inform the forthcoming total reinstallation and reinterpretation of the American art galleries at PEM.

Thanks to recent gifts to the museum, PEM has added works by a dozen female artists working professionally in New England in the early twentieth century to its core collection in the last 2 years. These talented women forged careers as artists and teachers but remain little known. The SHARP fellow will have the opportunity to research and document the art and lives of these women artists and in so doing contribute to new scholarship exploring New England’s role in fostering professional networks and activities of women artists.

Basic project structure:
  • Develop bibliographic and biographical research for all historical women artists in the collection
  • Create annotated bibliographies of key texts / relevancies and points of connection to objects and artists of study
  • Research and document the role of New England artists’ organizations, schools, professional societies, and exhibitions in supporting the training and careers of women artists
  • Conduct art historical research and interpretation of works by women artists in the collection
  • Prepare summary reports of research
  • Write label texts for select objects for use online or in gallery

Project #2: Storytelling and Interpretation through Integrated Media
Project Supervisor: Ed Rodley, Associate Director of Integrated Media

This fellowship is a hands-on learning experience geared towards students who want to see how digital media integrate into the museum content development process. The SHARP Fellow will work with the Integrated Media (IM) team to re-imagine how we tell meaningful stories with our digital collections. The Fellow will work closely with the IM team, curators, and other PEM staff to create imaginative experiences around museum content and services. Particular emphasis may be paid to existing platform partners like Wikipedia, Google Cultural Institute, YouTube, and Social Media platforms to seed new content.

The Fellow will collaborate in the creative and technical aspects of making digital media pieces, interface with other departments, and assist in keeping multiple IM projects on track. Potential projects include: Wikipedia edit-a-thons and image donations, Google Art Project exhibits and image uploads, and/or social media content initiatives.

SHARP-PEM Qualifications
Candidates must be rising-juniors, rising-seniors or 2017 graduates; interested in museums, history and/or the arts; exhibit analytical thought, strong writing skills, and creativity; willing to work independently and within a team, reporting to a senior staff member; museum work/volunteer experience is not necessarry but preference will be given to students who demonstrate a critical eye toward museums and a genuine interest in the improvement of the museum field.

IMPORTANT Note on the Application Process
Follow the guidelines for applying to SHARP. However, please download and complete the SHARP-PEM Supplemental Form in lieu of the general SHARP supplemental form.  If you are also applying for other SHARP projects, you will need to complete the general SHARP form available in the SHARP application dropdown menu.

Information Session and Tour at the Peabody Essex Museum
The info session will be held on Thursday, February 16, from 4:30-5:30pm, preceding PEM’s monthly after hours PEM/PM party. Please RSVP to Hannah Swartz at hannah_swartz@pem.org to register and receive free admission for the evening.

Visit www.pem.org/visit/pempm for information on the party.

    PEM Background
    The Peabody Essex Museum is America’s oldest continuously operating museum. It was founded in 1799 by some of the country’s earliest, most successful entrepreneurs. During the past twenty years, PEM has been among the fastest growing art museums in North America and the museum is internationally recognized for creativity, innovation, outstanding exhibitions, education programs, publications, and financial management. The Museum’s collections rank among the finest of their kind in several areas and encompass American, Asian, African, Native American, Oceanic, contemporary and maritime art, plus photography and 23 historic properties.

    PEM’s mission is to celebrate art, culture, and creativity in ways that transform people’s lives. To fulfill this mission, the museum is dedicated to creating new kinds of art and art museum experiences through innovative interpretive ideas and methods based on multiple disciplines including neuroscience, museum visitor research, new technologies, and a variety of other knowledge bases.

    This winter, PEM broke ground on a 40,000 sq. ft. expansion that will add three floors of gallery space, a vaulting atrium, and an outdoor garden.  Over the next five years, the museum plans to reconceive every one of its galleries and reinstall its collection, adding novel spaces devoted to experimentation, meditation and sound. The result will be a museum that emphasizes the interconnectedness of cultures, takes broad views off creativity, and features programming that explores the intersection of art, the humanities and sciences.

      SHARP-Houghton Library Research Proposals (Hardman, Cole)

      Project Supervisors: Emilie Hardman, Research, Instruction, and Digital Initiatives Librarian; Heather Cole, Assistant Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts; and Houghton colleagues

      Project Overview:

      Houghton Library is pleased to invite Harvard undergraduates to work with our collections in the summer with support of an Undergraduate Fellowship. These competitive fellowships are designed to fully support a summer of work at Houghton, Harvard’s world-class rare books and manuscripts library.

      Houghton is home to the world famous and the almost entirely unknown, the ancient and the contemporary, the enduring and the ephemeral; as a researcher, a practitioner, an experimenter, we want to know what students can do with these materials. During the course of a fellowship, undergraduates work closely with library staff to discover new areas of interest or to delve into ongoing projects. Past fellows created an opera; identified and filled gaps in the literature about the American and British birth control movements; produced a series of podcasts on poetry and the archives; made surprising deiscoveries about the origins of American theater at Harvard; explored the life and works of John James Audubon; and the development of W.V. Quine's philosophical work. We invite proposals for this summer on any topic or discipline supported by our collections. Creative, digital, research, and performance projects are all welcome, as are those we haven't thought of yet.

      The Fellowship supports concentrated work with collection materials at Houghton. Fellows will have the opportunity to be in residence at Houghton Library working in the Reading Room with guidance from staff throughout the summer. A public program showcases fellowship projects in the fall.

      Proposing a Project:

      Applicants should be prepared to describe their proposed research project, including specific information about the Houghton Library materials or kinds of materials the project would make use of. This proposal narrative is limited to approximately 500 words. In the SHARP application, this proposal will be included as your first essay response. 

      To schedule a time to talk with a Houghton Librarian about your project in advance, please use this form. You may also email us at: houghton_library@harvard.edu.

      SHARP Independent Research Proposals

       

      SHARP Independent Research Fellowships

      In addition to the menu of SHARP projects presented by faculty or led by our institutional partners, this year SHARP is inviting students to propose their own independent research projects on topics in the arts and humanities, broadly defined. For SHARP independent research projects, applicants must describe the proposed research project in detail and the scope of the work for the 10-week summer research period, including specific information about the resources and materials to be engaged on campus. Students must also identify a faculty mentor for the research project.  In the SHARP application, your independent project proposal will be included as your first essay response.

      Please note: For students proposing independent research projects, the academic reference letter should, in part, specifically address the project and your preparedness to undertake it. 

      Research Mentor Confirmation Letter

      A brief note from your research mentor is also required, providing details about the proposed project and their involvement over the summer. If your academic recommender is also your summer research mentor, the letter of recommendation can also count as the confirmation, and you do not need to provide a separate mentor letter. 

      When confirmed, the faculty mentor should email their confirmation letter in pdf format to undergradresearch@fas.harvard.edu with SHARP and [YOUR LAST NAME] in the subject line. If you do not have your mentor confirmed by the application deadline, please have them email their confirmation letter as soon as possible.

       

      Excess: Baroque Art and Literature (Burgard)

      Project Supervisor: Peter Burgard, Professor of German

      Project Description

      This summer I am completing a book project — on European Baroque art and architecture and German Baroque literature — that I have worked on for a number of years. Doing so entails reviewing and revising what is already written, with regard both to content (the book’s argument) and structure (the book is performative in its structure, and this requires review and discussion), and incorporating scholarship on Baroque art and literature that has appeared in recent years.

      The summer research project entails collaborating on the project with my guidance and mentoring, being my reader and my critic, including a weekly meeting to discuss all matters pertaining to the book. Your final product will be a report on the current state of scholarship on Baroque art and literature and on how it relates to my theory of the Baroque aesthetic. Your research will be an important contribution to scholarship on one of the most important periods in European cultural history.

      The purpose of the book, Figures of Excess: Toward an Aesthetic of the Baroque, is twofold: first, to set forth an aesthetic of the Baroque, without respect to national boundaries, that accounts for and explains the underlying conceptual tendencies of its various literary, artistic, and architectural productions, and thus the conceptual grounds of their styles and themes. Second, it is my aim to demonstrate what the Baroque is that explains it as well for Italian as for Dutch and Spanish art and for German literature, that is, to set forth an aesthetic of the Baroque that makes use, specifically, of seventeenth-century German literature and thereby incorporates that literature into the general European aesthetic phenomenon called Baroque. In articulating this aesthetic, I focus on the Baroque critique of the devotion to system in the Renaissance and the Baroque subversion of systematic principles of composition in the arts and of systematic thought itself. The means of this critique and subversion is the exploration and performance of excess.

      Project Trajectory

      The book is written in four main parts. Each of the first four weeks will be devoted to a critical reading of one of them, discussion with me, and exploration of the most recent pertinent research. Two weeks following that will be spent on consolidating the results of the discussions and research of the first weeks. The next two weeks will focus on consideration of the structure of the book, and the final two weeks on possible refinements of the choice of illustrations and final editing. This may of course change in response to the work we do together, as we may find some things require more attention than others.

      Learning Outcomes

      Because this project is closer to its end than its beginning, but must also to some extent be started up again, since I haven’t been able to work on it for some time and will have been spending the spring term working my way back into it and completing as much as possible, this fellowship may offer some significantly different scholarly experiences than others. You will work your way into an almost fully articulated book-length argument, engage both intellectually and practically with what I have written, conduct research into scholarship on the various topics addressed in the book. In all this, you will gain experience both in editing and in copy-editing.

      The experience will be one of direct and intense involvement in wide-ranging, comparative, and interdisciplinary scholarship in the Humanities. For Humanities students potentially interested in pursuing further studies, as well as for students with a Senior Thesis somewhere on the horizon, this offers a unique opportunity to experience the life of a scholar in the Humanities — mine and your own.

      Requirements

      1) excellent proficiency in reading German; 2) strong interest in studying literary texts, painting, sculpture, and architecture; 3) some interest in philosophical discourse; 4) some experience in the interpretation of literature and/or art. It is also important to be organized, energetic, and committed to intellectual inquiry in general.

       

       

       

       

      Literati in Middle Period China (Bol)

      Project Supervisor: Peter Bol, Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations

      Project Description:
      This project is aimed at understanding  how Chinese literati reacted to Mongol conquest of China in the 13th century. The Fellow will be using the China Biographical Database to explore changes in social networks as Chinese literati come into contact with Mongols and Central Asians in China.

      This research opportunity is part of the China Biographical Database project. The China Biographical Database is a freely accessible relational database with biographical information on about approximately 400,000 men and women, primarily from the 7th through 19th centuries. With both online and offline versions, the data is meant to be useful for statistical, social network, and spatial analysis as well as serving as a kind of biographical reference. The long term goal of CBDB is systematically to include all significant biographical material from China’s historical record and to make the contents available free of charge, without restriction, for academic use. The database is regularly being enriched and new biographical entries are being created for Tang, Five Dynasties, Liao, Song, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing figures.

      The SHARP Fellow will work with faculty, project staff, and collaborators from China, Taiwan and Europe in conducting research on scholarly networks during the Yuan and early Ming dynasties (13th-15th c.). The research uses large amounts of biographical data to explore how scholars established strong local networks across kinship ties and used these networks to establish national connections, thus better to understand the spread of Neo-Confucian moral philosophy and new modes of literary culture during the period of Mongol rule in particular.

      This work will help provide a comparative context for my current project on the formation of literati communities in the southeast during the middle period, the construction of a new definition of “Chinese culture,” and efforts to establish a leading role for literati as the bearers of that culture. The Fellow will have space in the Database project office and will meet with me weekly and with other project staff daily. 

      Project Trajectory:

      Week 1. Fundamentals of database design and database queries
      Week 2. Computational methods for extracting information from text corpora
      Week 3. Social network analysis
      Week 4. Geospatial analysis
      Weeks 5-6. Comparative analysis of Neo-Confucian teacher-student relationships and philosophical publications in three different regions
      Weeks 7-8. Comparative analysis of literary exchanges in three different regions
      Weeks 9-10. Temporal analysis of changing relationships between literati and government

      Learning Outcomes:
      During the course of the project the fellow will learn how to use a variety of historical sources and how to apply fundamental technological and analytic skills of the digital humanities to historical questions.

      Requirements:
      This research requires some ability to read Chinese, preferably literary Chinese. It does not require any technical expertise but the Fellow should want to learn various tools.

      How to Visualize the Romance in a Monastery? (Wang)

       

      Project Supervisor: Eugene Wang, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Professor of Asian Art

      Project Description

      The goal is to produce a multimedia platform or website that showcases the depth and range of the rich visual, theatrical, and literary culture centered on The Romance of the Western Wing. Alternatively known as the Romance of the Western Chamber, the 13th century Chinese play has ever since remained the most popular comedy of all time in China. At the outset, there is nothing remarkable about the boy-meets-girl plot. What is unusual, however, is that all that is not supposed to happen happens: the young man is not supposed to be distracted from his preparation for the imperial examination; the young woman is not supposed to let her mind wander while mourning for her newly deceased father; romance is not supposed to blossom in a Buddhist monastery. Yet all these happen even when they are not supposed to. So we have the romance in the western wing of the monastery. That is the storyline. The play stands on its head everything one knows about China, supposedly steeped in the straight-laced Confucian ethics and decorum. It has drawn as much ire as admiration. In the end, the fans have won. Not only has the play been repeatedly staged over the centuries, the script has also inspired visualization of all kinds, in the form of paintings, woodblock prints, decoration on ceramic vessels, etc. Illustrated books mixing texts and images suggest a premodern “multi-media” drama-in-print, i.e., a book to be “read” and experienced as a play.

      As soon as we get into the realm of visualization, we realize that the matter is not just about a play. The play inspires paintings, but the paintings don’t simply “illustrate” the play. Playfulness means different things for painters and playwrights. Moreover, something more happens when a painting integrates architecture. There are instances in which a painting maps out the play into architecture. So we have a play set in buildings in a painting—a threefold staging. Complexity is therefore what the project is after. The core issue in the project is to grapple with the interface and connectivity of theater, media, art, visualization, and habits of imagination.

      Project Opportunities and Trajectory

      With the big picture of the complex interface in mind, the project starts with basics. We gather as much as we can the textual and visual materials inspired and generated by the Romance of Western Wing. We sort them out and then try to figure out the best ways of ordering and presenting them on a multimedia platform (website, etc.). Timelines, charts, annotated pictorial compositions and architectural drawings are likely to be in our toolbox. Possibilities of video-game-like AR designs are possible depending on our resources, skill sets, and adventurousness.

      Learning Outcomes and Skills

      Multimedia design thinking is the ultimate goal and skill set to be acquired, honed, and exercised. The biggest challenge and fun stem from the uniqueness of the project. We are dealing with a kind of “data visualization” at a more advanced and humanistic level. While charts and timelines are part of the design and the big picture, more relevant will be the integration of diverse textual materials into architectural and pictorial spaces, in other words, learning how to annotate pictures, and let future students to access the entirety of the coherent world of the Romance of the West Wing—Chinese culture in a nutshell—with ease and intelligibility, to be both educated and entertained.

      Selection Criteria

      I seek SHARP fellows who ideally possess the ability to access and use both Chinese and English materials, and who think sharp, write well, and are well-organized. Some degree of reading knowledge of Chinese is preferred.  Additional skill sets will be appreciated, such as web design, using design apps to create architectural and spatial models, and other data visualization skills.

       

      Poetry In America (New)

       

      Project Supervisor: Elisa New, Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature

      Project Description

      I am currently at work on Poetry in America , a multi-platform humanities initiative at Harvard. Poetry in America began as a series of HarvardX modules, and has now expanded to a wide umbrella of multimedia educational initiatives in collaboration with FAS, HGSE, DCE, and WGBH, public television’s preeminent production house. I am currently at work producing a Poetry in America TV series with WGBH, and creating state-of-the-art online course materials and teacher training materials in partnership with HGSE and DCE that connect the reading of poetry with other disciplines across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.

      Over the last three years, I have shot and produced hundreds of hours of video footage for Poetry in America, filmed on location across the country and beyond, in Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vermont, and London. This footage features conversations with distinguished guests including Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Nas, Herbie Hancock, Elena Kagan, Tony Kushner, Eve Ensler, Michael Pollan, Jason Collins, Shane Battier, Billy Collins, John McCain, Cynthia Nixon, Shaquille O’Neal, and more.

      Poetry in America will eventuate in several major outputs: The first, Poetry in America for Teachers, is a series of for-credit professional development graduate courses, developed with the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) to support K-12 classroom teachers. These courses are aligned with educational standards, including the Common Core. Teachers will be able to use this course to strengthen their classroom practice while also developing their careers. This project will also produce classroom-ready video content designed to stimulate and appeal to middle and high school students, thus enabling teachers to bring the content of their professional development directly into the classroom. This project will give teachers the confidence and tools to discuss poetry while also meeting English Language Arts goals and providing teachers with professional development opportunities.

      Second, the TV element of this project, currently entering post-production and airing in 2018, will reach viewers of all backgrounds, who will have a chance to see that poetry is connected to every human activity.

      Finally, other avenues for this content, including the HarvardX massive open online course and short films appearing in The Atlantic, Nautilus, and The Nantucket Project, will provide even more avenues for viewers worldwide to connect to poetry in a way that both entertains and educates.

      Project Opportunities and Trajectory

      In the next 12 months my production team will be drawing on the footage that we have filmed to create materials for Poetry in America for Teachers. The first Poetry in America for Teachers course focused on the urban environment-- courses in the pipeline will focus on the natural world and the arts, respectively. We seek a SHARP fellow to assist with all stages of these projects, from research and development, to production and post-production. Involvement will be suited to the fellow’s interests and skills.

      Learning Outcomes and Skills

      The SHARP fellow will hone close-reading and research skills by helping to locate and select poems for use in the classroom. She/he will become familiar with our library of footage, and become adept at watching, editing, and reviewing educational media, identifying key teaching moments, developing curriculums or assessments tailored to learning outcomes, and assisting in discussion and planning with the Harvard Graduate School of Education, WGBH television, and other educational and media partners. The SHARP fellow will gain a nuanced understanding of copyright law, and assist the Poetry in America team with copyright compliance and rights acquisition.

      Selection Criteria

      The ideal candidate for this SHARP fellowship will be a self-motivated, organized, creative, and energetic undergraduate, preferably a rising junior or senior. The applicant should have some experience in literature, history, and/or the arts, and an interest in the digital humanities, multimedia education, K-12 education, and/or film production. Students with a concentration in VES and a background in video production or web design would be especially well suited for this project, but none of these skills are required and there will be opportunities for learning on the job.

       

      Music and Politics in Exile Journals, 1933-45 (Shreffler)

      Project Supervisor: Anne Shreffler, James Edward Ditson Professor of Music and Affiliate, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures 

      Assisting Librarian: Kerry Masteller, Music Reference and Research Librarian, Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library (kmastell@fas.harvard.edu)

      Project Description

      I am looking for one, and possibly two, undergraduates to assist in research on political and aesthetic debates in the 1930s and 1940s. This will help me to complete two chapters of my book project, Musical Utopias: Progressive Music and Progressive Politics, about a vital strain of twentieth-century modernist music that was inspired by left-wing ideals. For many years, my research has centered on music and politics in the twentieth century, with a particular emphasis on the political associations of different styles.

      The student(s) will research German-language exile journals and other sources in English (and possibly Italian and French, given the relevant language proficiency) to explore and summarize aesthetic debates about modernism at mid-century, particularly in music. Modern idioms such as expressionism and atonality were viewed as integral to a progressive political vision by many of emigrants, partly in reaction to the condemnation of those styles in the Third Reich. Many of the emigrants were left-wing or Communist, so the fact that modern music was also scorned as “formalist” in the Soviet Union made things complicated. While some, like the Austrian composer Hanns Eisler, actively promoted a socialist vision of musical life, others wanted to preserve the cultural values of a free society above all. The debates were vociferous, because aesthetic questions were inextricably linked with politics and so much was at stake.

      Scattered literally to the four winds after the Nazi seizure of power, leading cultural figures found themselves in Paris, Prague, London, New York, Moscow, or Shanghai. They founded German-language publishing houses, journals and newspapers to create community and provide a public platform for exile opinion. In the pages of Der Aufbau (New York), Das neue Tage-Buch (Paris), Die neue Weltbühne (Prague), Internationale Literatur (Moscow), Die Sammlung (Amsterdam), and many other journals, exiles reported on the news from Nazi Germany, cultivated resistance, and presented an alternative to Fascist cultural politics. Journals devoted specifically to music include Musica Viva (published in Brussels, in four languages), 23 (Vienna), and Der Auftakt (Prague). English-language music journals such as Modern Music and Musical Quarterly provide additional documentation of major international musical events and debates from the 1930s and 1940s.

      The student will carry out original research: searching for the relevant journals, then reading, identifying, and summarizing the material. The end product will include a database of relevant articles, along with prose summaries with information about the journals and authors. Harvard’s libraries contain rare original print runs of many of these periodicals, while others are available on microfilm. Many of these exile journals were short-lived, due to the massively unstable political situation as well as the beginning of the war in 1939. Some hard to find, particularly those published in the Soviet Union. Some are digitized and searchable, while others are not. The student will identify the journals, locate relevant articles, and research the political orientations and background of the journal, the editors, and the authors. We will work with Kerry Masteller, Music Reference and Research Librarian, Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library, to help with digital searches, locating material, and setting up a RefWorks platform for recording and presenting the data. I have a detailed list of about 40 journals which can serve as a starting point.

      Project trajectory:

      Weeks 1 and 2:

      • reading background literature on music and migration, modernism, and political contexts of the time
      • learning the RefWorks platform and preparing keywords and categories for the database and summaries
      • learning how to use the relevant digital collections
      • starting work with one selected digitized journal: reading, selecting, and writing summaries of the relevant material

      Weeks 3 and 4:

      • For the journal you have selected, find out about its print run, political orientation, the biographies of its editors, and other information you think is relevant. Continue to research and write summaries
      • Choose one journal or newspaper that is not digitized (either hard copy or microfilm), develop strategies for finding information in it.
      • Search publications of the exile presses Querido (Amsterdam) and Éditions du Carrefour (Paris) for relevant titles. As you did with your first selected journal, find out about the background of these presses and their editors.
      • Starting working on journals devoted specifically to music, which include Musica Viva (published in Brussels, in four languages), 23 (Vienna), and Der Auftakt (Prague).

      Weeks 5 and 6:

      • In the American English-language journals Modern Music and Musical Quarterly (both digitized), search for articles by or about immigrants from wartime Europe.
      • Identify some of the official party journals of the German Communist Party (KPD) in exile and look for articles about music or aesthetic debates.
      • Do the same with the official organs of the German Socialist Party (SPD) and other socialist splinter groups, and with a couple of journals aimed at a readership of socialist workers’ choruses, such as the Schweizerische Sänger-Zeitung.

      Weeks 7 and 8:

      • Focus on the aesthetic debates in German-language journals published in Moscow, such as Das Wort and Internationale Literatur. (This includes the “Expressionismus-Debatte” of 1937.)
      • Search the Deutsche Zentral-Zeitung, published in Moscow, for relevant articles.

      Weeks 9 and 10:

      • Focus on literary exile journals such as Neue Deutsche Blätter (Prague), edited by Anna Seghers and others, Maß und Wert (Zürich), edited by Thomas Mann and others), and Die Sammlung (Amsterdam), edited by Klaus Mann and others.
      • Finish up the work, adding missing summaries and background information to the RefWorks database.
      • Prepare a list of “next steps” for future research.

      Learning outcomes: enhanced research skills, familiarity with digital collections of historical material, increased knowledge of music history and of political history before and during World War II, experience reading German texts, mastery of RefWorks (a useful platform for senior thesis bibliographies as well), and practice summarizing articles.

      The student for this project could also use this material to expand her/his own interests.  I will work with the student to develop projects.

      Skills required:  1) Excellent proficiency in reading German 2) Skills in good note taking and written summaries. 3) Musical background would be helpful, although not required.

      A student with reading proficiency in French or Italian could research left-wing newspapers and journals in those languages from the same time period.

       

      metaLAB (at) Harvard: Curricle (Schnapp)

       

      Project Supervisors: Mentored by metaLAB team, incl. Prof Jeffrey Schnapp, Jessica Yurkofsky, Matthew Battles, and  Sarah Newman, and working in collaboration with metaLAB graduate student Robert Roessler.

      Research themes: design, digital humanities, data visualization, interdisciplinarity, and the role of the liberal arts in society

      Project: Curricle. Work includes: design and historical research, user testing, student and alumni interviews, design work (with metaLAB team)
      Curricle is a prototype for a new experience in course selection: a digital platform that gives students powerful tools in data visualization and analytics for browsing, shopping, and selecting courses at Harvard. The platform will enable students to see the broader landscape within which they navigate the curriculum, offering more opportunities for choice and customization. Additionally, it will offer a historical research side for students and scholars to explore and visualize Harvard’s curricula over time.  Curricle's power—and its design challenge—consists in this use of data visualization both to map today's curriculum, and to visualize its historical development in previously unseen ways.  

      Specific role for SHARP fellow

      The SHARP fellow will be involved in a variety of aspects of Curricle's development. This will include: research to ground and contextualize the experience of course selection, including interviewing notable alumni about their curricular choices; design work and implementation (in collaboration with metaLAB team); testing versions of the interface with Harvard students; and archival research into historical curricula at Harvard and Radcliffe. The SHARP fellow will participate in weekly metaLAB and Curricle team meetings, and will have the chance to suggest and develop new paths of inquiry.

      We're seeking an independent and organized student who is interested in furthering his or her experience in working with a beta version of a new technological tool; preference will be shown for a fellow with interests in design, interdisciplinary studies, algorithms, and the history and role of the liberal arts in society. The student will have a chance to contribute meaningfully to this exciting new tool, and to work with a small research lab comprised of designers, coders, artists, and scholars.

       

       

      Critical and Primary Sources in LGBTQ History (Bronski)

       

      Project Supervisor: Michael Bronski, Professor of the Practice in Media and Activism

      Project Description              

      I am editing a four volume collection of the 100 most significant essays on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) history. It is under contract with Bloomsbury Publishing as part of their Critical and Primary Sources series.The project is global in nature and will encompass multiple countries and cultures, as well as time periods. Bloomsbury’s Critical and Primary Sources series is sold, primarily, to public and university libraries often in the non-western world.

      Much of what is called LGBTQ Studies began in the United States and European countries. Many early germinal essays concerned western themes, incidents, and people. The last four decades has produced a wealth of work from African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and South Asian scholars interrogating their own national histories. This new scholarship has placed individual national histories in transnational contexts. These four volumes attempt to balance, and build upon, the older (often western-centered) work and place them in conversation with newer scholarship that broadens both the reach and the political intentionality of LGBTQ history. At the moment, the four volumes are tentatively arranged to cover: Vol 1 – theoretical work; Vol 2 – the pre-modern world; Vol 3 – the modern world; Vol 4 – contemporary political organizing and movements.

      The essays in these four volumes will have been previously published. They will range from the seminal work of Lillian Faderman on female friendships from the early 1970s to Rahul Rao’s contemporary studies of queerness, post-colonialism, and terrorism. This summer’s project, in large part, will be devoted to identifying important, significant works of LGBTQ history and then deciding which, working together, best communicate the fullness and breadth of the field.

      Working with me, a SHARP fellow will research and identify the existing scholarship, read and evaluate it, and place it in conversation with other works. The primary research here consists of finding – using Hollis+ as well as other library tools and archives – published articles; while it is thematically complex, basic research skills are all that are necessary.

      Once the essays are chosen I will write an Introduction to each volume as well as an Introduction to the collection. We will then shift to another research mode and I will need help mapping out, and documenting, the larger themes here as well as shape them into Introductory essays. I will also look to the student to help with conceptualizing, editing, and proof-reading the Introductions. The work is not clerical in nature.

      In the first stage of research the student will draw upon their knowledge and interest of history and sexuality to evaluate, with me, the articles to be chosen. In the second stage of research they will draw upon their research, bibliographic, writing and editing skills to help with the final versions of the Introductions.

      Project Opportunities and Trajectory

      The scope of this project is large but eminently feasible to complete during the ten weeks of the summer break. I will supervise the student’s work and help them to develop their research and evaluation skills as well as how to compare the articles to form a cohesive set of texts. While the student will be doing research on their own, regular communication as well as meeting at least twice a week will help us both with this work.

      Learning Outcomes and Skills

      A student who works on this project will grow in a number of ways. Their basic research and text evaluations skills will be increased and sharpened. It is also a great opportunity for a student to broaden and strengthen their knowledge not only of history (and LGBTQ history in particular), but their understanding of gender, sexuality, critical race, and post-colonial theory. There will be ample opportunity for them to use and expand their writing and editing skills in a professional context. Most important, a student who is interested in perusing a career in the  academia or publishing will learn how a book project is conceptualized, researched, compiled, edited, and delivered to a publisher. There is the potential, if my editor at Bloomsbury is open to it, for the SHARP fellow to interact with the editorial department of the publisher as well.

      Selection Criteria

      Students applying should have an interest, and ideally some reading knowledge of, basic aspects of LGBTQ history and politics, as well as gender and sexuality theory. They must have a desire to engage with these ideas and to be willing to explore them in expansive ways. (The global perspective here will be a learning curve for me as well and some of the learning here will be a joint experience.) Sharp attention to detail in research, note taking, handling of files, necessary communications with the publisher, and overall management of all of the aspects of the project are vital. The most important qualifications – aside from basic writing skills I presume most Harvard students have already – are the ability to engage, be continually curious, and be willing to learn as the research and the project develops.

       

      How Did the Past Taste? (Chaplin, Loren, Schultz & Peabody Museum)

       

      Project Supervisors: Joyce Chaplin, James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History; Diana Loren and Lainie Schultz, Academic Partnerships Department, Peabody Museum

      Project Description

      Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology is one of the oldest and largest anthropology museums in the world. It stewards over 1.2 million objects, comprised of archaeological, ethnological, osteological, and archival materials, as well as prints and photographs. The Peabody Museum engages in, supports, and promotes the study and appreciation of ancient and contemporary peoples from around the world. The Museum collects, preserves, and interprets cultural and related materials and offers unique opportunities for innovative teaching, research, and enrichment at Harvard and with communities worldwide.

      In 2018, the Peabody Museum will mount an exhibition curated by Professor Joyce Chaplin, on the history of food in Cambridge, MA. The exhibition explores how local cuisine became increasingly global through time, highlighting certain events in Harvard’s food history such as the 1766 Butter Rebellion.

      The SHARP fellow will contribute to the shaping of this exhibit through hands-on research of Peabody Museum collections, as well as primary and secondary sources potentially located elsewhere on the Harvard campus. This work may include:

      • A research review of particular objects, collections, or collectors;
      • Identification and exploration of interesting themes related to experiences of cooking and eating in New England;
      • Identification of relevant collections located in other Harvard institutions, such as the Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Harvard Herbaria, University Archives, Houghton and Schlesinger Libraries;
      • Recommendations for the visual display of exhibit themes, suitable to a variety of audiences.

      The fellow will be provided with a research space at the Peabody Museum, and will receive regular guidance and supervision from the Museum’s Academic Partnerships Department. The fellow will additionally meet or Skype once a week with Professor Chaplin, to discuss research progress and future directions.

      Learning Outcomes

      The fellow will enjoy a unique, hands-on experience working with museum collections, while gaining critical skills conducting primary research with non-literary sources. The fellow will learn about the process of exhibit development, and the challenge (and importance) of communicating research through a variety of media to a variety of audiences. The fellow will also receive training in professional museum practices, including object-handling, the use of collections databases, and principles of collections management, conservation, and registration.

      Selection Criteria

      This research must be conducted and conveyed to project supervisors according to rigorous standards of academic scholarship and citation, and must meet the standards of care and attention required of working with museum collections. Most importantly, the fellow chosen for this project must be able to think critically and creatively, to consider what sort of collections could contribute to the exhibit’s narrative and where they may be located; the narratives to which already-located collections can contribute; the suitability of various collections for display; and how to use collections to convey what may be complex ideas to an unknown visiting public.

       

      SHARP-Harvard Art Museums (Martinez, Odo)

       

      Project Supervisors: Jessica Martinez, Director of Academic and Public Programs; David Odo, Director of Student Programs and Research Curator of University Collections Initiatives

      Project Description
      Harvard Art Museums welcomes applications from undergraduates interested in public humanities to spend the summer researching public tour initiatives at the Museums. Students will develop and deliver regularly scheduled tours for visitors; will explore various models for gallery activities and guided visits for groups; and will develop an intensive guide for use by Phillips Brooks House Association groups and other community organizations who are interested in visiting the Harvard Art Museums. This work will include collections research, workshops with Museums staff from curatorial, education, conservation, and other departments, investigation of guided visit programs at peer institutions, outreach to PBHA groups, and the writing and editing of a final community-oriented group visit guide.

      SHARP fellows will conduct their research and writing work in the rich collections of the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler Museums, newly united in a state-of-the-art facility designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Expanded galleries feature works from the ancient world to the present, and from the Americas, Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Asia.

      Agenda
      SHARP fellows will spend the summer researching and participating in public guided visit programs. Fellows will participate in a rigorous training program with Harvard Art Museums staff to gain knowledge of the Museums’ collections, develop skills in critical thinking, visual analysis, public speaking and leadership. Training will draw on scholarship and practice from multiple fields of knowledge, including curatorial practice, artistic practice, art history, conservation science, social sciences, and other areas.

      In addition to developing and delivering regularly scheduled tours, fellows will investigate multiple frameworks for interacting with groups in the gallery space, with an eye towards creating a model for engaging PBHA and other community-oriented groups on campus. They will create an outreach plan for engaging these groups, and their work will culminate in the writing, editing, and distribution of a complete guide to museum group visits for on-campus public service groups.  

      Outcomes
      Fellows will gain in-depth knowledge of specific objects and collection areas they will research to prepare their tours, as well as general knowledge of museum practice through structured and unstructured learning opportunities with a professional staff of curators, conservators, and technologists. Fellows will also gain a broad understanding of different models for public engagement in museums, as they research peer institutions and participate in gallery activity workshops. Finally, fellows will fully direct the research, writing, and distribution of a museum visit guide aimed at on-campus public service groups. By the end of the program, the fellow should have knowledge of Harvard Art Museums collections, improved research and writing skills, familiarity with different models for public engagement in museums, and experience creating and distributing educational materials for museums.

      Selection criteria
      No art history or museum experience necessary, but an enthusiasm and excitement about the Harvard Art Museums is required. We are seeking students with a welcoming and engaging demeanor and a comfort with public speaking; prior teaching/tutoring experience preferred. Preference given to students involved in Phillips Brooks House Association groups or programming. Please indicate if you are fluent in Spanish, Chinese/Mandarin or American Sign Language.

       

      Amgen Biotechnology Harvard-Amgen Scholars form part of a vibrant community of researchers and receive summer lodging, partial board, and a stipend. Applicants will be placed in a lab based on their preferences.
      BLISS Social Sciences Build Learning through Inquiry in the Social Sciences (BLISS) Fellows form part of a vibrant community of researchers and receive summer lodging, partial board, and a stipend. Applicants may select from a list of pre-designed projects.
      PCER All Fields Harvard College-Mindich Program in Community-Engaged Research (PCER) Fellows form part of a vibrant community of researchers and receive summer lodging, partial board, and a stipend. Applicants may select from a list of pre-designed projects.
      PRIMO Business / Social Sciences Program for Research in Markets and Organizations (PRIMO) fellows form part of a vibrant community of researchers and receive summer lodging, partial board, and a stipend. Applicants may select from research areas of interest, and successful fellows will be placed with pre-designed projects.
      PRISE Sciences Program for Research in Science and Engineering (PRISE) Fellows form part of a vibrant community of researchers and receive summer lodging, partial board, and a stipend. Applicants must arrange their own research projects.
      SHARP

      Arts / Humanities / Library & Museum Studies

      Summer Humanities and Arts Research Program (SHARP) Fellows form part of a vibrant community of researchers and receive summer lodging, partial board, and a stipend. Applicants may select from a list of pre-designed projects or submit their own research proposals.
      SURGH Global Health Summer Undergraduate Research in Global Health (SURGH) Fellows form part of a vibrant community of researchers and receive summer lodging, partial board, and a stipend. Applicants may select from a list of pre-designed projects.

      Overview

      The Summer Undergraduate Research in Global Health (SURGH) program is a 10-week summer program that aims to build community and stimulate creativity among a small cohort of Harvard undergraduate researchers in global health. SURGH fellows work on research projects with Harvard-affiliated faculty and researchers. Fellows live together in one of the Harvard College houses and participate in rich evening programming which includes both social and academic activities. To participate in SURGH, you must apply and be selected to work on one of the pre-designated SURGH research projects (usually announced in mid-January).

      The 2020 program will run from Monday, June 8, 2020 to Friday, August 14, 2020.

      Amgen

      The Amgen Scholars Program at Harvard is a 10-week faculty-mentored residential summer research program for undergraduates in biotechnology. Amgen Scholars will be paired with world-renowned faculty mentors and a director supervisor (postdoctoral scholar or graduate student) in the laboratory, following an interview selection process. Throughout the duration of the program, Amgen Scholars will conduct hands-on, innovative research across biotechnology fields in cutting-edge facilities at Harvard. While participating in the program, Amgen Scholars will reside in one of Harvard’s historic River Houses as active members of Harvard’s Summer Undergraduate Research Village community. In addition to research, Amgen Scholars will participate in a number of intellectual, pre-professional development, and social activities throughout the program.

      Overview

      The Harvard College-Mindich Program in Community-Engaged Research (PCER) pilot launched in summer 2017 by the Mindich Program for Engaged Scholarship in collaboration with the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. PCER introduces students to the field of engaged scholarship, which seeks to advance the public purpose of higher education through scholarship that has impact within and beyond the academy through the discovery, integration, application, and communication of knowledge. Employing an asset-based approach, and focused on reciprocal relationships with community collaborators, engaged scholarship recognizes the perspectives, knowledge, and expertise present in communities and the academy are of equal value.

      The Field-based Harvard College-Mindich Program in Community-Engaged Research (PCER-Field) is typically a 10-week immersive experience focused on community-engaged inquiry projects. The program will provide a small team of Harvard undergraduate researchers the opportunity to learn about collaboration and reciprocity in a research context, working on a pre-designed project alongside Harvard faculty in collaboration with community partners as part of a multidisciplinary research team. PCER fellows will develop skills necessary to carry out research that is academically rigorous as well as responsive to community interests and priority action areas.

      Project Description

      2020 PROJECT DESCRIPTION

      The summer 2020 PCER-Field experience will be with Walter Johnson, Winthrop Professor of History and Professor of African and African American Studies, and part of the Commonwealth Project, an ongoing partnership with local non-profits, community groups, activists, artists and cultural producers in St. Louis, MO. Students will be part of an 8-week community-engaged, multidisciplinary, ongoing research collaboration in St. Louis. Up to two Harvard undergraduate students will work with Dr. Johnson in collaboration with community partners. In this immersive experience, students will work on a variety of projects in the public arts, oral history, environmental health and justice, historic preservation, and urban/rural organizing. Students selected for this project will work directly with local community members, community organizers, civil rights activists and attorneys, environmental groups, legislators, social workers, and environmental scientists. PCER students will be part of a team comprised of up to 5 Harvard undergraduates and 1 graduate student.

      Application - Deadline March 1, 2020

      The deadline for receipt of COMPLETE application materials is 5pm, March 1, 2020.  Please submit by this deadline for full consideration of your application.

      https://harvard.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0Mp8qSyMUvwSgf3