2021-2022 Program for the Arts

Call for Proposals

Deadline for applications: 31 March 2021

The Jackman Humanities Institute Program for the Arts supports a range of events from small (up to $3000) to larger (up to $10,000) designed to enhance, improve and raise the profile of the Arts at the University. Activities may include visitors, lecture series, symposia, exhibitions, performances, or other imaginative and arts initiatives, which will serve to foster the work of the Jackman Humanities Institute and to represent the leading scholarship of the humanities at the University of Toronto. Each year there will be a priority for at least one event that engages the wider public. The Program gives priority to activities that range across multiple units and across more than one campus. It does not support activities that are routine matters of the sort that individual academic units would normally fund (e.g. departmental colloquia, learned society meetings, etc.). The Program also prefers activities that are related to the 2021-2022 theme—Pleasure—but will consider proposals with other foci. Applications will be evaluated for conceptual fit, methodology, and research outputs.

Proposals that are designed to run via remote access will be given priority.


Annual Theme, 2020 - 2021: Pleasure

Whether understood as light amusement or passionate pursuit, as pure enjoyment, sensual gratification, bliss or hedonism, pleasure may be the most agreeable motivator. Yet pleasure has been described as “curious and appalling,” one of modern civilization’s most deadly poisons. Through its diverse manifestations – as intellectual satisfaction and the pleasures of knowledge, across studies of media audiences, addiction, virtual sex – when, and how, has pleasure become divorced from ideology, politics, and power? Uneasiness concerning pleasure resonates readily with humanists’ tendencies to formulate our subjects of study as constellations of problems, but is there space in our discourses for unironic joy?

Applications are invited from appointed members of the continuing research and teaching faculty at the University of Toronto.
To apply:

  • You must have an active userID account on the JHI website at https://humanities.utoronto.ca
  • Complete the online application form at the bottom of this page (scroll down, click Apply Now!)
  • Upload a description and rationale including fit with 2021-2022 annual theme of Pleasure (500 words—FIRM limit on length)
  • Upload a proposed budget outline showing all known sources of support


To clarify some of the preferences of the Program the following guidelines will normally apply:

  1. Funding will be awarded from $1,000-$3,000 (small), $3,000-$5,000 (medium) or up to $10,000 (large). Projects with a total budget (including all sources) over $30,000 will not be supported.
  2. Interdisciplinary activities that reach across units, and across campuses are given priority.
  3. Subventions for academic publishing will not be considered; exhibition catalogues that are part of a larger academic event are the only publication that will be considered for funding.
  4. Significant costs (over $3,000) for performers will not be funded.
  5. Events of an annual or continual nature that have previously been funded through the Jackman Humanities Institute Program for the Arts are normally eligible for one repeat year of funding; this need not be sequential.
  6. Funding for the 2021-2022 Program for the Arts must be spent to support expenses relating to events held between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022. Remaining funds will be returned to the Jackman Humanities Institute and may not be carried forward.
  7. The JHI provides basic publicity package (in-house colour flyer on request, website event posting, JHI social media and newsletter, email announcement to departments and relevant EDU’s), and will make available the first-floor multipurpose room (seats 100) and tenth-floor meeting room (seats 25; weekdays 9-4 only) to all funded events. Use of on-site space is contingent on the University of Toronto’s responses to the global pandemic.
  8. Costs for publicity and space rental will not normally be accepted as fundable budget items. A/V recordings of events funded by the Program for the Arts should be included as a regularly budgeted item in the budget proposal with an explanation of the research or pedagogical need for the recording included in the Description and Rationale document. The responsibility for arranging recordings will lie with the event organizer.
  9. Due to COVID-19 precautions, 2021-2022 proposals that include either a contingency plan for remote access, or are designed to run via remote access, will be given priority.



Applications due: Wednesday 31 March 2021 at midnight