2021-2022 JHI Undergraduate Fellowships

Call for Applications

Applications will be accepted starting on 1 March 2021

DEADLINE: Thursday 30 April 2021 at midnight

The Jackman Humanities Institute (JHI) hosts annually an intergenerational community of fellows, each pursuing independent research for an academic year while in residence at the JHI on the 10th floor of the Jackman Humanities Building. The fellows are linked by theme, and they participate in a set of common activities, including weekly lunch seminars and other workshops and lectures.  
We are seeking a small number of advanced undergraduates who propose to conduct research on a topic in the humanities related to our annual theme, Pleasure.  These will be undergraduates, including those in humanities oriented second-entry programs, who are likely to go on to graduate school in the humanities. The opportunity to converse with and to be mentored by leading scholars and to participate in a cutting-edge interdisciplinary conversation in the humanities should provide major impetus and inspiration for growth.


JHI Annual Theme for 2021-2022: 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?

Supervision of Independent Research:

The undergraduate fellows will be linked to one or more specific faculty fellows who will serve as supervisor(s) for the research project.  Each will complete a 300 or 400 level independent research course for 1.0 FCE (or directed research project at an appropriate weight), the number consistent with the program of their department of concentration. Each undergraduate fellow will be provided with carrel space for study on the 10th floor and will be expected to participate in the JHI activities of the fellows. Each fellow will be provided with a $1,000 scholarship, and if necessary, limited funds for research travel.


Health and Safety:

Access to the JHI space and in-person meetings will be contingent upon the responses of the University of Toronto and City of Toronto to the COVID19 pandemic. A stipend for lunches will be provided in the event that in-person activities are suspended for part of all of the fellowship period. In this case, fellowship activities will be conducted online.

Fellowship Award Titles:

Each of the undergraduate fellows will receive one of the following named awards as a component of the fellowship:

  • Dr. Michael Lutsky Undergraduate Award in the Humanities
  • James Fleck Undergraduate Award in the Humanities
  • Zoltan Simo Undergraduate Award in the Humanities
  • Dr. Jan Blumenstein Undergraduate Award in the Humanities
  • Jukka-Pekka Saraste Undergraduate Award in the Humanities
  • Milton Harris Undergraduate Award in the Humanities

Selection Process:

We invite applications from undergraduate students in humanities programs or humanities-oriented second-entry programs at any of the University of Toronto’s three campuses. Because each undergraduate fellow must be teamed up with a Faculty Fellow, the Faculty Fellows will review the applications to be certain that they are able to supervise the projects.  The Faculty Research Fellows for 2021-2022 are:


  • George Boys-Stones, FAS Classics and Philosophy
    Pleasure and Personal Identity in Greek and Roman Thought: Rethinking Ancient Eudaimonism
  • Linda Rui Feng, FAS East Asian Studies
    Concocting the “Heavenly Scent”: A Cultural History of Aromatics in late Medieval China
  • Mohan Matthen, UTM Philosophy
    Place, Taste, and the Pleasure of Art
  • Shafique Virani, UTM Historical Studies
    Sensual and Spiritual: Pleasure in the Thought of Nasir-I Khusraw

Further information about the 2021-2022 Faculty Research Fellows and their research interests:

To Apply:

  1. You must have or create an account on the JHI website at https://humanities.utoronto.ca
  2. Complete the application form at: https://humanities.utoronto.ca/funding/40435  (click on Apply Now! at the bottom of this page)
  3. Upload a copy of your transcript or Complete Academic History from ACORN for all work at the University of Toronto.
  4. Upload a two-page description of your proposed research project.
  5. Upload one essay from a related course.
  6. Select the Faculty Research Fellow with whom you would like to work.
  7. Provide the name and email address of an instructor at the University of Toronto for a letter of reference.

    Please note: all upload files must be saved in .pdf format. Maximum file size is 4 mb.


This competition is open to full-time students in the humanities and the humanistic social sciences, and to students in second-entry professional programs at undergraduate level who propose a humanities-focused project. Applicants will be selected on the basis of a record of academic excellence and the promise of future achievement. A minimum grade point average of 3.7 for third-year course work is required, or comparable grades if applying from a second-entry undergraduate program.  Project topics must connect to the theme for 2021-2022, Pleasure. Preference will be given to students who will be in the final year of their program during the fellowship year.


Please contact JHI Director Professor Alison Keith at jhi.director@utoronto.ca. For questions about the website or application form, please contact Associate Director Kim Yates at jhi.associate@utoronto.ca