Category Archives: Announcements


Andrew W. Mellon Transformative Learning in the Humanities Faculty Fellow Seminars

We are pleased to open applications for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 Andrew W. Mellon Transformative Learning in the Humanities Faculty Fellows (Mellon TLH Faculty Fellows).
Please share this announcement widely with your CUNY colleagues and visit our website for the full call for applications.
Mellon TLH Fellows will work together to share and develop active, creative, participatory learning practices and pedagogical research designed to engage our CUNY students and help ensure their success in and beyond the classroom. Mellon TLH Fellows will receive $1,500 for their participation as well as formal recognition honoring their pedagogical work as a significant contribution to CUNY’s mission.  
Eligibility: CUNY faculty in the humanities, arts, and interpretive social sciences at all ranks, including adjunct faculty and graduate students who are teaching as adjuncts at CUNY campuses (“What is included in ‘interpretive social sciences’?”). Faculty must be teaching during the seminar (“If I am not currently teaching due to the pandemic, can I still apply?”). TLH welcomes BIPOC faculty and faculty committed to equity, social, and racial justice. Faculty teaching introductory courses are welcome and encouraged to apply. For further questions about eligibility and more, please consult our FAQ.
To learn more about this opportunity, please visit our website, which details the logistics of the peer-to-peer seminars, the commitment of Mellon TLH Faculty Fellows and their students, and includes a link to the application form itself.
Applications are due on or before March 15, 2021.
Decisions will be announced on May 3, 2021.
If you have questions or would like to connect with us, please send us an email at
We look forward to hearing from you,

Annemarie, Cathy, Christina, Khanh, and Shelly

Call for Co-Sponsored Spring 2021 Events

Applications Invited for Faculty-Led Workshops, Feb 1 – May 1, 2021

Thanks to a three-year initiative supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, CUNY is embarked on a visionary program designed to support engaged, active humanities pedagogy and recognize the transformative power of teaching for CUNY’s diverse population of students.   

In Spring 2021, we dedicate our support specifically to showcasing and broadcasting the great work of our own CUNY faculty. Rather than turn to outside experts, we lead by honoring the practices and vision of CUNY faculty whose commitment to racial justice and equity are central. We believe that the inclusion of the insights and expertise of all CUNY faculty, including Asian American, Black, Latinx, nonbinary, people with (dis)abilities, and working classes, is crucial to the transformative practice of higher education.  

We offer stipends to honor those organizing events in line with TLH’s mission. TLH would like to partner with and support our faculty who are committed to these goals and who are excited to share innovative ideas and methods among the CUNY community and the general public.  

Detailed Description: The purpose of co-sponsoring Spring 2021 faculty-led events is to recognize the remarkable success of CUNY faculty, including in teaching over 275,000 students online during a pandemic. Maybe you have taught a class that was successful or introduced a particular element (such as contract grading or student-generated syllabi or multimedia assignments) that was deep and meaningful for your students—and that you would like to share with your colleagues? Or maybe you want to learn from CUNY community members who are developing alternative assessment methods and try them out yourself? Or perhaps you would like to read a book or article, watch a documentary, or listen to a podcast and discuss what it means and how it might apply to your classrooms at CUNY?  

Event Types: Proposals can include workshops, presentations, reading (or viewing) discussion groups, symposia, public art performances, or any other event of your creation that would inspire transformative teaching and learning. We are especially interested in programming that engages the audience in creative new ways (i.e., not just “talking heads” but an engaged, interactive session). Further, we seek to support programs that include students as well as faculty, staff, and the general public in the discussion of a visionary, future humanities for CUNY, a humanities that is relevant and committed to a more just and equitable society.  

Events might address questions such as: How can we design equity within a syllabus? How can teachers empower students as co-creators in their own education and academic excellence? How can classrooms become communities of trust? How can a transformed classroom dismantle racism, xenophobia, and sexism to support racial and gender equity? How can the humanities offer flexibility and adaptability beyond the classroom? What does an accessible class look and sound like online? What kinds of alternative assessments are possible? How can teaching poetry as well as the arts and sciences, together, be transformative?    

Faculty Eligibility: All faculty (full time or adjunct) in the humanities, arts, and qualitative social sciences are eligible to apply to lead a peer-to-peer workshop, seminar, or other event. Please note: Faculty on fellowship leave (sabbatical) are not eligible for stipends. 

Funding may be requested for: 

  • Faculty Compensation: Faculty members (full time or adjunct) organizing a Spring 2021 event co-sponsored by TLH will receive $500 after the event. If faculty wish to collaborate on organizing a multi-day event, two co-organizers may apply together to receive $500 each. Co-organizers must be listed on the same application to be eligible. 
    • Full-time faculty will receive a $500 stipend.  
    • Part-time faculty will be paid $500 as non-teaching adjuncts.  
    • If you are considering a proposal that would require more than two co-organizers, please contact us at before crafting your application.  
    • Adjuncts: please confirm prior approval from your department to be appointed as a Non-Teaching Adjunct, or NTA. Those part-time faculty not teaching during Spring 2021 should indicate this on the application form. 
  • Honoraria: Up to an additional $500 may be requested to pay an external speaker for their participation in an event. Please note: additional CUNY faculty, staff and student speakers may not be paid an honorarium. 
  • Additional Support: If you have a request for additional support, please include this request in your application for special consideration.  

Administrative and Technical Support: TLH will offer assistance in the planning and executing stages of co-sponsored events. 

Other Forms of Partnering and Co-Sponsorship: If you or your program are already engaged in planning a program for Spring 2021 that meets TLH guidelines and would like to partner with TLH on other forms of support, please contact us. We would be happy discussing other ways TLH can support your efforts. 

Expectations: These faculty awards are for conceiving and executing the event, for soliciting participants, and for producing an openly-licensed public contribution. A public contribution might be a sample assignment, lesson plan, or syllabus. It could also include a critical reflection published online or in print. All awardees will be asked to participate in an assessment of this initiative. 

Recognition: Faculty who offer an event co-sponsored by TLH will receive a formal letter of recognition for their institutional leadership. 

Deadlines: There will be a rolling application process. The first round of applications will be reviewed on January 15, 2021. Priority will be given to applications received on or before January 15. If funds remain, additional applications will be considered through March 1, 2021. 

Optional ConsultationIf you would like to discuss your application prior to submission please contact us at  

Application form: To apply to partner with TLH on an event this spring, please fill out the online application form by clicking here

Thank you for all you contribute to our students, to one another, and to higher education. We hope you are excited by this Transformative Learning in the Humanities initiative and we look forward to hearing from you!  

Click here to fill out the application.

Please note this is not the call for faculty seminars–that application will open on January 25, 2021.

Press Release: CUNY to Transform Humanities Education with New Program of Innovative Teaching Methods

On October 15, 2020, CUNY published a press release announcing the launch of Transformative Learning in the Humanities (TLH), “an innovative faculty initiative that will help the nation’s leading urban public university reimagine teaching of the humanities in ways that make it more accessible, engaging and imperative to students, consistent with CUNY’s broad mission of building a more inclusive and equitable society.”

This $2 million grant from Mellon Foundation will support faculty professional development workshops focusing on the best ways to ensure student success.

Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost José Luis Cruz is principle investigator of the historic $10 million grant to CUNY, of which the TLH program is a part. TLH will be co-led by Distinguished Professor Cathy N. Davidson, founder of the CUNY Futures Initiative and co-founder of the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC); and Professor Shelly Eversley, Provost’s Faculty Fellow and interim chair of the Department of Black and Latinx Studies at Baruch College.

Some highlights from the announcement:

The Transformative Learning in the Humanities program will be one of the inaugural offerings of CUNY’s larger-scale Innovative Teaching Academy, which will put a spotlight on teaching that aligns the way people are learning, accessing, using, sharing and creating knowledge in the Twenty-first Century,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost José Luis Cruz, who also serves as the principal investigator on the Mellon grant. “A major element in this pedagogy is a shift in emphasis from content per se to learning how to learn, and to making learning a lifelong pursuit.”

“CUNY has become remarkably nimble and innovative in its teaching in recent years and the Mellon Foundation is pleased to contribute to the University’s capacity to be creative about humanities-based pedagogies,” said Armando Bengochea, senior program officer at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “This initiative promises to reach dozens of faculty members and hundreds of students with opportunities to improve the classroom experience in the humanities.”

“We envision our most creative faculty coming together to share ideas and methods with one another and with their students who, in turn, will contribute their own ideas about what it means to ask profound humanistic questions about the worth and value of all people in this historic moment,” said Professor Davidson. “It is crucial that CUNY—the nation’s largest urban public university—be the national leader in this pedagogical revolution.”

“Engaged learning is empowered learning, a necessary approach to helping ensure students have the tools they need to live and work in a world of uncertainty. The humanities offer a set of critical and communication skills that fill this crucial need right now,” said Professor Eversley. “Public education is where this kind of empowerment must happen.”

Read the full press release here.


The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the City University of New York $2 million for an innovative new faculty training initiative that will help the University reimagine the teaching of humanities in more urgent, relevant ways designed to contribute to student success and to a more equitable society 

The gift, part of Foundation’s historic $10 million gift announced in August, will enable CUNY to establish and implement a program called Transformative Learning in the Humanities (TLH), which will engage humanities faculty who are interested in making their classes more participatory by capitalizing on the rich diversity and vast talent of CUNY students, with the ultimate goal of preparing students for a world that requires collaboration, communication, analytical reading and cross-cultural thinking.