Summer Practicum

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The Rural Humanities initiative will offer an online Summer Practicum focusing on Rural Black Lives.  We invite graduate students and advanced undergraduates to submit applications for public and/or engaged humanities projects following the Cornell and Tompkins County public health guidelines in place for summer 2021. The deadline for applications is Monday, April 19, 2021 at 4:00 p.m.

Rural Humanities brings qualitative humanities research methods to projects focusing on and/or collaborating with our rural neighbors in Central and Western New York. Examples of public-facing humanities projects and/or products that we invite for consideration include:

  • community-based blogging, digital storytelling, comics;
  • presentations, exhibitions, demonstrations;
  • videos, documentaries, vlogs;
  • community-coordinated case studies, teaching materials, pamphlets.

The Rural Humanities Summer Practicum guides and supports graduate students and advanced undergraduates in deepening locally-based public and engaged humanities projects that they have begun or are adequately prepared to undertake during this intensive 6-week program.

The 2021 Summer Practicum will be led by Gerard Aching, professor of Africana and Romance Studies, and Anna Sims Bartel, associate director for community-engaged curricula and practice for the Office of Engagement Initiatives, and will run from June 22 through August 3, with once-weekly group meetings on Tuesdays.

Participants in the Summer Practicum will each be awarded a grant of up to $8,000 to support their participation in the practicum and development of their projects. Up to $6,000 of this grant is designated for participant living expenses. Accepted participants should not accept other summer funding to support their living expenses. Up to $2,000 of this grant is available to support participant project expenses. Project budgets will be developed in collaboration with Summer Practicum instructors.

Application Guidelines

Current Cornell students who are not graduating in spring 2021 are eligible to apply. Please submit the following materials to by Monday, April 19, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. Items 1-3 should be compiled into a single .pdf.

  1. Cover page, including the applicant's name, NetID, degree program and field of study, and proposed project title
  2. A three-page project description that should detail how you plan to engage with the Rural Black Lives topic, including:
    • the project's goals and the preparatory work and planning that have already gone into the project
    • a description of anticipated deliverables by the end of the Practicum
    • a timeline for the project
  3. If already working with a particular community partner, a letter of support from them (only if applicable)
  4. A faculty letter of recommendation is required and should be sent under separate cover by the faculty member directly to


Questions may also be directed to You may also view the recording of our April 2 Q&A session here.