The American Studies Association is pleased to invite regional chapters of the Association to apply to the ASA for grants to support the development of conferences and other projects at the regional level. The grants will support conferences and projects developed by regional chapters that seek to distinguish themselves from conferences and projects of the national ASA. Regional American Studies organizations have a wide range of constituencies, organizations, resources and needs that the national organization and its conferences and programs may not adequately recognize or serve. These grants are intended to bridge this gap by providing financial resources to enable regional chapters to develop programming, in the form of conferences or other projects, that engages both American Studies practitioners and others interested in the field within a specific region in an original and creative manner.
Deadline: March 1, 2016.
Grants will be available for conference/project proposals that articulate and demonstrate a commitment to unique approaches for regional chapter programming. Such proposals should take advantage of the resources, both human and material, within the region. Funded proposals must demonstrate an ability to take regional programming beyond a format defined simply by papers responding to a given theme, and an ability to bring people outside the academic foundations of American Studies into the discussions such programming engenders. Awards will range from $500 to $3,000.
1.What are the objectives of the grants?
The American Studies Association’s Regional Chapter Grant Program seeks to acknowledge the vital contribution of regional chapters to the ongoing development of American Studies by making awards to conference/project proposals that enhance innovative American Studies research, teaching and scholarship through their involvement at the regional and local levels, and that encourage broader participation at those regional and local levels. As the grants forge new relationships between regional chapters and the various constituencies they serve, they should simultaneously strengthen the relationship between the ASA and regional chapters.
The ASA will give priority to proposals that meet at least one of the following objectives:
a. Innovative conferences/projects that develop/expand American Studies participation into the communities and/or countryside of a specific region, or that invite the communities and/or countryside of that region into the conferences/projects themselves as something other than the disembodied topics of papers. We are interested in funding proposals that see the individual region as a fertile ground for intellectual exploration that is, while desired, not practically possible at the national level.
b. Conferences/projects that seek to create links between regional American Studies programs and regional public-sector organizations and institutions. Regional chapters have a wealth of such organizations and institutions, ranging from libraries to local and state museums and historical societies to state humanities councils to NEH regional centers, that share an interest in the study of American culture(s). We are interested in funding proposals that develop that shared interest into a more formal association that mutually benefits all participants.
c. Regional conferences/projects that further the goals of the ASA K-16 initiative. Regional chapters are uniquely situated to provide opportunities for the participation of educators and pupils not linked to major universities or their graduate programs. We are interested in funding proposals that create possibilities for the involvement in regional activities of both teachers and students not at a graduate level, whether in regional public schools or private academies, community colleges, or four-year baccalaureate institutions.
d. Regional conferences/projects that further the goals of the ongoing ASA international initiative. In specific, regional chapters offer a particularly fruitful means of facilitating an ongoing conversation between international scholars of American Studies and Americanists here, as the multiple cultures that have shaped U.S. culture have done so first and foremost at the local and regional level. We are interested in funding proposals that offer unique ways of creating interactions between national and international scholars at a regional level.
Recipients of regional chapter grants must state in publicity and dissemination materials that the conference/project awarded a grant is funded in part by the ASA.
2. What are examples of types of projects that will be funded?
Below is a list of types of conferences/projects that might be funded. This list is not exhaustive. The ASA is interested in creative approaches to regional American Studies activities and welcomes proposals outlining projects both similar to and different from those listed.
*Conferences/projects that make their sites themselves a significant part of conference activity, through special sessions or panels involving regional/local citizens and officials, and exploration of the local area.
*Conferences/projects that provide a forum for regional cultural production/performance: music, art, poetry, photography, etc.
*Conferences/projects that make significant links, via co-sponsorship, a hosting arrangement, and/or special conference sessions, with regional and local public-sector groups. Such arrangements might include anything from a jointly sponsored conference with a state historical society to using a museum or library as a conference site to sessions involving local or state governmental officials.
*Conferences/projects that provide opportunities for the involvement of teachers and students from regional or local public schools, private academies, community colleges, or four-year baccalaureate programs.
*Conferences/projects that explore in depth the contribution a specific culture or multiple cultures have made to a given region. Such conferences would also include the meaningful participation of representatives of that culture or cultures in both planning and programming.
*Conferences/projects that develop that connection, or other possible themes or sessions, to include a visiting international scholar of American Studies.
3. Who may apply?
This request for proposals is intended for all regional chapters of the American Studies Association. The grants are not intended to serve as an ongoing source of funding; while the first recipients may apply for future grants, preference will be given to chapters pursuing new initiatives. This request for proposals is not intended for use by other ASA committees, boards, or task forces.
4. What funding is available?
Total funding, which is drawn initially from a pool of unclaimed ASA rebates to regional chapters, is currently $10,000. The ASA intends to award a limited number of grants ranging from $500 to $3,000. Priority will be given to proposals that address specifically the objectives listed above.
5. What is the period of the grant?
The grants will fund conferences held between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017.
6. How and when to apply?
One (1) copy of the attached application form plus a five-page, double-spaced narrative proposal must be submitted to the ASA Regional Chapter Grant Program, by March 1, 2016. The narrative should include: statement of need, including description of regional demographics, conference/project themes and objectives, plans to publicize the conference/project within the region, budget, and appendices, including letters of support and cooperation from individuals and/or organizations involved in the conference/project (as needed). Grant announcements will be made by June 1, 2016.
A complete package of the application materials, including letters of support, must be postmarked by March 1, 2016, and mailed to: ASA Regional Chapters Grant Program, 1120 19th St. NW, Suite 301, Washington, DC 20036. All application materials should be assembled by the submitter(s) and submitted additionally to the ASA electronically in the form of a single PDF to email@example.com
7. Who reviews the proposals and what are the selection criteria?
Proposals will be reviewed by the executive committee of the ASA Council, which will make final funding decisions based on the following criteria:
a. Demonstrated need of the worth of the proposal, including beneficiaries within the given region;
b. Clear response to one or more of the objectives defined in Section 1;
c. Clear demonstration, when warranted, that the conference/project will work closely with individuals, organizations and institutions defined as partners in the proposal;
d. Innovation in concept, organization, and/or participation;
e. Clear demonstration of efficient conference/project management;
f. Use of proposal as model for future proposals from other regions (replicability).
Please be sure to follow the instructions. If you have any questions, please contact the ASA Office of Executive Director at (202) 467-4783 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
A complete package of the application materials, including letters of support, must be postmarked by March 1, 2016, and mailed to: ASA Regional Chapters Grant Program, 1120 19th St. NW, Suite 301, Washington, DC 20036.
All application materials should be assembled by the submitter(s) and submitted additionally to the ASA electronically in the form of a single PDF via the online submission form here: Online Submission Form. You may also ship the application PDF via Dropbox to (email@example.com).