Year in Review

Year in Review: 2021–2022

A twentieth-anniversary year in review. 2021–2022. A look back at our year celebrating twenty years of fellowship, scholarship, and innovation.

It has been a celebratory year here at UCHI. The year began with our return to in-person work after our completely virtual 2020–2021 academic year. For the first time since March 2020 fellows could use their offices, share thoughts around the coffee machine, and attend each other’s talks in our conference room. Visitors to the Institute could once again browse the fruits of fellowships past on our bookshelves, peruse past winners of the Sharon Harris Book Award, and attend post-event receptions in our collaborative space. And while that would be more than enough cause for celebration, this year we also commemorated the Institute’s 20th anniversary. Since its founding in 2001 UCHI has served as a hub for all things humanities at UConn. Over the years, we’ve embarked on projects like the Digital Humanities and Media Studies Initiative, invited brilliant speakers like Toni Morrison to campus, and offered time and space for work to over 250 fellows. We are incredibly proud of how the Institute has flourished over these twenty years. Here’s a look back at some of what we did as we celebrated twenty years of UCHI. (Click any image to see it full-size.)

Welcome Reception

The year began with our welcome reception, held outside Homer Babbidge Library. We were fortunate to have good weather as we gathered under the portico, seeing colleagues in person for the first time in a year and half. Director Michael Lynch addressed the gathered crowd, thanking UCHI’s founding director, Richard Brown, as well as administrators, fellows, and staff past and present for their support of the Institute, noting that, “We’ve come a long way in twenty years thanks to the work of so many—from a small suite of rooms in Austin to our expansive home here in the library, the intellectual center of campus.”

A crowd gathered outside the UConn library for the UCHI welcome reception.
UCHI director Michael Lynch stands at a podium giving a speech
The 2021–2022 UCHI fellows stand in a group at the welcome reception.

Humanities Undergraduate Research Symposium

In November, we welcomed a group of talented undergraduate humanities researchers to our conference room for the first student-run humanities research symposium at UConn. Students presented on topics from human rights to Shakespeare to Afrofuturism, attended a workshop about humanities-related careers, and listened to a keynote address by UCHI’s own Alexis Boylan. The student organizers, Madelon Morin-Viall, Aarushi Nohria, and Rylee Thomas deserve all the credit for spearheading what we hope will become an annual tradition.

The three organizers of the Humanities Undergraduate Research Symposium, Madelon Morin-Viall, Aarushi Nohria, and Rylee Thomas stand in front of a white wall.
A group of students sit at a conference table


We hosted both hybrid and Zoom-only events this year, inviting members of the UConn community and beyond to learn about publishing for the public, Black digital humanities, the artist Camille Billops, and more. We also co-sponsored more than a dozen events across campus and funded working groups that explored topics from political theory to the history of science.

UCHI fellows seated in the conference room.
UCHI fellow Sherie Randolph stands at a podium giving a talk
A group of people listen to a man speaking from a podium at a cosponsored event, “ Misinformation: Creating a Misfire for American Gun Policy“

Celebrating Twenty Years of Fellows

Throughout the year, we published interviews with past fellows about their experience at UCHI, their fellowship projects, and what they are working on now.

A quote from former fellow Allison Horrocks, "I spent many hours in a chair against one of the walls or bookcases in the UCHI conference room. I loved learning from the visiting fellows and seeing new and compelling work presented to a group of peers."
A quote from former fellow Kornel Chang: “A quote from former fellow Allison Horrocks, "I spent many hours in a chair against one of the walls or bookcases in the UCHI conference room. I loved learning from the visiting fellows and seeing new and compelling work presented to a group of peers."”
A quote from former fellow Joseph McAlhany: “The opportunity to present nascent ideas to a warm, encouraging, and diverse group of intellects was a true gift—their feedback opened up alternative paths of thought which would otherwise have remained hidden.”

Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones and Manisha Sinha talked history, race, journalism, and the nature of patriotism at our capstone event, attended (in person and online) by over 650 people. Hannah-Jones also met with UConn’s Faculty of Color Working Group, directed by Melina Pappademos.

Nikole Hannah-Jones and Melina Pappademos at a meeting of UConn's Faculty of Color Working Group.
Attendees arrive at the Student Union Theater for the Nikole Hannah-Jones event.
Nikole Hannah-Jones and Manisha Sinha sit facing each other on stage.
Nikole Hannah-Jones and Manisha SInha sit on stage in front of a large audience.

2020–2021: A Year in Review

UCHI 2020–21: A Year in Review

How do you measure a year on Zoom?


Number of virtual events: 31 webinars and 2 workshops

Total webinar attendance: 1520

Number of countries attendees zoomed in from: 30

Events interrupted by technical difficulties: 1


Pie chart showing fellows' self-reported estimated screen time per day. 4-6 hours: 26.7%; 6–8 hours: 26.7%; 8-10 hours: 40%; 10+ hours: 6.7%

Percentage of fellows who spend 8-10 hours looking at screens each day: 40

Average number of hours our fellows spent on Zoom/Webex/etc in a week: 7.4

Average attendance at fellows’ talks: 49

Largest audience for a fellow’s talk: 100

Percentage of fellows who completed 20–30% of their projects during the fellowship year: 60

Percentage of fellows who completed more than 30% of their projects during the fellowship year: 33.3

Pie chart showing fellows' self-reported estimated percentage of project completed during the fellowship year. 10-20% completed, 6.7%; 20–30% completed, 60%; more than 30% completed, 33.3%

Journal articles published or forthcoming: 9

Revised book manuscripts completed: 2

Poems published or forthcoming: 4

Fellowships awarded: 2

Literary agents acquired: 1

Percentage of fellows who are most looking forward to visiting freely with family and friends in a post-pandemic world: 40

Percentage of fellows who are especially excited to go to a museum or gallery after the pandemic: 20

Pie chart showing fellows' answers to the question "Of the options below, what are you especially excited to do in a post pandemic world?" Visit freely with family and friends: 40%; Eat in a restaurant: 0%; Go to the movies: 0%; Attend a live performance (a play, concert, etc.): 13.3%; Travel: 20%; Go to a museum, art gallery, or a similar cultural institution: 20%; host a gathering in your home: 6.7%

Number of applications for the 2021–22 Visiting Humanities Fellowship: 142

Number of 2021–22 Visiting Humanities Fellows: 2

Number of incoming 2021–22 fellows: 15

UCHI across campus

Number of active working groups: 9

Book support awards given: 5

Conferences, colloquia, and speakers funded: 17

Sharon Harris Book Award winners: 1 (plus an honorable mention)

UCHI on the Internet

Number of videos posted to YouTube: 19

Podcast episodes released: 7

Podcast episodes remaining in the Future of Truth season: 3

Number of tweets tweeted from @UCHI_UConn: 736

New England Humanities Consortium

New member institutions added to the current 11 institutions: 3

Projected participation in the Faculty of Color Working Group’s upcoming symposium: 57 (up from ~30 of the first symposium)

Active NEHC-funded collaborative projects: 7

What did our fellows and former fellows accomplish this year?

They published monographs: Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, Robert T. Chase, Alea Henle, Tracy Llanera, Jeremy PressmanPeter Zarrow
—-Forthcoming: Martha J. Cutter, The Many Resurrections of Henry Box Brown (University of Pennsylvania Press, March 2022), Jonathan Robins, Lani Watson

And edited collections: Asha Bhandary, Robert T. Chase, Rebecca Ruth Gould, Joseph Ulatowski
—-Forthcoming: Anke Finger, Robin Greeley

They published journal articles and book chapters: Alexander Anievas (plus these), Asha Bhandary, Rebecca Ruth Gould (these too), Jessica Linker, Jonathan Robins, Helen Rozwadowski (one more), Sara Silverstein, Nu-Anh Tran, Joseph Ulatowski (and a few more)
—-Forthcoming: Sean Frederick Forbes, “An Afro-Latino’s Poetic and Creative Hungers,” in Latinx Poetics Anthology, eds. Natalie Scenters-Zapico and Ruben Quesada (University of New Mexico Press, Spring 2021)

Reviews: Asha Bhandary, Sara Silverstein

Magazine articles: Scott Wallace (another, plus one in Mizzou Magazine, Spring 2021), Dimitris Xygalatas

And poetry: Kerry Carnahan (two more)
—-Forthcoming: Sean Frederick Forbes, Kerry Carnahan (a chapbook from Lettuce Run Books entitled “The Experience of Being a Cathedral”), Amanda Crawford (“Golden Grass,” in New Square Literary Magazine, Spring 2021)

They created digital projects: Asha Bhandary, Sarah Willen

Gave interviews: Andrea Celli, Sean Frederick Forbes, Rebecca Ruth Gould, Scott Wallace, Dimitris Xygalatas (plus these)

And talks: Sean Frederick Forbes, Rebecca Ruth Gould (plus this one), Joseph Ulatowski (this too), Scott Wallace (and more)

Did readings: Sean Frederick Forbes (and these too)

Were profiled in magazines and newspapers: Scott Wallace, Sarah Willen

Signed with literary agents: Amanda Crawford

Co-directed a summer institute: Mary K. Bercaw Edwards

They started or accepted new jobs: Jessica Linker

And fellowships: Nathan Braccio, Nicole Breault (plus this), Daniel Hershenzon, Jessica Linker, Debapriya Sarkar, Joseph Ulatowski (2021–22 Karol Wojtyla-Pope St John Paul II visiting residential fellow at the St John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin)

Won awards or grants: Jessica Linker (and this), Aimee Loiselle, Margo L. Machida, Sarah Willen (and more)

And were awarded tenure and/or promotion: Andrea Celli, Brendan Kane, Jeremy Pressman, Lynne Tirrell, and Michael E. Nagle

Congrats, all!

UCHI: A Year in Review

Thanks to the generous support of the University of Connecticut Provost’s OfficeGraduate School, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and UConn Foundation, as well as our own grants, we have had quite a productive year so far. We have been able to fund 13 residential fellowships this year, including three visiting fellows, six UConn faculties, and four UConn graduate dissertation fellows. We funded and co-sponsored various events and programs, including a lecture and book signing by celebrated author, Colson Whitehead, presentations by award-winning and celebrated scholars and activities, Annette Vee, Rebecca Traister, and Aruna D’Souza, and the rare chance to see a performance by distinguished flamenco guitar player, Oscar Herrero.

We also welcomed World Poetry Books, the only publisher in the United States dedicated solely to publishing books of international poetry in English Translation, and we kicked off our The Future of Truth initiative with a 275,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. We work hard to cultivate creativity among scholars of the arts and humanities at UConn, but we also find inspiration in the achievements and successes of our fellows, long after they leave UCHI. 


Here is a snapshot of what we have achieved in just a few short months: