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Call for Applications

Writing Beyond the Academy: A Workshop

The Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan, in cooperation with the Association for Jewish Studies and the Jewish Studies Program at American University, announces a five-day seminar to help academics develop skills for sharing their expertise with wider publics and engaging diverse audiences beyond the university’s walls. Participants will workshop their own pre-prepared writing samples and participate in instructional seminars on topics such as writing op-eds, personal essays, trade book proposals, narrative nonfiction, and cultural criticism, as well as public speaking and managing social media. The workshop will be held June 11 – 16, 2017 at the University of Michigan and will be led by Samuel Freedman, award-winning author of Jew vs Jew: The Struggle for the Soul of American Jewry, professor of journalism at Columbia University, and columnist for The New York Times, and will feature additional instructional guests.

Applications will be accepted on a competitive basis from among the membership of the Association for Jewish Studies, with a submission deadline of January 11, 2017.  We expect to have 12 participants from across all academic ranks and positions (contingent faculty, permanent faculty, etc). Participants will be expected to come to the workshop with 1 to 2 works-in-progress. These can include editorials, personal essays, cultural criticism essays, narrative non-fiction pieces, trade book proposals, or similar works intended for non-academic audiences.

The workshop and hotel accommodations will be paid for by the Frankel Center, with support from AJS and American University. Participants will be responsible for travel to Ann Arbor and all other expenses, including most meals, incurred during their stay. Travel subsidies are available, on a competitive basis, for those in need, such as contingent and adjunct faculty and post-doctoral fellows.

Accepted participants will be required to pay a non-refundable $100 registration fee to reserve their spot in the program.

Applicants must be members of the Association for Jewish Studies for the 2016-2017 membership year and engaged in Jewish Studies as a faculty member (contingent, pre-tenure, tenured). Applicants must have earned their Ph.D. by December 31, 2016.

Applications are due by January 11, 2017. Applicants must submit all materials online through Interfolio. AJS will send out notifications by the first week of February. Applicants will be required to submit:

  • A CV
  • A writing sample (no longer than 30 pages)
  • A personal statement, no longer than one page single-spaced, explaining your interest in this workshop. Please make sure to address the following questions: Why do you think your work has the potential to reach audiences beyond the academy? Why do you want your work to reach wider audiences, beyond the scholarly community? What, specifically, do you want to share about your work or Jewish Studies? What skills specifically do you want to develop in this workshop?

Click here to apply.

Questions? Contact Amy Weiss, AJS Grants and Communications Coordinator, at or 917.606.8249.

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