CENTRO Accepting Applications for New Study Group on Post Disaster Futures with Bridging the Divides

The new study group seeks to study post disasters and the collective future in the context of Puerto Rico. Applications are due May 22, 2023.

The Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College seeks to convene a broad array of researchers, writers, thinkers, and creators from across Puerto Rico’s intellectual and geographic communities for collaborative study about our collective future. Building on CENTRO’s 50 year legacy of collaborative and interdisciplinary research the goal is to create benchmark publications, media products, and artistic projects that can help bridge our divides, create bridges of understanding, and forge new theoretical foundations, policy recommendations, and conceptual pathways to reimagine Puerto Rico’s future.

With support from the Mellon Foundation, CENTRO will kick off its second Bridging the Divides Study group in Fall of 2023 in collaboration with the Center for the New Economy in Puerto Rico, focused on questions of Disaster recovery and the creation of a post-disaster future. The conveners of the group are Dr. Yarimar Bonilla, Senior Director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, and Dr. Deepak Lamba-Nieves, Research Director at the Center for a New Economy.

The Post-Disaster Study Group will run from Fall 2023 to Summer 2024. The group will consist of two co-conveners and a core group of 12 scholars, journalists and artists/cultural workers from both Puerto Rico and the Diaspora assisted by a team of 4 research assistants. 

Members of the study group are expected to dedicate a minimum of 10 hours a week to their individual  projects and/or to the study group activities. This time will be spent in individual reading and writing for their project, but also in: biweekly zoom meeting, workshops, panels, round table discussions and public lectures. Members will also participate in two in-person retreats in Fall of 2023 and Spring of 2024. All meetings will be bilingual with interpretation provided, and final products will be available in both English and Spanish.

Final products from participants can include: books, essays, digital exhibitions, interviews, podcasts, artistic works and journalistic pieces aimed at informing the public. Group participants will have the full support of Centro librarians, archivists, data scientists, GIS specialists, and access to research assistants to support their work.

Scholars and creators with institutional affiliations will receive a fellowship in the amount of $20,000. These funds can be used for course buyouts, research costs (books, datasets, travel to archives, etc), summer salary or a stipend, depending on each scholar’s need. As part of their application, scholars will submit an individual budget request to be approved by the Project Director. 

Independent Artists, Cultural Workers, Journalists, and Scholars will receive a fellowship of $30,000 to support their work, payable in installments across the fellowship period.  (Artists from any tradition or field that would benefit from interdisciplinary research and collaboration are welcome to apply). 

The full call for papers can be read here in English or Spanish. Submissions will be evaluated by a bilingual advisory committee that will present recommendations to the co-conveners. 

  • The deadline to submit applications is May 22, 2023. Notification of acceptance of proposals will be sent during summer 2023. 
  • If accepted Applicants must be available for two in person retreats in September 2023 and April 2024 and to participate in weekly zoom meetings Wednesdays from 1-4pm EST.

Additionally, CENTRO will be hosting a virtual event on March 28th at 2pm ET featuring Centro’s Mellon grant coordinator, Cristel Jusino Díaz, and the Co-conveners of Centro’s new Decolonization Study Group for a brief discussion on Bridging the Divides. Guests interested in applying will be able to join, find out more about the study groups, and learn how they can be a part of the program!

For questions about this program please write to: mellonpr@hunter.cuny.edu

About the Center for Puerto Rican Studies (CENTRO)
Founded in 1973 by a coalition of students, faculty, and activists, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College (CENTRO) is the largest and oldest university-based research institute, library, and archive dedicated to the Puerto Rican experience in the United States. It provides support to students, scholars, artists, and members of the community at large across and beyond New York. Additionally, it produces original research, films, books, and educational tools and is the home of The Centro Journal—the premiere academic journal of Puerto Rican Studies. CENTRO’s aim is to create actionable and accessible scholarship to strengthen, broaden, and reimagine the field of Puerto Rican studies.

CENTRO is a treasured institution where researchers, academics, teachers, students, genealogists, filmmakers, and the community at-large find primary (historical documents) and secondary sources about the history and culture of the Puerto Rican diaspora. Most facilities, resources and programs in the City University of New York (CUNY) system are limited to affiliates of the University. In the case of CENTRO’s Library and Archives, non-circulating materials and resources are open and available for use by the public at large, irrespective of CUNY affiliation. CENTRO’s programs and services are similarly open to the broader community in New York City and beyond. Since  its inception, the institute has served as a site of encounter and collaboration between university affiliates and community members.

About the Mellon Foundation
The Mellon Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and we believe that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom to be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. Mellon makes grants in four core program areas: Arts and Culture; Higher Learning; Humanities in Place; and Public Knowledge.