Contact Professor Amelie Hastie, Director of the Schupf Fellows Program, for more information
If you are interested in becoming a Schupf Fellow, you will complete an application that maps out your research subject, including one to three central research questions, your potential methods of inquiry, your rationale or interest in the project itself, and previous coursework that helps to anchor your subject. Bear in mind that you will be working approximately 40 hours a week for 8 weeks on your research project, which means that you will spend roughly 500 hours on this project! That’s likely more than twice the time you devote to a semester-long course. Therefore, try to imagine a subject of inquiry that is appropriate to that time span — a deep dive into a topic that will enable you both to expand and refine your research subject. In essence, you’re looking for a sweet spot between a broad category of inquiry (“the history of women artists”) and a narrower point of focus (“Iranian women filmmakers” or “US women painters of the 21st century”). Here are some ideas and questions that might help guide you as you develop a research subject and a plan of inquiry:
- Remember that limits can actually be productive, allowing you to find imaginative vectors within a circumscribed framework. Limits can come in the form of an era, a location, a field of study, a grouping of objects, and so on. Limits can also function as foundations for further study, either within the 8-week period of your Schupf Fellowship or as you continue your studies at the undergraduate or even graduate level.
- Understand your potential outcomes of your research. Rather than thinking in terms of a book or a blog post, imagine a twenty-page essay. What research is required for an academic work of this scope? You might look at examples of such essays from courses you’ve taken; consider the bibliographies as well as the scope of the research questions in works of this length.
- Think about questions, texts, media forms, or fields that have already been the basis of your studies at Amherst. How can you utilize the work you have already done as a foundation for your independent research? In other words, you are not starting from scratch here, but rather building on strengths, knowledge, and experience that you’ve already cultivated.
- Finally, focus on a field/text/subject that excites you! You’ll have the incredible opportunity to live with this work for eight weeks. Choose something that incites your passion and your curiosity!
You will have the chance to talk about your ideas — no matter what stage you’re currently in — at the information session. If you can’t attend that workshop, you may contact Professor Amelie Hastie, Director of the Schupf Fellows Program, directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.