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Hume Humanities Honors Fellowship rings in its fourth year with diverse cohort of Stanford seniors


The 2016-17 Hume Undergraduate Honors Fellows are researching topics that vary from Catalan popular music to International Courts in the former Yugoslavia. The fellows, who hail from a broad range of humanities majors, are, from left to right: Alina Utrata, Alyssa Vann, Holly Dayton, Victoria Saenz, Michael Gioia, Ben Musachio, Alex Zivkovic, and Liz Fischer.
Photo Credit: 
Kent Safford

Eight Stanford undergraduates have been selected to be 2016-17 Hume Humanities Honors Fellows at the Stanford Humanities Center.

The academic-year fellowship began as a three-year pilot program in 2013 and is granted to seniors writing an honors thesis in a humanities department. This year, the finalists were nominated by faculty advisors across the humanities departments, programs, and centers at Stanford. Of note is that out of 187 students who graduated from Stanford with a major in the humanities, 97 of them wrote honors theses.

Hume fellows receive a stipend for research project materials, a shared workspace, and participate in a variety of group activities at the Humanities Center, where they interact with graduate student and faculty fellows. Their year at the Center is meant to deepen their scholarly focus toward the humanities and expose them to advanced and inspiring research. Throughout the year, they meet regularly with academic staff from the Humanities Center to present their work and address research goals and writing strategies. In June, they each present their work to the assembled Humanities Center faculty and graduate student fellows in a final symposium.

Former Hume fellows have been the recipients of several noteworthy accolades. Maya Krishna, a 2014-15 Hume Undergraduate Honors fellow majoring in philosophy with a minor in computer science and classics, was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and was also named one of “30 Top Thinkers Under 30” by Pacific Standard Magazine. Sarah Sadlier, a 2015-16 Hume Undergraduate Honors Fellow, received the 2016 James W. Lyons Award for Service for her leadership and advocacy of the Native American community on the Stanford campus and beyond.

This year’s cohort is particularly diverse, with majors including English, History, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Art History, Iberian and Latin American Cultures, and Comparative Literature, with minors as varied as Computer Science, Theater & Performance Studies, and International Relations.
Among the research topics this year’s Hume fellows are tackling are WWI-era theater, Catalan popular music, and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

We asked each of the Stanford seniors to share how they first became interested in their thesis topic, their research methods, and some of the more surprising aspects of their findings so far. You can read the Q&A interviews with the 2016-2017 Hume Undergraduate Fellows here.