The JHU Program in Racism, Immigration, and Citizenship (RIC) inaugurated its Democracy Dialogue Awards in 2021. These prizes advance and document intellectual exchanges between JHU doctoral students and more established scholars. They also create a published record of the interlocked making of scholarly and political practice.

Our Democracy Dialogue Awards allow graduate students to interview a writer whose published work combines methodological innovation with a civic imperative for justice. RIC remains keenly interested in welcoming scholars whose contributions demonstrate a commitment to reparation, community rootedness, and/or a redressive end to institutional racism. It also invites doctoral students who aspire to have discussion with a writer/teacher whose work they’ve admired.  

Applications [now closed]

RIC calls on JHU doctoral students to submit a proposal for a dialogue with a “dream” scholar. In 500–750 words, the proposal should outline the following: Who is the scholar you would like to interview? What work of theirs has inspired your desire to dialogue and what kinds of questions would you like to ask, be they theoretical, methodological, biographical, empirical, or political? What ideas of your own would you like them to consider? And why are you the appropriate candidate to interview this scholar? Also, if you’d like RIC’s assistance in pitching this dialogue to a particular publication, do say so in your proposal as well. We intend to publish each conversation as part of RIC’s new series on Democracy Dialogues.

Attentive to power dynamics within the American academy, RIC attests that winning proposals will not necessarily be those that nominate a high-profile scholar. Our Democracy Dialogues could include an untenured or contingently employed scholar. It could also be with someone who has a PhD but works outside the academy. Each winning proposal will be chosen based on originality, its congruence with RIC themes, and its persuasiveness. 

NOTE: Do not contact the proposed scholar before submission of your proposal. This project is designed to allow graduate students to meet scholars whom they have not already met and to develop a new relationship.

Once a winner is chosen, RIC will work with the winner to facilitate the dialogue with the scholar, including recording, transcribing, editing, and publication. The winner of the award will receive a grant of $2000. And the chosen scholar will also receive a stipend for their participation.