Before 'Farm to Table' — Fellowships

Call for Applications

Before beginning your application, please be sure to review the Rules and Requirements for the Folger Institute Fellowships Program. You can also consult the FAQs for further information.


Before 'Farm to Table' Fellowships

Deadline: Sept. 1, 2018

Amount: $10,000 for one semester of residence at the Folger (either Spring or Fall 2019)

Submit materials to: jmacdonald@folger.edu


Before 'Farm to Table': Early Modern Foodways and Cultures, the inaugural project of the Folger Institute’s Mellon initiative in collaborative research, announces a competition for semester-long fellowships to be held in residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library in one of two semesters: either Spring 2019 or Fall 2019, for three to four months.  Each Before 'Farm to Table' fellow will be awarded $10,000 for work in the Folger collections on topics relating to early modern food and foodways in the British world, broadly conceived.

The Before 'Farm to Table' project uses the pervasiveness of food in everyday life as a window into early modern culture. Food, then as now, is a basic human need. It also has a history and is a gateway to understanding society and culture. In the course of this project, we will investigate big questions about the way food participates in and actively shapes human knowledge, ethics, and imagination. Such issues as the unevenness of food supply, the development and spread of tastes with their darker supply sides of enslaved labor, and the socially cohesive rituals of eating together will be explored. With fresh understandings of a pre-industrial world, this project also gives us purchase on some post-industrial assumptions, aspirations, and challenges encapsulated in any idea of recovering simpler, local, and sustainable food chains.

To apply for the Before 'Farm to Table' fellowship, please submit the following:

  1. 250-word abstract of your project.
  2. 1,000-word description of your project, placing particular emphasis upon the ways that you intend to work with the Folger’s collections and how you position your project in a multidisciplinary conversation.
  3. Two-page CV.
  4. One-to-two page list of primary sources, rare materials, or digital assets you wish to consult at the Folger Library.  This list will be used to help determine the viability of your project in view of the availability, condition, and conservation or exhibition status of the Folger’s collections. 
  5. The names of two recommenders, who will submit letters separately.

Applications will be evaluated by a multidisciplinary team of scholars affiliated with Before 'Farm to Table'. The committee is charged with evaluating applications based on the proposed topic’s impact, its relevance to the field, the originality and sophistication of the scholar’s approach, the feasibility of the scholar’s research objectives, and their expected use of Folger collections. 

Scholars must hold a Ph.D. in their field in order to apply for this fellowship.  

All materials originating from the applicant (abstract, project description, CV, list of sources) should be compiled into a single pdf and sent to Before 'Farm to Table' Project Coordinator Jonathan MacDonald via email at jmacdonald@folger.edu with the subject line “BFT Fellowship Application.”  All letters of recommendation should be sent directly to jmacdonald@folger.edu with the subject line “BFT Fellowship Application” and the applicant’s last name.

Questions about eligibility and process can be directed to Before 'Farm to Table' Project Coordinator Jonathan MacDonald (jmacdonald@folger.edu) or to Before 'Farm to Table' Co-Director and Folger Associate Director for Fellowships Dr. Amanda E. Herbert (aherbert@folger.edu).

The Folger Shakespeare Library believes that each individual has the right to work in a professional, supportive, and safe atmosphere, and in our fellowships program we do not discriminate on the basis of age; color; creed; citizenship status; disability status; ethnicity; family responsibilities; gender identity or expression; genetic information; gender non-conformity; marital status; national origin; neurodiversity status; physical or cognitive functionality, symptoms, or limitations; political affiliation; pregnancy; race; religion; sex; sex stereotyping; sexual or asexual orientation; student status; transgender status; or veteran status.