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University of Wisconsin–Madison

First Book proposals due Oct. 14

Proposals Due: Monday, October 14, 2019

The Center for the Humanities is pleased to request applications for First Book, a program supporting the development of nearly completed scholarly manuscripts by tenure-track assistant professors in the humanities and related social sciences. This program is designed to provide helpful and timely feedback to junior faculty preparing their first academic book. 

Program Description:
The core of the program is a workshop organized by the Center for the Humanities in which two external and 5-7 internal reviewers are brought together to read and discuss a book manuscript by a junior faculty member at UW-Madison. The workshop structure will allow the reviewers and author to respond to one another’s comments and collectively devise strategies for improving (and placing) the manuscript. The goal is to turn solid and promising manuscripts into first-rate, field-shaping books.

The Center will carry all the costs for the program, including the printing and distribution of the manuscript to participating UW-Madison faculty and external reviewers identified by the author (in consultation with the Center Director); the travel, accommodation, and honoraria for the external reviewers; and the lunch following the workshop.

Eligibility and Criteria:
This program is open to all tenure-track, junior faculty in the humanities and related social sciences with manuscripts that are near completion, but still in a position to benefit from the review.

Proposals must be for the discussion of scholarly manuscripts. Authors and their book projects will be selected based on the potential significance of the finished work, and the potential impact of the book on the author’s career. Academic accomplishments also will be taken into account. 

The deadline to apply is Monday, October 14, 2019. Please visit the First Book section of our website ( for complete instructions on how to apply.

Questions should be directed to Megan Massino (
The Center’s First Book Award is supported by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, with funding from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, and the International Division.