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Announcing the Society of Fellows 2024-25 Theme: CARE | CULTURE | JUSTICE

October 26, 2023

Announcing the Society of Fellows 2024-25 Theme: CARE | CULTURE | JUSTICE

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“Care is linked to justice because without care there is no reason to value justice and no possibility of its realization. It is also a way of understanding justice — not as punitive or disciplinary but as a relationship grounded in recognition and reciprocity.”

Honor Ford-Smith and Beverley Hanson
“Justice as a Labor of Care” 

Who provides care and for whom? Who and what do we care about? How do we cultivate more caring relations across differences? Across borders? Within ourselves? How might we envision a more caring and just politics? How might collective care offer strategies for enduring and thriving in precarious, disabling environments? How do we build agile infrastructures to resource wider forms of care to address global health disparities? What opportunities emerge if care is centralized at every scale of life — including non-human forms? How is care inherent to the arts and humanities? What role can the arts and humanities play in expanding our capacity to care? 

The Society of Fellows’ 2024-25 theme, CARE | CULTURE | JUSTICE, invites applicants to reflect on how care and caring relations operate in local and global contexts. This year’s theme will foreground care as an interdisciplinary investigation. It approaches care as a cultural practice that alerts us to the ethical and political obligations that arise from explicit claims of harm and everyday requirements for nutrition, shelter, bodily integrity, education, health and social belonging. Care is a cornerstone of social movements, a survival strategy and a catalyst for social change.

Scholars, artists, activists and practitioners have turned to theories of care to analyze the material conditions and discourses that shape differential risk and harm and to recalibrate public responses to these conditions. At stake are newly-imagined conceptions of obligation, sustainability, responsibility and justice. The Society of Fellows welcomes projects that focus on care discourses, aesthetics, practices and policies across historical periods and in different parts of the world — including projects that approach cultural heritage and cultural production as acts of care.

CARE | CULTURE | JUSTICE understands care as a means of imagining more equitable and life-affirming relations. The Society of Fellows welcomes projects that examine socio-political and structural interrelations of gender, race, ethnicity, class, ability, sexuality and nationality as they relate to care and care as labor. The theme also engages the paradoxes of care economies and technologies as in the governance of care through ableist and punitive frameworks, such as the criminalization of addiction.

With CARE | CULTURE | JUSTICE, the Society of Fellows is particularly interested in supporting projects that explore care in terms of lived experiences through the vitality of the arts, culture and history. Community-engaged research and creative projects that operationalize collective care are also welcome, including collaborative projects with non-profit organizations, clinics and mutual aid networks, projects that focus on public education and public policy and proposals invested in disability justice, transformative access and cross-movement organizing.