Call for course proposals: Blast Courses in the Humanities, summer 2021

Current graduate students in the humanities or adjacent fields are invited to submit proposals for five-week, remote courses for the Blast Courses in the Humanities program for summer 2021.

About the program

Sponsored by the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute, Blast Courses are entry-level explorations of a topic in the humanities. These free, twice-weekly classes will introduce students, of any experience level or background, to specific topics in the humanities and the general mission of the humanities to inform, enrich, inspire, and connect people through critical thinking and knowledge. Blast Course students will have minimal-to-no outside reading/writing beyond class meeting periods. The purpose of these courses (10-12 to run in summer 2021) is to bring JHU grad students' expert teaching and research to students who do not usually make up our student body.

There are three course formats: A) Two pre-recorded, asynchronous videos per week (M/F), including one ~50-55 minute lecture + one Q&A video based on student feedback; B) one ~50-55 min. asynchronous lecture + one ~50 minute synchronous class meeting; OR C) one to two synchronous class discussion meetings per week, totaling ~2 hours. Suggested enrollments: Format A, no cap; Format B, 25 students; Format C, 20 students.

  • For 2021, one course slot will be reserved for a Baltimore-based topic.
  • Instructor stipend is $2,000 for the Summer 2021 term.

Click here to read about the program and the specific Blast Courses from 2020.

For more info or questions, contact Shira Dingle (

To apply

Applicants should provide the following to AGHI administrator Shira Dingle ( by Friday, April 9:

  1. Proposal letter, including description of proposed course, teaching experience, and any tech support needs that will need to be covered by the program. Instructors should mention:
  • How this course is appropriate for entry-level students
  • Their own funding status (as preference will be given to late-stage grad students
    who are near or past the end of their departmental funding).
  • How their chosen course format (A, B, or C) and preferred enrollment cap will factor into their teaching
  1. Basic (1–2 pages) course proposal, outlining course description, five-week agenda, Format (A, B, or C), preferred enrollment cap, and any additional requirements or recommendations (e.g., reading list or materials) for students;
  2. One brief faculty letter of endorsement/reference (emailed to Shira Dingle).

The deadline is April 9, 2021. Selected instructors will be notified by the end of April. Program will run Monday, July 5, through Friday, Aug. 6 (five weeks).