Theme for 2023-2025


To think about repair means to consider not just present conditions, but past circumstances of things and systems that we recognize as broken, or perhaps as having never functioned at all. Repair also encompasses future aspirations—the prospect of remediation, refurbishing, restoration. Devices and objects, of course, are often in need of repair, as are bodies, psyches, systems, environments, institutions, ideologies, cultures, histories… the list goes on.

The Humanities Research Center invites you to join our series of conversations around the theme of repair. The goal is to build multi-layered conversations about how various scholars and practitioners in the humanities and the arts mobilize the idea of repair, both through its embracing and contesting.

We will activate the theme of repair along two axes: (1) by organizing a two-year-long program featuring dialogic panels, workshops, and public lectures; and (2) by sponsoring or co-sponsoring interdisciplinary events and other collaborative programming.

In Spring 2024, the HRC is hosting its inaugural Repair event: Repair Conversation #1.

This interdisciplinary conversation will feature three Rice scholars representing distinct humanistic and artistic vantage points:

  • Alexander X. Byrd (Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Rice University; Associate Professor, Department of History; Co-Chair, Task Force on Slavery, Segregation and Racial Injustice, Rice University)
  • Lacy M. Johnson (Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of English)
  • Samuel Reis-Dennis (Assistant Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Philosophy and Medical Humanities Program)
  • Moderated by Graham Bader (Director, Humanities Research Center; Professor, Department of Art History)

Date: Friday, April 12, 2024
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 PM
Location: Humanities Building 117
Free lunch in the Humanities Courtyard to follow!

Repair Conversation 1 Flyer


The HRC invites proposals for interdisciplinary events, workshops, artist projects, reading groups, and research labs or collaboratories that engage with the idea of repair, as both promise and pretext.

We invite proposals that explore the global histories, contemporary challenges and opportunities, and/or possible futures that a focus on repair opens up. We also invite proposals that embrace the capaciousness of repair as a spark for collaboration, creation, and critical engagement.

Please check back in Fall 2024 for the next application cycle.

Proposal Guidelines:

  • Project title
  • Project type (event, workshop, artist project, reading group, research lab, or other project type as described)
  • Project description and budget as a single PDF (no more than 3 pages or 10MB):
    • Project description of no more than 500 words, including the following information:
      • ​​​project overview
      • whether you are planning for an in-person or remote event
      • projected event date(s)
      • the envisioned audience for the project (faculty, grads, undergrads, the wider public, etc.)
      • names and contact information of confirmed or potential participants/collaborators
    • Budget that indicates:
      • anticipated use of the requested funds
      • all funds sought or secured from other sources
      • to learn more about our recommended budget best practices, please consult the HRC budget guidelines document at HTTPS://RICE.BOX.COM/S/YZ00VAAK56NKFBUQ93C5QF5TBRXLA7SB (Rice login required).
  • If submitted by a graduate student, the application should also include an endorsement from a faculty member describing the value of the proposed project for the scholarly and professional advancement of the graduate student(s), and indicating their willingness to advise the project (brief statement). This endorsement should be emailed directly to Gabriela Garcia (GABRIELA.GARCIA@RICE.EDU) by the application deadline.

Please note that the HRC does not administer grants, and we currently cannot offer staff support. We now ask that applicants submit a staffing plan outlining which staff member(s) will provide administrative support for the grant and the event (via the proposal submission form). We also ask that you secure approval from the head of the staff member's unit (e.g., department chair) to use the staff member's time toward the proposed project.

The HRC generally makes awards of up to $5,000. Under exceptional circumstances, the HRC will consider a higher award amount. Budgets should consider that HRC funds support numerous events each academic year and are in high demand. Sums approved for visiting lectures, workshops, and conferences will depend on the scope and size of the event proposed. Award amounts will also depend on the applicant pool and the availability of funds. Applicants are encouraged to seek funding from units across campus in addition to any requests made to the HRC. Applicants for larger projects that envision budgets over $10,000 should consider funding from Creative Ventures.

For more information, please contact Dr. Gabriela Garcia at


Header Image: Darning Sampler, Dutch, 1797. Used to demonstrate and practice mending skills, darning samplers display a wide array of weaves, patterns, and colors.