Call for Proposals 2023

2023 – APRIL/Auburn

Summer Colloquium


7-21 July, New York City

Memorials and monuments are contested spaces. Memoirs are a popular genre in publishing. Memories often make or break court cases. Many people fear losing memory as they grow older. One scholar has discussed “religion as a chain of memory”; certainly the myths and rituals of religious traditions help us remember, even while history often lies in an uneasy relationship to memory.

Memories are all around us, enabling a human sense of identity, belonging, and exclusion, as our relationships with our personal and public pasts are negotiated, discussed, rewritten, and disputed.

The 2023 APRIL/Auburn summer colloquium invites applications from artists, activists, and academics working on topics or projects that deal with the theme of memory broadly conceived. Colloquium fellows will share their own projects with others as they develop new insights that investigate the sometimes fraught, sometimes illuminating theme of memory.

Fellows are named Coolidge Fellows and provided with the following:

  • travel to and from New York City;
  • room and board for two weeks in July 2023;
  • access to nearby libraries;

Fellows ordinarily spend days researching, creating, writing, and discussing, while daily seminars allow for sharing of individual projects.

Applications will be accepted starting in December. Deadline for applications is February 15, 2023.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact us at:  [email protected]

Please note that we are planning for an in-person, residential colloquium.


The APRIL/Auburn summer colloquium has run for over two decades. It is open to artists, activists, academics, and community leaders who work in critical and creative ways with the year’s theme. Preference is given to those applicants who express clear interest in the topic, based on their recent work, and who offer critical and creative plans for the public circulation of their colloquium research. This may take the form of a scholarly book or article; the development of teaching curricula for secondary or higher education; the creation of a documentary film; curation of a museum exhibition; written essays in public media; and/or supply the basis for informed community activism.

We would especially like to encourage participants to contribute to APRIL’s flagship publication, the journal CrossCurrents, and/or its online magazine “The Commons,” though this is not a requirement of acceptance to the colloquium.

COVID vaccination is required for all participants in the colloquium, with the exception of those who have specific, documented medical conditions that preclude vaccination. The health and safety of our summer scholars and our fellow New Yorkers comes first.

Civil Discourse

APRIL/Auburn summer colloquia are intended to be stimulating places for sharing ideas and inspirations on what can be difficult topics. We will look at significant recent and historical events, examine key texts, and discuss complicated and divisive issues. We ask that each colloquium member participate in establishing a dialogue designed for the benefit of all involved, one that aims to foster a sense of community for people who act in the world for positive change.

To that end, we expect that all colloquium contributors will foster an ethos of openness and respect, upholding the ideal of civil discourse. All colloquium presentations and discussions should be:

    • firmly grounded in thoughtful analysis, including rigorous academic/scientific/peer-reviewed studies
    • conducted without partisan advocacy
    • respectful of divergent views
    • free of ad hominem commentary
    • devoid of bias based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, disability, or other criteria of identity

Our conversations together will touch on politically charged questions about religious life, identity, and the proper steps for moving forward. The facilitators of the colloquium will strive to create an environment for respectful discussion of these issues, and we expect our colloquium fellows to do the same.

Application Timeline and Materials

Applications for the APRIL/Auburn colloquium are due by 11:59 pm EST, on Wednesday, February 15. Applicants will be notified of the admission committee’s decisions by March 15, 2023. If you are admitted, you will have until April 15, 2023 to accept or decline the offer of admission.

Application materials should be submitted through this Google Form (below), with the exception of a reference letter which your referee must email to  [email protected] by the application deadline.

The Google form will ask basic information about you and your work, including:

    • a resume or curriculum vitae (not to exceed three pages) detailing your qualifications and professional experience
    • three questions about the past, present, and future of your relevant work, described in more detail below
    • a confiden­tial letter of reference, described in more detail below

Your resume and application can be uploaded through the Google Form. Your reference letter must be emailed by your referee to maintain confidentiality. Applications without all three components will be considered incomplete, and will not be reviewed.

Application Essay

Your application essay should adhere to the guidelines stated on the Google Forms document. In 1-2 paragraphs each, you will be asked to address:

    1. Your past work on the topic, and your interest in continuing to find its significance in your religious, social, educational, and/or political environment.
    2. Any special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would allow you to make a distinctive contribution to the colloquium’s learning community
    3. Evidence that participation in the colloquium will have an impact on your own work, whether in teaching, creative works, activist work, or other. Be specific about how the colloquium will foster your work and the influence it might have on the places in which you work.

Reference Letter

One confidential letter of reference must be emailed by your referee to [email protected] by the February 15 application deadline. It should speak to your qualifications as an educator, activist, artist, and/or scholar.


Go to the Google Form here