Schomburg-Mellon Humanities Summer Institute

Schomburg-Mellon Humanities Summer Institute Returns After One Year Break 

Always pushing Black excellence.....

The New York Public Library system recently announced the return of the Schomburg-Mellon Humanities Summer Institute after taking a break in 2023. 

The popular program, held at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York, is designed for college students of color and beyond who desire to learn about African American, African, and African Diaspora Studies in pursuit of their Ph. D.s in the humanities. Restarting in summer 2024, the program is scheduled to run from June 17 through July 19. 

Open only to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, the institute consists of a five-week fellowship for 10 rising students entering their senior year in fall 2024 and anticipating graduation in 2025. While the in-person course will be held in New York, where no historically Black colleges and universities are located, HBCU students are highly encouraged to apply.

The program details highlight full-day mandatory sessions with breaks. Each seminar will be led by a respected scholar who will mentor participants. All students will have assigned readings and archival research, and they will have the opportunity to travel to some local cultural institutions. 

Room and board are provided, and a $4,000 stipend covers most out-of-state transportation costs. However, participants of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program, a cohort that has produced more than 1,100 Ph. D.s, do not qualify for the stipend. 

Applicants are encouraged to meet all eligibility requirements, or the application is at risk of not being considered. 

There is also a strict application process. Students interested must submit an official or student copy of a transcript plus a letter of recommendation from at least one faculty member at the applicant’s college or university. A research statement and personal statement–both at least 500 words–are required, as is a personal resume.

The Schomburg Center has been a staple of Black excellence and culture for decades. Described as “where every month is Black History Month,” they host various events for all ages to enjoy. In January 2024, the center celebrated the 150th birthday of Afro-Puerto Rican historian Arturo Schomburg with a Transcribe-A-Thon. A number of volunteers transcribed his words and documented his journey of exploring Black contributions around the world. 

With something for everyone, the research center is preparing for fans from across the tri-state area to join them for the 12th annual Black Comic Book Festival, held on April 26 and April 27, with sessions on how to draw superheroes and uplifting Black LGBTQ+ comics.