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The Whiting Fellowships in Humanities were established in 1973 to support outstanding, advanced dissertation writers in humanities Ph.D. programs. Seven graduate schools participate: Bryn Mawr College, the University of Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale universities. Fellows are selected by the faculty and the Dean at each institution. The criteria for selection are outstanding performance and scholarly promise, and the likelihood that the student will complete his/her dissertation within 18 months of the award of the fellowship. The Fellowship provides a stipend that is intended to permit full-time work on the dissertation, without reliance on part-time employment. Since 1973, approximately 2,300 graduate students have been supported by Whiting Fellowships. Most are now teaching in colleges and universities, although a significant minority have undertaken non-academic careers.
How amazing that the most advanced capitalist society on earth should have so many of its children turning towards an art form that is bound to make them overworked and underpaid. Have they intuited that poetry can put them in contact with some necessary mystery, or value, or sense of reality, that this narcotizing culture has increasingly deprived them of?
Whiting Writers’ Award Winner 1985