Collaboration Grants

The John Carter Brown Library (JCB) Brown Collaboration Grants are designed to foster new directions in humanities research and catalyze innovative partnerships across disciplines, departments, and communities on Brown University's campus. With one of the world’s premier collections of primary materials related to the settlement, conquest, and exploration of the New World to 1825, the JCB invites Brown University faculty, researchers, graduate students and undergraduates to submit proposals that focus on areas that probe new ways of using the Library’s world class collection. Proposals related to the Library’s ongoing programming initiatives, including those in environmental history, indigenous studies, book history, history of science, travel writing and the production of ethnographic knowledge, visual and material culture studies, the revolutionary Americas, and the Americas in a global context, are especially welcome. Thanks to a generous donation from the Joukowsky Family Foundation, we are able to provide these opportunities for a fourth year. 

2017-2018 John Carter Brown Library (JCB) Brown Collaboration Grants


Collaborative and interdisciplinary proposals are especially encouraged (e.g., faculty within and across departments and Brown faculty/student collaborations), as are partnerships with other regional, national, or international institutions.


Funds of up to $2, 500 per proposal are meant to support symposia, innovative scholarly meetings, lectures or seminar series, workshops, and any other such activities (ideally with a public dimension) that relate to the JCB’s overall mission and collection. In general, all proposed activities should take place at the JCB or have at least one component specifically conceived for the JCB. JCB Brown Collaboration Grants (including one especially designated for graduate students and undergraduates*) will be granted for events and activities to take place from October 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018; JCB staff will assist with logistical support.

*Please note graduate students and undergraduates can apply for grants only in conjunction with a faculty sponsor.* 

Application process

Applicants should submit a brief (2 page maximum) proposal describing the project, event series, and/or initiative they wish the JCB to support, with a list of collaborators at Brown and elsewhere. CVs and other supplementary information is welcome and may be requested. Proposals will be evaluated by the JCB and should be sent to:

Tara Kingsley, Coordinator of Academic Programming and Public Outreach

The John Carter Brown Library | Box 1894 | Providence, RI | [email protected]


The deadline to submit proposals is Friday, September 15, 2017, although applications will be read and adjudicated on a rolling basis.


Past Collaboration Grants 

2015-16 New Initiative Collaboration Grants

These collaboration grants were designed to foster new directions in humanities research and catalyze innovative partnerships across disciplines and departments on campus. The grantees and their sponsors came from the following departments and centers on the Brown campus: the Department of American Studies and Ethnic Studies; Department of English; Department of History; Department of the History of Art and Architecture; Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies; the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World; and the Brown University Library.

  • "The Axial Americas"  A project that brought historians, art historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists to the Brown campus and the JCB to discuss objects that traverse geographical space, especially those that cross the Equator along a North-South axis in the Americas. Chocolate, emeralds, llamas, the Aeneid, and alcohol have crossed these imaginary lines and altered the lives of people living on either side of them.

Felipe Rojas, Assistant Professor of Archaeology, the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology

  • "On + Off Site: Moving Tropical Environments Between Continents" A project that explored the transfer of environments from the Caribbean to Europe following the period of Contact. The wealth of nature encountered by Europeans in the Americas required new ways to conceive of man’s place in the world and refigured his notion of Paradise, which was re-created in botanical gardens throughout Europe using materials from the Americas.

  William Skinner, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of the History of Art and Architecture

  Faculty advisors: Itohan OsayimweseDepartment of the History of Art and ArchitectureLukas RieppelDepartment of History

  • "Entangled Histories of Empire: Theory and Methods"  This project organized an international seminar at the John Carter Brown Library focused around the concept of entangled histories of empire. The seminar will explore the notion that there existed a complex web of relationships that European empires entertained with each other and with non-European societies in the early modern world, and will bring Portugal into focus as a pioneer in the process of European expansion to Africa, the Americas and Asia.

  Roquinaldo FerreiraDepartment of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies and Department of History

  • "Conquest and Cartography in Early New England"  This project explored the relationship between Brown University and its early founders and the Narrangansett Natives of Providence, using the process of re-naming geographic territories on early maps as a window onto the geographic erasure that directly parallels historic events of conquest by New England settlers, and especially King Philip’s War of 1676.

  Phoebe Young, Brown University ’17, AB  Public Policy and Race and Ethnic Studies 

  Faculty advisor: Monica Muñoz Martinez, Department of American Studies and Ethnic Studies

* "The Asia-Pacific on Our Shelves" This project developed an annotated bibliography of select resources in the John Carter Brown Library’s collection related to Pacific voyaging and interactions between the Americas and Asian Pacific regions, including Hawaii, the Philippines, South Pacific islands, Southeast Asia, China, Japan, and Korea.

Caroline Frank, Elli Mylonas, Evelyn Hu-DeHart, and Jim Egan
  Departments of American Studies, History, English, and the Brown University Library

This pilot program of offering collaborative grants between Brown students and faculty and the Library highlighted new ways of using the Library’s world-class collection and explores the Library’s newest programming initiatives, including those in environmental history, indigenous studies, book history, visual and material culture studies, and the Americas in a global context. The JCB is grateful to the Andrew J. Mellon Foundation for supporting this research and programming initiative.

For more information, please contact the Library’s director at [email protected]