University of Miami


The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures (MLL) is requesting funding from the SSRC/NEH Sustaining Humanities Infrastructure Program to save the graduate student pipeline in MLL, one of the most diverse graduate programs among the Humanities departments and in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Miami. MLL is a Ph.D. granting unit at the University of Miami with 23 graduate students at different stages of degree completion. MLL teaches ten languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish) and promotes a mission of global cultural competency. Our graduate student body is highly diverse (41% Hispanic/Latinx, 33% white, 11% Asian, 11% Multiracial, 4% Black; 74% women), and it includes students from Brazil, China, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Iran, Italy, Libya, Mexico, Morocco, Spain, South Africa, and the United States. 69% are international students (16 out or 23 students), and close to one third of our graduate students are the first generation in their families to attend college.  Given the diverse nature of our graduate student body, it is not surprising that the pandemic had a significant negative impact in the financial stability and their progress to degree completion.  The requested funding will provide $5K summer stipends for the 20 students who will be active in our program during the Summer 2022. A funded summer will allow our students to work full time on their exam preparation and/or dissertation research. By not having to focus on finding supplemental income for one summer, it is our hope that most students will be able to recover some of the lost time during the first two years of the pandemic. Saving our pipeline translates into saving a diverse pool of candidates entering the professoriate in the Humanities in the next 3-5 years.