The Unit for Criticism will pilot a new program of Critical Book Labs for authors in the humanities and theoretically driven social sciences—whether at the assistant, associate or full professor rank, or specialized faculty—to allow them to present a book manuscript to a small group of readers who can give thoughtful feedback. The goal of the Critical Book Lab is to help authors transform good scholarly projects into excellent book-length publications, and past recipients whose work has been the focus of such a workshop have found it immensely inspiring and deeply supportive. For the Critical Book Lab, the Unit offers $4,000 in research funds and will organize and fund a half-day manuscript reading workshop with internal and external readers. Applications are due on March 1, 2023, with awards announced later that month and the workshop held the following fall or spring. Applicants are requested to think carefully about timing and whether they will have a complete, or nearly complete, manuscript for discussion in 2023-24.
Applicants should provide a brief CV (maximum 5 pages), state the tentative title of the book, provide an abstract of 500 words and table of contents, and write a short explanation (maximum 250 words) that names the publisher (if a publishing arrangement has been made), outlines the current status of the book project, provides a list of suggested internal and external readers, and describes any other aspect of the project that the author deems important. Applicants need not be formally affiliated with the Unit at the time of application, but such affiliation is strongly encouraged.
Please submit these items to Unit-for-Criticism@illinois.edu.