The annual Undergraduate Fellows program of the Pomona College Humanities Studio is intended to promote engaged, intellectual discussion on topics of current scholarly and public interest, and to create a vibrant interdisciplinary setting for humanities research. Each year a group of six Pomona students who will be engaging in senior thesis research in the humanities will be chosen to collaborate in a series of weekly seminar discussions, as well as participate in the Studio’s program of visiting speakers, professional development workshops, and other campus and community events. The admissions committee will judge applications based on an assessment of the proposal’s interdisciplinary humanities appeal, its connection to the annual theme, and its potential for sparking dialogue among the seminar’s Faculty and Postdoctoral Fellows.


Current Pomona juniors who will be working on a thesis project in their major during 2018–2019 are eligible for the seminar. Applicants are not restricted by major department(s), but the thesis must be characterized by humanistic content and/or methodology.


The theme for the 2018–2019 seminar will be Fail Better. Applicants are encouraged to interpret the topic broadly and in ways appropriate to their own fields of expertise.


Applications for appointment as a Humanities Studio Undergraduate Fellow, and participation in the seminar, must include the following:

  • A résumé or CV, or short bio, including contact information and an unofficial transcript.
  • A brief (1-page) letter of recommendation from a member of the Pomona faculty.
  • A brief (500 word) description of your proposed senior thesis research.
  • Full responses to the three application questions listed below.

Applications should be sent by electronic attachment to:


Application Questions (no more than 1,500 words total)

  1. Why does the topic of failure interest you and how does it connect to the proposed topic of your senior thesis?
  2. How would participation in the Studio contribute to your educational goals?
  3. What are some books, images, performances, films, articles, etc., that you believe raise important issues or questions about the idea of failure?

If you have questions about the application process, the Humanities Studio, or the seminar, please contact Kevin Dettmar:; x78032.