Loyola University Maryland

Center for Humanities

Guidelines for Proposals Over $1,000

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Faculty members of all ranks, administrators, or academic program or departments in the University may submit proposals to the Center. All proposals must involve projects in keeping with the mission and purpose of the Center. Applicants, including members of the steering committee, may not submit proposals which would benefit themselves financially (Bylaws, Article 5.1).

Standards for Proposals

Proposals to the Center must aim to foster more effective teaching, enhanced scholarly research or creative work, improved morale in the humanities, and/or increases in the number of students majoring or minoring in the humanities.

Budget: Proposals must include an itemized budget of judiciously determined expenses. This budget should be set forth on the proposal cover sheet known as the grant proposal form available online or from the Programs Coordinator Patty Ingram, ext. 2617. A more detailed budget, or an annotated budget may be provided as part of the proposal, if necessary.

Guest speakers should ordinarily spend no more than one night in Baltimore and should usually stay at a hotel recommended by the University. Receptions should be planned with restraint and according to the status of the speaker, the size of the event, etc. No more than one reception should occur within 24 hours for the same event. Meals for guests should balance hospitality with reasonable economy—restaurant meals should be limited to three or four faculty, students, and/or administrators, selected for professional reasons. Spouses or other guests should reimburse the Center. If circumstances require an exception to any of these guidelines, the reasons for this should be explained in the proposal itself.

Selection of Speakers and Honoraria: To ensure that the committee is considering realistic program proposals, proposed speakers should be contacted before the proposal is submitted, and tentative commitments secured; at the same time, the amount deemed appropriate for that speaker's honorarium should be confirmed. In cases in which a proposed speaker is unable to make a commitment until closer to the planned event, those planning the event should at least determine from the speaker that it is a realistic possibility that he or she will be willing to come to campus.

The amount of a speaker's honorarium should be commensurate, of course, with his or her stature. The Center does not pay honoraria to regular Loyola faculty members. In many cases, adjunct faculty may be reimbursed through the Center's program, Stipends for Adjunct Faculty Sponsoring (or significantly participating in) Programs.

The criteria for approval, applied more rigorously according to the amount of the request, include the following:

  • The academic excellence of the proposed program;
  • The contribution of the program to its discipline;
  • The contribution of the program to interdisciplinary exchange (Does the program involve more than one department? Does it address interdisciplinary topics?);
  • The probable interest of the program to the Loyola community and/or a wider audience;
  • Whether funding from other sources has been secured; and/or
  • The extent to which the proposal has followed the guidelines and procedures set forth in this document.

Funds from the Center for Humanities will not be approved for what can be considered normal University expenditures.


All proposals should include the following:

  • Grant proposal form 
  • Description of the event or program proposed and an explanation of its benefit to the humanities within its discipline, in the University and/or the local and larger academic communities;
  • The backgrounds and credentials for featured speakers;
  • More detailed budget than that on the proposal form, if necessary; and
  • Publicity plans, facility plans, and reservations.

The completed application should be sent as an email attachment to the programs coordinator at pingram@loyola.edu.

The steering committee's decision, and a brief explanation if the proposal is rejected, will be sent to the applicant in writing by the programs director of the center.

A one-page narrative report and an account of funds spent must be submitted to the director of the Center no more than 30 days after the actual event. This report should describe the success of the program, any difficulties encountered, the size and composition of the audience, etc.


Proposals for more than $1,000 are due on the last (working) day of March preceding the academic year in which the event will be held, (E.G. proposals over $1000 for an event scheduled in April 2016 must be submitted by the end of March, 2015). In the event that a commitment of funding is required prior to the March deadline (for instance, when a deposit is needed to secure a commitment) the steering committee is willing to consider a proposal in a prior month.

Sample Large Grant Proposal

Grant Proposal Form


Faculty Sponsor, Department: Brennan O'Donnell
Event Date:  March/April 2001
Project Title:  Conference of the Work of Andre Dubus
Summary Budget: Proposed Spent



Fr. Samway: $1500
Mr. Dubus: $3000 (1)
Mr. Spitzer: $1000
Travel: $1500(2)
Lodging: $850(3)
Advertising: $500

Dinner for invited speakers & conference organizers (Friday): $500
Registration fees for invited speakers & conference organizers: $750 (4)
Reception: $500
Shuttle service between hotel and campus during the conference (estimated) $900
Requested from the Center: $6750 
Funds from other Sources:

Catholic Studies  $3000
Dean of Arts and Sciences $1000
English Department $250
Total Budget: $11,000
Have you consulted your chair? X yes    ___ no
Budget #:



Conference on the Work of Andre Dubus (Spring 2001)

The proposed event would be the first academic conference to be held on the work of Andre Dubus. Dubus, who died last year at the age of 62, was the author of nine volumes of critically acclaimed fiction and two volumes of essays. The conference, to be held in late March or early April 2001, will combine three keynote presentations by invited speakers with a number of panels assembled through a national cal-for-papers and a peer-review process. Authors of the best papers will be invited to revise their work for publication in a special issue of the journal Religion and the Arts, to be guest-edited by the conference organizers. The organizers hope that the conferences and the published collection of essays will make a significant impact on the reputation of Dubus and serve as a catalysts for further critical assessment and scholarly investigation of a writer who deserves to be considered a major figure both in 20th century American fiction and in contemporary Catholic intellectual life.

  1. This is considerably less than what Mr. Dubus usually gets for a single reading. He has agreed to do two presentations for this fee.
  2. Mr. Dubus would be coming from Boston, Fr. Samway and Mr. Spitzer (most likely) form New York. The figure represents estimated round-trip airfare and ground transportation for all three.
  3. Three rooms for two nights each at an estimated $150 per night (approximately the current rate at the Inn at the Colonnade). We hope to be able to spend less for these rooms by negotiating a conference rate with the Inn.
  4. The figure is 6x the estimated conference registration fee, and will pay for the expenses during the conference of the three invited speakers and the three conference organizers. The figure was determined by estimating costs for provided meals (continental breakfasts, two lunches, the dinner), for conference materials (programs, folders, name-tags, etc) and dividing by the number of participants. The visiting organizers will seek funding for transportation an lodging from their home institutions.


Note: all other expenses will be paid by the participants, either through funding from their own institutions, or through the conference registration fee ($125), which will cover provided meals and conference materials (Folders, programs, name-tags, etc).

I. Proposal/Significance of the Project


We propose to organize and host what would be the first academic conference to be held on the work of Andre Dubus. The conference would take place on the Loyola campus in late March or early April, 2001.

Widely hailed as a  master of the short story, the Louisiana Dubus served in the U.S. Marines (Rising to the rank of Captain), was a member of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, and lived in Haverhill, Massachusetts until his death in 1999. In 1986, he stopped on the Massachusetts turnpike to help a fellow motorist who was stranded and, in the act of throwing a woman out of harm's way, was hit by a speeding car. He lost his left leg below the knee, and his crushed right leg never recovered. He spent the last years of his life confined to a wheelchair and wrote powerfully about being "crippled" (he disdained the description "disabled") both in his fiction and non-fiction.

Dubus was the recipient of numerous awards, including the PEN/Malamud Award, the Rea Ward for excellence in short fiction, the Jean Stein Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim, and a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation. His work has been valued especially for its profoundly compassionate characterization, its insight into the complexities of love, its serious treatment of moral issues, and its spiritual dimension.

Those qualities are grounded in Dubus's explicitly Catholic, sacramental vision of the world, under the  influence of which he developed a distinctive idiom that is simultaneously unflinching in the face of hard realities and hopefully attentive to the mystery of being.  Tobias Wolff captures this element of Dubus's work, writing in the introduction to Broken Vessels that, for Dubus, "the quotidian and the spiritual don't exist on different planes, but infuse each other. His is an unapologetically sacramental vision of life in which ordinary things participate in the miraculous, the miraculous in ordinary things.... He is open to mystery, and of all mysteries the one that interests him most if the human potential for transcendence."

Long before his accident, Dubus showed an uncanny sensitivity to the possibilities for transcendence in daily life, even (or especially) in lives that may seem outwardly to be full of misery and confusion.  In the fiction and non-fiction he produced after the loss of his legs, a whole new dimension opens ip in his work, as he explores in profound and moving ways mysterious and paradoxical connections between physical limitation and spiritual freedom, between suffering and compassion.  "Since we are all terminally ill," he writes in a characteristic vein, "each breath and step and day one closer to the last, I must consider those sacraments which soothe our passage" ("On Charon's Wharf")  Lest it begin to seem that all is focused on failure and sadness in Dubus's fictional worlds, he also writes frequently and excellently about baseball. (But, then again, he loved the Boston Red Sox, which brings us back to failure and sadness.)

The nature of Dubus's vision makes it especially appropriate to hold the conference here at Loyola, as an expression of our commitment to studying and teaching the humanities in the light of our founding inspiration.

II. Participants/Benefits


The conference will combine three presentations by invited speakers with a number of panels organized through a call-for-papers and peer-review process. The invited presenters would be Patrick Samway, S.J., Andre Bubus III, and Philip Spitzer.
Patrick Samway, S.J., the former literary editor of America magazine, is a noted scholar of American southern literature and of American Catholic writers, and was a friend of Andre Dubus. his 1997 biography of Walker Percy was included among the New York Times's "notable books" of that year.  He is currently the Will and Ariel Durant Professor of Humanities at Saint Peter's College. He will give the keynote address.

Andre Dubus III is the son of the writer and an accomplished author in his own right.  His most recent novel, House of Sand and Fog (Norton, 1999) was nominated for a National Book Award. He is also, along with his sister, literary executor of his father's estate. He teaches at Tufts University.  Mr. Dubus will give a reading from his work and will give a talk about is father's work.

Philip Spitzer was Andre Dubus's literary agent and his closest friend. In Letters from a Moveable Chair, Dubus writes about their "deep friendship" in a beautiful essay about the ritual trips they made to Fenway Park to see the Red Sox each opening day. We have asked Mr. Spitzer to give an informal, after dinner talk about Mr. Dubus, his work, and their friendship.
Fr. Samway's keynote address and Mr. Dubus's reading will be open to the public and students will be encouraged to attend. (Mr. Dubus's appearance especially ought to meet with considerable interest in the Baltimore area.)

We anticipate about additional participants, who will be selected through a national call-for-papers and peer-review process to present scholarly and critical papers on all aspects of Dubus's work throughout the three-day conference. Loyola faculty, many of whom read and teach Dubus, will be invited to participate as presenters and panel organizers. Dubus's fiction and non-fiction alike are accessible to undergraduates (his stories have been widely anthologized). They also invite interdisciplinary approaches, so the conference should be attractive to scholars outside of literature departments. (Indeed, one of the organizers of the conference is a philosopher, another a professor of humanities with a specialty in religion and literature). Several Loyola faculty members in English and Theology have expressed an interest in teaching some of Dubus's writings during the spring semester 2001, when the conference would be held, and have said they would be interested in working out ways in which students might be able to participate.

The journal, Religion and the Arts, published by Boston College, has agreed to dedicate a special issue of the journal to papers from the conference, to be guest-edited by articles developed by invitation of the editors from the best papers presented at the conference. The organizers hope that the conference and the published collection of essays will make a significant impact on the literary reputation of Dubus and serve as a catalyst for further critical assessment and scholarly investigation of a writer who deserves to be considered a major figure both in20th century American fiction and in contemporary Catholic intellectual circles.

Note on co-organizers. The Loyola faculty member sponsoring this application will be assisted in the planning and execution of the project by two colleagues at other institutions, Professor Paul Contino of Christ College, Valparaiso University, and Professor Jane Kelley Rodeheffer of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. Their credentials are attached in an appendix.

III. Publicity


We plan to blanket the relevant journals, web-sites, and listserves with a Conference Announcement and Call for Papers as soon as possible. Fr. Samway is on the board of directors of the Society for the Study of Southern Literature, and has offered the help of that organization in getting word out about the conference. Professor Mark Osteen, book review editor for Studies in Short Fiction, has graciously offered to place a notice of the conference in that journal. Religion and Arts will not only carry our call for papers, but will post the notice on a web-site that is heavily used buy scholars from various disciplines.  My co-organizers are exploring other outlets in their areas (both geographic and academic).

Once the conference schedule is set, we will work with the Loyola publications department to advertise those portions of the conference that will be open to the public. We will also ask the assistance of the Loyola office of Public Relations in getting the word out about the event to members of the local press--and especially to the editor of the Baltimore Sun's literary pages--in hopes that the Sun or other papers might want to set up an interview with one or all of the invited speakers during their visit to Baltimore. An interview with Mr. Dubus, III, seems especially likely to draw interest.

IV. Scheduling and Facilities


We are in the process of determining the best weekend for the conference, which will begin on a Friday afternoon in late March or early April and continue through Sunday afternoon. (The exact date will depend on other college events and on the organizers' and invited speakers' schedules.) We hope to house participants at a nearby hotel (probably the Inn at the Colonnade) and to have plenary and concurrent sessions on the Evergreen campus, preferably in and around the Humanities Center, with the two plenary sessions that are open to the public in McManus Theater.

Tentative Schedule



Morning: Check-in and Registration
1:00-2:30: Concurrent Sessions (1)[there will be two sessions, each with three 20-minute papers, a brief response, and discussion, during each Concurrent Session]
2:45-4:15: Concurrent Sessions (2)
4:15-4:30: Coffee Break
4:30-6:00: Plenary Session (1): Keynote address: Patrick Samway, S.J. (open to the public)
7:30-8:30: Plenary Session (2): Andre Dubus III, fiction reading (open to the public)
8:30: Reception


7:30: Continental Breakfast available
8:30-10:30: Concurrent Sessions (3)
10:00-10:15: Coffee Break
10:15-11:45: Plenary Session (3): Andre Dubus III (talk)
12:00-1:30: Lunch
1:30-3:00: Concurrent Sessions (4)
3:00-3:30: Coffee Break
3:30-5:00: Concurrent Sessions (5)
5-7: Free Time
7-9: Dinner and Plenary Session (4) Philip Spitzer (after dinner talk)


7:30: Continental Breakfast available
8:30-10:00: Concurrent Sessions (6)
10:00-10:15: Coffee Break
10:15-11:45: Concurrent Sessions (7)
12:00: Lunch and departure

Attached to the proposal are CVs of all the invited speakers.