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Fellowship Opportunity: 2020-2022 Vera List Center Fellowship

The Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School is pleased to invite applications for the 2020-2022 Vera List Center Fellowships. Three non-residential, two-year research fellowships will be awarded to support scholarly and creative work that critically engages with the Vera List Center’s 2020-2022 biennial focus theme As for Protocols.

Application Deadline March 15, 2020

Vera List Center Fellowships

The Vera List Center Fellowships support individuals whose work advances the discourse on art and politics. The appointments provide the opportunity to research and develop a project drawing from the curatorial, academic, and professional resources of the Vera List Center and The New School, and to bring the research and resulting work to the public through the Vera List Center’s interdisciplinary public programs and organizational networks.

The Vera List Center is a public forum and university-based research center that focuses exclusively on advancing public scholarship on contemporary issues at the intersection of art and politics. Through their projects, the Fellows contribute to the intellectual foundation of the Center and benefit from the engagement of New School faculty and students. For the 2020-2022 cycle, in our multi-disciplinary curatorial programs, we are mining “protocols,” both their expressive as well as their constricting potential. We’re interested in projects that creatively and rigorously approach the biennial theme, in content and form, making an intellectual and artistic contribution that advances our understanding of how protocols enact and materialize in language, networks, and power.

The Vera List Center will appoint a total of three research fellows for the 2020-2022 cycle, including the inaugural Boris Lurie Fellow, the first named artist fellowship at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. Named after Russian born artist Boris Lurie (1924-2008) and in acknowledgment of The New School’s historic University in Exile, the Boris Lurie Fellowship is reserved for an artist living outside the U.S. with special consideration given to those who have faced political hardship. The Boris Lurie Fellow will have the opportunity to visit the Boris Lurie Art Foundation and Archive in New Jersey to formulate their own understanding of how Lurie’s legacy might continue in contemporary art practices.

As for Protocols: 2020-2022 Vera List Center Biennial Focus Theme

Explicitly—or not—protocols determine much of what we do. Far exceeding traditional notions of “good manners,” protocols are languages that regulate how people relate to each other, to their cultural, social, and political environments, and to the technologies that create them. They are indices of governmental, organizational, social, or corporate power structures. Protocols speak to processes, rather than finite outcomes. While often overlooked or invisible, they set the conditions for potential encounters. Investigating them as such will allow us to consider and help develop new protocols that counter current hegemonies and are, instead, inclusive and equitable, ranging from computer interfaces, A.I., data aggregation, and algorithms to community agreements and culturally-specific engagement protocols to protocols undergirding scientific research. As “protocol” may also refer to documentation and minutes, the term signals a hybrid time frame of both the past and projection into the future. With the engagement of the Vera List Center Fellows as well as other artists, scholars, activists, and students, we will approach protocols as the foundations for the performance of living, and begin thinking and working toward new spaces of political empowerment.

Fellowship Benefits

The Vera List Center Fellowship is part-time, and non-residential, and extends over two years. The fellowships carry a US$15,000 stipend as well as extensive curatorial and professional development services to support the research, scholarship and creative work of the project from conception to production and presentation. Each research fellowship is highly individualized, depending on the project and its intended outcomes. Fellows are supported for two years by the VLC’s curatorial and operational team as well as a graduate student research assistant. They have access to a wide range of activities throughout The New School and enjoy extensive library privileges. Meetings and informal gatherings with New School faculty, past Fellows and other constituencies are organized regularly and offer opportunities for professional development as well as social exchanges. It is not necessary to spend two years in New York: Non-New York City residents are provided with an additional travel allowance to undertake short-term residencies, to engage with the VLC’s curatorial team and take full advantage of benefits.


Journalists, scholars, activists, visual and performing artists, critics, public intellectuals, curators, and cultural practitioners working in any field where they engage art and politics are encouraged to apply. The New School is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. We strongly encourage applications from diverse candidates across the world and we welcome applications from individuals without institutional affiliation.


  • Artistic and/or scholarly excellence of the proposed fellowship project.
  • Significance of the project to the candidate’s long-term practice.
  • Does the proposal engage or interrogate the focus theme in explicit and creative ways?
  • How will the research fellowship project reflect and benefit from the association with the Vera List Center and The New School?
  • Does the proposed project provide the Vera List Center and The New School with new and diverse insights?

You can learn about previous research fellows and their projects on our fellowship page. While past fellowship projects are an indication of the kinds of projects we’ve supported, they are not an exhaustive representation of our interests.


  • Organize and present the results of their project in public events at the Vera List Center as well as contribute to the programming at the Center during the research fellowship.
  • Join the VLC Advisory Board ex officio and participate in the board’s biannual meetings.
  • Participate in the life of the Vera List Center by joining key public events, study groups, classes, social gatherings, or any of the VLC Field Trips.


March 15, 2020
Application deadline, followed by application review by an ad-hoc selection committee composed of members of the VLC staff and Advisory Board, past Fellows, and New School faculty.

April-May 15
Finalists are invited to expand on their proposals and interviews

June 15
Announcement of fellowship appointments.

October 2020
Vera List Center Forum As for Protocols and convening of 2020-2022 Vera List Center Fellows


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