The Society of Fellows in the Humanities at Columbia University was founded in the mid-1970s to encourage interdisciplinary teaching and research. Housed in the Heyman Center for the Humanities since the 1980s, the Society offers eight two-year fellowships during which Fellows teach in the general-education program, complete scholarly work, present projects to other Fellows and University faculty, and plan and participate in conferences on areas of research interest.
Fellows are required to teach one course per semester. Three of these courses must be from the Core Curriculum and one may be of the Fellow's own design. Fellows are also responsible for the planning of a weekly Lunchtime Lecture Series that is open for attendance to members of the University community. The Society also cosponsors conferences and special events planned by fellows around their special interests.
To aid in the research process, each fellow is assigned to a private office with a phone, computer, and Internet connection. Fellows are entitled to a research allowance, from which to pay for research-related expenses such as conferences, professional memberships, and research materials.
The Society is funded by a major endowment grant from the Mellon Foundation and supplemented by three smaller endowment grants.