barbara harlow

The Barbara Harlow Endowed Internship in Human Rights and Social Justice

The deadline to apply for Summer 2024 the Barbara Harlow undergraduate internship is Tuesday, April 30, 2024 at midnight.

The Barbara Harlow Endowed Internship in Human Rights and Social Justice honors the life and work of Barbara Harlow (1948-2017), who was the Louann and Larry Temple Centennial Professor of English Literature at the University of Texas at Austin. She was a committed colleague, friend, and mentor to countless students, activists, and intellectuals. As a collaboration between the Rapoport Center and the Bridging Disciplines Programs (BDP), the internship introduces BDP students to Barbara Harlow’s scholarship and activism and encourages them to imagine future trajectories for her work. While the internship is open to all BDP students, regardless of which certificate they are pursuing, it is meant for students who are working on issues of social justice.

This internship was established shortly after Barbara Harlow's passing in 2017 with donations that she and family members made to the Center to provide undergraduate students with human rights and justice opportunities. We chose the internship  to honor Barbara because it was largely through her efforts that the Rapoport Center and the BDP partnered to create the Human Rights & Social Justice BDP certificate in 2009. Harlow chaired the faculty panel for the certificate from its inception until 2017.

Barbara's intellectual praxis crossed continents and encompassed diverse agendas: resistance, translation, political engagement and solidarity, human rights, and pedagogy. She contributed greatly to the University of Texas at Austin, not only through the English department, the Rapoport Center, and the BDP, but through several area studies programs and centers, including African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Studies. To learn more about her life and work, please visit the Rapoport Center's tribute page and the website for our 2017 conference, Barbara Harlow: The Sequel.

In 2024, a number of Barbara's former students, colleagues, and friends have begun to raise funds to endow the internship to ensure its continuation in perpetuity. If you would like to contribute or to learn more about former Harlow interns, please visit the endowment page.


ELIGIBILITY: This internship is only open to undergraduate students enrolled in the Bridging Disciplines program (BDP). If you are not a BDP student, please consider our standard undergraduate internship. Please note that this internship is open to UT students of all citizenship statuses.

The internship is made possible by seed money that Barbara Harlow gifted to the Rapoport Center and the BDP. Though the internship is similar to the Rapoport Center’s standard undergraduate internship, it offers a higher stipend ($3,000 for Summer 2024) and requires three additional components:

  • In the cover letter, students should reflect (in one paragraph) on how Harlow's scholarship and activism might influence their work with the Rapoport Center and their pursuit of human rights and social justice more broadly.
  • During the internship, each recipient will write a piece for our Human Rights Commentary page, which either engages directly with Harlow's work or uses her work as a lens through which to engage critically with a topic.
  • After the internship, each recipient will create a poster to reflect on the internship, taking into account Harlow's impact on their experience, and present it at the Annual BDP poster session in April. (Fall and Summer interns will submit at the end of their respective term, and then present in April.)

Other projects may include the following:

  • Maintain websites for the Rapoport Center’s projects and initiatives
  • Expand the Center's social media and general communications outreach
  • Attending and actively participating in/assisting with Center events
  • Organizing and leading undergraduate "coffee chats" on human rights topics
  • Serve as liaison to UT undergraduate community and help develop the Center's undergraduate outreach
  • Engage in human rights research and writing, with a focus on the Center's ongoing historical and archival research
  • Assist Center staff and other student team members with other projects and tasks as assigned

Selected interns should be available at least 10 hours per week during the semester, and 20 hours per week during the summer. The majority of an intern's working hours will take place in-person at the Rapoport Center. Depending on funding, between one and three internships will be offered per year. Students who apply for and are not selected for the Barbara Harlow Internship may be considered for our standard undergraduate internship.

Required Qualifications:

  • Commitment to working on issues of human rights and justice
  • Excellent writing and editing ability
  • Individual initiative and flexibility
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • Professional demeanor

The following qualifications may be preferred in some candidates:

  • Community engagement and/or outreach experience at UT, or in a comparable academic or nonprofit setting
  • Experience designing public-facing communications, including social media, event publicity, newsletters, blogs, etc.
  • Experience developing websites (especially using WordPress platform) and/or curating digital content
  • Proficiency in Spanish and/or Portuguese
  • Experience with scholarly research, editing, writing, and/or archival work
  • Demonstrated interest in issues such as environmental/climate justice, reproductive justice, and/or peace

Qualified students should submit the following items in a single PDF file through our online form. Please make sure the file name includes your full name.

  • Cover letter: state why you are interested in the position; demonstrate basic knowledge of Rapoport Center programs and activities; and reflect on Harlow's scholarship and activism (see details above). Be sure to address your specific skills and qualifications.
  • Resume/CV: be sure to indicate any relevant skills or proficiency in languages other than English.
  • Transcript: we will accept both unofficial and official transcripts.
  • Writing sample (3-5 pages): it does not need to relate directly to human rights, though that is preferable.


April 30, 2024


Contact Rapoport Center program coordinator Caroline Hahn at if you have any questions.