barbara harlow

The Barbara Harlow Internship in Human Rights & Social Justice

The Barbara Harlow Internship in Human Rights & 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. 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 aims to introduce BDP students to Harlow’s scholarship and activism, and to encourage them to imagine future trajectories for her work.

This internship is chosen to honor Barbara Harlow 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. 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.

Barbara Harlow’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.

The internship is made possible by seed money that 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 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.)

Depending on funding, between one and three internships will be offered per year. Students who are not selected for the Barbara Harlow Internship will be considered for our standard undergraduate internship.

We are pleased to honor Harlow's legacy in this way, and we look forward to continuing our support of undergraduate students in her name.


Former Recipients

Spring 2019: Carlos Pinon

Fall 2018: Christina Cho

Summer 2018: Mehdia Mrabet

Spring 2018: Xavier Durham

Read Xavier's Human Rights Commentary, titled "Marielle Franco and the Brazilian Necropolis: Assassination and After Lives"

Please note: This internship is only open to BDP students. If you are not a BDP student, please consider our standard undergraduate internship.


Note: the April 8th deadline is for Summer 2020 internships

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:

  • Demonstrated experience with publication, design, and website software (e.g. Adobe Creative Suite)
  • Proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese
  • Experience with scholarly research and editing
  • Journalism experience

How to Apply

Qualified students should submit the following items through our online application system.

  • Cover letter
    State why you are interested in the position; demonstrate basic knowledge of our programs and activities. Reflect (in one paragraph) on how Barbara Harlow's scholarship and activism might influence your work with the Rapoport Center and your pursuit of human rights and social justice more broadly.
  • CV/Resume
    Indicate any relevant skills and foreign language proficiency
  • Transcript
    Unofficial is acceptable; an official copy can be mailed or emailed if needed, to arrive by the application due date
  • List of three references
    At least two must be UT faculty; include name, title, and contact information; full letters not required
  • Writing sample
    3-5 pages; does not need to relate directly to human rights, although that is preferable


April 8, 2020


Contact us at or 512-232-4857