Faculty seminars offer time for colleagues across disciplines to interrogate concepts integral to contemporary humanistic inquiry and to examine their strategic deployment in cultural and scholarly discourse.
The seminars engage scholars who draw on myriad humanistic perspectives to enrich teaching, conversation, and research at Haverford. Faculty members may apply to join a seminar that would enhance their own research and teaching interests and afford them rewarding collaborative and interdisciplinary interactions.
Seminars are open to all tenure track and continuing appointment faculty across all disciplines.
- Seminars convene regularly from September to May. The particular seminar’s meeting schedule is determined by the leader and seminar members, but all seminars are expected to meet approximately forty hours over the course of the year.
- In considering applications, the Hurford Center's Steering Committee will seek to honor specific interests while also providing the broadest opportunities for interdisciplinary faculty participation for each seminar. Recent past faculty seminar participation may be a factor in the process. Participants (usually no more than 7) include a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow whose expertise will directly contribute to the success of the seminar.
- The seminar presents opportunities for public exhibitions using College collections and other-sourced materials under the curatorial direction of the seminar participants and with the guidance of Matthew Seamus Callinan.
- Seminar participants receive a one-semester course release and a stipend for books or materials, and seminar leaders receive an additional stipend.
- Financial and administrative support is provided by the Center for each seminar’s programmatic expenses, including books, xeroxing, videos, speaker fees, and refreshments.
- After the conclusion of the seminar, participants will provide the seminar leader and the Center a written reflection on the seminar experience. After reviewing the peer reflections, the seminar leader provides a summary report to the Center.
Join a Seminar
“Exclusion, Inclusion, and the U. S. Academy"
When colleges and universities talk about “inclusion,”—especially “elite” ones, which simultaneously tout their exclusivity—what do they mean? This seminar is an interdisciplinary examination of how the ideal of inclusion functions alongside the foundational exclusions on which “elite” educational institutions are built. Even as colleges and universities attempt, with debatable success, to include populations long excluded from their resources—people of color, poor and working-class people, for example—they remain invested in the notions of exclusivity and elitism. What work does this paradox do? How does it shape and limit the institutions’ role in countering and/or reinforcing broader social inequities? What roles do specific disciplines and curricular groupings (e.g. STEM, social sciences, humanities) play in matters of inclusion and exclusion? What about disciplinarity itself? Can these institutions be more inclusive without deeper structural change? Without changes in the market logics of austerity and neoliberalism?
Participants might be interested in approaches to these questions that foreground the history of US higher education, critical university studies, critical science studies, critical race theory, the politics of STEM pedagogy, Marxist and/or Foucauldian analysis of institutions, critiques of (neo-)liberalism, the study of social and cultural capital, and many others. While the seminar will take place in a context centered on the humanities, both the participants and the topics addressed will cross into various disciplines that include humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.
For a more extended discussion of the questions the seminar plans to raise, download the full seminar description
Apply to Join
Deadline: October 18, 2021
Open to all tenured, tenure-track, and continuing faculty. Contact Gus Stadler (gstadler [at] haverford.edu) with any questions.
Please send a detailed account (1-2 pages) to Gus Stadler (gstadler [at] haverford.edu) outlining how your research and teaching would centrally engage the theme and the ways you imagine contributing to this interdisciplinary dialogue.
gstadler [at] haverford.edu (Email Gus Stadler )
Propose a Seminar
Seminar plans should define the topic and articulate the object of study, along with relevant issues, traditions, or methodologies to be addressed. The nature of seminars will vary considerably, depending on faculty interest and expertise. Some may be closely related to the seminar leader's scholarly interests while others may arise from new directions in the leader's intellectual development; some may be organized around particular themes or content while others may begin from methodological or theoretical questions.
Call for Proposals
Starting Spring 2023
HCAH will invite Haverford faculty on tenure-track or continuing appointments interested in areas of humanistic inquiry across all academic disciplines to submit proposals to lead our 2024-25 and 2025-26 Faculty Seminars. Have an idea? Contact Hurford Center Director gstadler [at] haverford.edu (Gustavus Stadler).
"The Senses and the Sensible"
A deep-seated presumption that underlies the notion of modernity in the West: that the connection between technology and modernization inheres in ever-increasing focus of the individual senses in isolation from one another. In this seminar, we are interested in the history of this notion and, in particular, how it shapes aesthetics, politics, theories of mediation, understandings of ethics and care, and everyday life more generally. We want to think about how this happened, whose interests it serves, what possibilities exist for different understandings, and what alternative approaches might achieve. We want to explore, collectively, what Jacques Ranciere describes as the “distribution of the sensible,” or the conditions that determine what is possible for the senses to perceive. In dialogue with scholars from across the disciplines, we want to examine various challenges to Enlightenment taxonomies of sensory experience and to the support they provided for a wide range of imperialist and colonial projects.
Song of the Towers, Aaron Douglas, 1966
Milwaukee Art Museum