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.
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
HCAH invites Haverford faculty on tenure-track or continuing appointments interested in areas of humanistic inquiry across all academic disciplines to submit proposals to lead our 2022-23 and 2023-24 Faculty Seminars.
The deadline for submission is April 12, 2021; you may send your proposal to hcah [at] haverford.edu, and please indicate the year you wish to lead the faculty seminar.
Join a Seminar
"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.
Apply to Join
Deadline: October 19, 2020
Open to all tenured, tenure-track, and continuing faculty. Contact Noemí Fernández (nfernandez [at] haverford.edu) with any questions.
Song of the Towers, Aaron Douglas, 1966
Milwaukee Art Museum
"Again as Before: Reenactment"
Leaders: John Muse and Vicky Funari
This seminar will explore the history, theory, and practice of reenactment to better understand its cultural ubiquity and allure. Reenactments act out past events, sometimes to the letter, sometimes not, sometimes on purpose, sometimes inadvertently. Reenactments can take the form of dramatizations, celebrations, comedic hyperbole; some replicate experiments, and some repeat physical and/or psychical suffering. Reenactment can be approached as descriptive of rites, as a genre of vernacular history that should itself be historicized, as a requisite component of the scientific method, as integral to current understandings of trauma and its treatment, and as a technique of representation. The seminar will consider the relation of precedent events to their reenactment, the difference between live reenactments and technically mediated ones, and the presuppositions about subjectivity, sameness, time, memory, truth, and experience that undergird the concept of reenactment.