HCAH's Faculty Seminars offer time for colleagues across the disciplines to weigh concepts integral to contemporary humanistic inquiry and to examine their strategic usage in cultural and scholarly discourse. The Seminars aim to generate scholars who draw on myriad humanistic perspectives to enrich teaching, conversation, and research at Haverford.
Faculty members may apply to join particular seminars that promise to enhance their own research and teaching interests and afford them rewarding collaborative or interdisciplinary interactions. In addition to offering opportunities to bring the faculty's research into a wider forum for debate and discussion, each seminar will have a broad thematic focus and a shared syllabus of works to be read and discussed in common. In some years, the theme of the faculty seminar dovetails with the focus of a Center speaker or performance/arts series, and the Center may sponsor additional opportunities for seminar participants to interact with visitors.
The Center Steering Committee considers applications to the seminar slated for the following academic year. Seminars are open to all tenure track faculty or those on a continuing appointment. The aim is to assemble faculty from a lively cross-section of disciplinary interests, research and teaching backgrounds, and career stages. Faculty across all three divisions are welcome to apply.
Allepo(nica) by Vasco Gargalo, October 2016
"War and Society"
Leader: Paul Smith (History)
Participants:Paul Smith (Leader); Susanna Wing (Political Science); Barak Mendsolsohn (Political Science); Matthew McKeever (Sociology); Steve Finely (English); David Watt (Quaker Studies); Huong Nyugen (Postdoctoral Fellow, History)
As members of an institution founded by Quakers, we are made mindful of war in part by the Friends’ commitment to peace. But given just how thoroughly war has shaped and will continue to shape our world, this may be a propitious time to think more explicitly about the nature of war, its impact on culture and society, and the always fraught balance between war and peace. Because virtually every aspect of the human condition has been affected by war, we invite colleagues from all disciplines to explore how war has been entwined with politics, science, and the material world, and how it is reflected in artistic genres and the written, visual, and oral records of the present and the past. By spanning disciplines and comparing cultures, we can investigate some reasons for the ubiquity of war, and understand why war has been and continues to be celebrated as well as condemned.
- Seminars convene regularly from September to May. The particular seminar’s meeting schedule is determined by the leader together with seminar members, but all seminars are expected to meet approximately 40 hours over the course of the year (for example, 7 three-hour sessions might be planned for each semester).
- 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. Seminarians (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 Callinan, Associate Director, Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery and Campus Exhibitions.
- Seminar participants receive a one-semester course release and a discretionary book stipend (conditional to submission of final report), and seminar leaders receive an additional faculty stipend.
- Funds are available to cover each seminar’s expenses, including books, xeroxing, videos, other materials, speakers, and refreshments.
- After the conclusion of the seminar, participants will provide the leader and the Center a report. After reviewing the peer reflections, the seminar leader provides a summary report.
Join a Seminar
"Borders and Boundaries"
The Hurford Center seeks applications for participation in the 2019-2020 Faculty Humanities Seminar, “Borders and Boundaries,” led by Molly Farneth. This seminar will explore the social, political, and ethical functions of human activity around borders and boundaries. Examples of such activities include dietary rules that regulate what enters bodies, rituals that mark entrance into social roles or statuses, disciplinary practices that police territorial borders, as well as practices that transgress or contest such borders and boundaries. Through multiple disciplinary perspectives, we will consider these activities as sites for the creation and contestation of selves and societies.
The Faculty Seminar is a yearlong HCAH initiative. The group of interdisciplinary faculty meets six times a semester. Participants receive a course release and materials allowance, and are joined in the seminar by the 2019–21 Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow.
This seminar will be vigorously interdisciplinary and will range widely across cultural regions and historical periods. Each seminar participant will bring items to add to the syllabus and introduce to the group.
October 12, 2018
Open to all faculty on tenure track or a continuing appointment.
Describe your interest in the seminar in a substantial paragraph and indicate specific ways that your teaching and scholarly interests might contribute to and/or benefit from the seminar. Save your file as a PDF, then email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 seminars may focus from the outset on clearly defined content, while others may shape themselves more precisely through conversations among seminar participants; some may be organized around particular themes or content, while others may begin from methodological or theoretical questions.
- When issuing invitations to faculty members to join particular seminars, the Center's Steering Committee will seek a rich assemblage of disciplines and intellectual agenda for each seminar. Participants (usually no more than 6) also include a Mellon Postdoc Fellow, and a recent Ph.D. chosen in collaboration with the Seminar leader whose expertise will directly contribute to the success of the Seminar.
- The Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery regularly supports exhibits that both involve seminar participants and complement the annual thematic, often under the artistic and conceptual leadership of a visiting curator. For a recent example, see exhibits.haverford.edu/arqueologias
- A fund is made available to the Seminar to defray operating expenses, including visitors, books, xeroxing, videos, other materials, and refreshments.
We would be happy to talk with you about your ideas and questions at any stage of the process. In early May the HCAH Steering Committee will announce the seminars that will go forward.
Propose a new Faculty Humanities Seminar
Deadline: Proposals for seminars is now closed. New seminar proposals will be accepted in 2019.
Faculty interested in areas of humanistic inquiry across all academic disciplines are invited to submit proposals.
Faculty seminar leaders will receive a one-semester course release and stipend during the year they are leading the seminar.
- Proposals of about 1000 words should describe the intended topic and suggest a basic design for collective inquiry. Proposals might well outline a set of enabling questions as well as focus defining concerns. While a detailed syllabus of readings need not be provided, proposals should offer some concrete illustration of foreseeable texts, objects and methods of inquiry. Review previous seminars for examples of seminar descriptions.
- Seminars will convene regularly from September to May. The leader together with seminar members will determine the schedule of meetings, but all seminars are expected to meet approximately 40 hours over the course of the year (for example, 7 three-hour sessions might be planned for each semester). Faculty for each seminar will be chosen through a call for participation during the fall prior to the year the seminar is offered.
- After the conclusion of the seminar, participants will provide the Center a report that discusses the relation of the work of the seminar to the participants' own teaching and research.