Faculty Research Seminar

Faculty Research Presentation
Spring 2015 faculty research presentations by David Tompkins (History), Adeeb Khalid (History) and Peter Balaam (English)

Purpose of the Faculty Research Seminar

Intellectual life at Carleton is at its most vital when faculty scholars are debating new ideas that shape their ongoing research/artistic production. The Humanities Center at Carleton seeks to encourage these integrative, cross-disciplinary connections through Faculty Research Seminars.

While reading pertinent theoretical and critical works centered on a common theme, participants in the annual Seminar (Faculty Fellows) work on their own individual research/artistic projects over the course of one academic year. The ensuing conversations with likeminded faculty are meant to prompt and provoke Faculty Fellows to advance in their scholarly and creative endeavors.

The multidisciplinary group promotes excellence and innovation in scholarship and creative work. The Fellows present the results of their intellectual/artistic inquiry to the rest of the campus through a public forum (Dialogos) the year following the Seminar.

Eligible Applicants

Faculty of all ranks and staff members with a scholarly agenda related to the year’s specific theme are invited to apply. Since the seminar theme changes each year, and since the Humanities Center wishes for a broad array of scholars to participate in the Research Seminar over time, preference will be given to faculty/staff who have not participated during the past five years.

Applicants should be able to articulate a clearly defined scholarly or creative product on which they plan to work over the course of the academic year. Examples include a peer-reviewed journal article, a book chapter, a book proposal, a musical performance, or a suite of visual works, among other possibilities.

Participants will be chosen according to the following criteria: the perceived quality and specificity of their proposed projects; the applicability of their work to the theme of the seminar; and the diversity they might offer in terms of discipline, methodological approach, age, gender, sex, race, or experience. Scholars in fields outside the humanities are encouraged to apply.

Benefits and responsibilities of participating in the Research Seminar

The Research Seminar meets throughout the academic year, following a schedule established by the Faculty Fellows. Normally participants meet every two weeks when classes are in session. Fellows receive a stipend of $2000 (the Seminar Leader, $2500), and a book budget of up to $500.

In addition to contributing actively to the collaborative group discussions and advancing their own focused research, Faculty Fellows are expected to participate in the Humanities Center’s Symposium and Dialogos series the following year, where participants will present the results of their research to the broader campus community. At the end of the Seminar year each Fellow will write a brief report summarizing the progress they have made on their individual project and evaluating the Seminar.

The Symposium and the Dialogos Series

In addition to the presentation of their research/artistic outcomes in the Dialogos series, the seminar director and fellows may choose to coordinate (with the administrative help of the Humanities Center) a public forum or symposium, which might include a seminar/reading discussion with a visiting scholar, a music, dance, or theater production, library exhibits, or other multi-media presentations. The Symposium would normally take place the fall term the year following the Seminar, and it would be scheduled in conjunction with the first Dialogos series.

Selection of the Seminar Theme, Director, and Fellows

Faculty members who are interested in leading a Seminar during the following academic year will be encouraged to submit proposals, including a theme as well as their vision of the Seminar by mid-November. After the submission of proposals for themes, the Humanities Center Director and the Advisory Board will make a selection based on each topic’s potential for promoting active, multidisciplinary collaboration and enhancing existing initiatives. A general call for Faculty Research Fellows will then be launched over winter break. Potential participants in the Seminar submit their applications in early January. The Director of the Seminar, the Humanities Center Director, and the Humanities Center Advisory Board then chooses faculty Fellows.

In order to ensure maximum participation, in some years themes will be chosen in conjunction with other interdisciplinary programs on campus. There are not restrictions on themes and the faculty proposing the seminar articulates them. They might include such topics as “The Environment,” “Word and Image” “Death and Dying,” “Globalization,” “Hierarchies of Knowledge,” “Magic and Miracles,” “The Anatomy of Exile,” “Regenerative Issues,” and “Growing Old, Past and Present,” among others.

See the Past Seminars section to see the breadth of topics that have been covered since the founding of the Humanities Center.

How to Submit a Proposal for a Seminar

Potential Research Seminar Leaders are invited to submit a 2–3 page proposal developing a topic and rationale for the yearlong seminar, along with a short bibliography and a list of faculty members potentially interested in participating in the seminar. Proposals have to be submitted by mid-November. Faculty interested in developing a seminar proposal, are encouraged to contact Silvia López, the Humanities Center Director.