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Robert Penn Warren Center

Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities

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Faculty Fellowships

"Public Scholarship in the Humanities "

Application deadline: Monday, November 25, 2013

The Topic. The 2014/2015 Fellows Program at the Warren Center, "Public Scholarship in the Humanities," will be co-directed by Joel Harrington (History) and Holly Tucker (French; Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society). It will explore questions related to publicly engaged scholarship, examining what may gained and what may be lost for scholars and scholarship when we are asked to make our work more accessible to a broad general audience. How will the future of scholarly research in the humanities be impacted by this increasing emphasis on publicly engaged scholarship as well as by the turn to digital humanities and other forms of new media? How do we prepare ourselves and our graduate students for this changing landscape?

Publicly engaged scholarship involves partnerships between faculty members at academic institutions and individuals or organizations in the private and public sectors for the purpose of creating and distributing knowledge as well as promoting meaningful shared discourse. This working partnership among equals enhances scholarship, creativity, and learning while also contributing to the public good. Participants in the Fellows Program will explore the changing "publics" addressed by contemporary humanities scholars as well as the variety of partnerships involved. The seminar will also engage with more fundamental questions related to the new types of knowledge and intellectual inquiry that can be produced as a result of publicly engaged scholarship.

Finally, the seminar will provide the opportunity for participants to examine specific ways in which individual faculty members as well as colleges and universities are being called upon to adapt to a changing social, political, and economic climate in regard to the production and dissemination of knowledge. What are the implications for humanistic scholarship, for instance, in an era when expertise and opinion can travel across the globe in seconds via the Internet or in which faculty can teach thousands of students in a single class via massive on line open courses?

The Program. Each year, the Warren Center sponsors a Fellows Program with a particular thematic focus involving VU faculty members and one year-long Visiting Fellow. Fellows meet weekly and may have offices in the Center. Individual research funds in the amount of $4,000 are available to the selected participants. In addition, program funds provided by the Center can be used by the group for visiting speakers, conferences, or other appropriate program‑related expenses. The seminar provides an unusual opportunity for faculty members with a variety of specializations to work cooperatively on a common issue in a sustained manner.

The Participants. The Warren Center operates under the aegis of the College of Arts and Science, and the majority of the participants in the 2014/2015 program will come from the College of Arts and Science.   However, we also encourage participation from faculty members from the other divisions of the University and encourage applications from our colleagues in the other schools. We look forward to welcoming individuals from those units as Warren Center Fellows.

Application Process. Applicants should email Allison Thompson ( at the Warren Center a copy of their curriculum vitae (NO MORE THAN FIVE PAGES, PLEASE) and a statement of one or two pages in which they describe the relation of the topic to their own scholarly project. Applicants should also notify their department chairs. Applications are due by Monday, November 25, 2013.

Questions? If you have questions about the program or the application process, feel free to contact the Warren Center (343-6060) or the program co-directors, Joel Harrington (, and Holly Tucker ( You may also contact the Center's director, Edward Friedman ( or the executive director, Mona Frederick (

Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities

VU Station B #351534