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Faculty Fellowships

2018/2019 Warren Center Fellows Program

"The World of Print(s): Multiples and Meanings in Early Modern Europe and North America"

Co-directors: Mark Hosford (art) and Kevin Murphy (history of art)

Application Deadline: Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Topic. The Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities will host a year-long interdisciplinary faculty seminar to explore the significance of printed words and images in Early Modern Europe and North America. Though the current age is often considered unique in terms of the amount of information constantly flooding the airwaves and the Internet, it is important to historicize the current phenomenon in comparison to the Early Modern period when there was an explosion of printed materials that similarly saturated the West. The advent of cheap print in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries meant that larger audiences than ever before had access to the marketplace of written words, some serious and thoughtful, some salacious and sensational.  Images on woodblocks combined with moveable type made possible the publication of a variety of illustrated texts as well. The visual culture brought about by the advent of this technology in the Early Modern period was the backdrop to the work of some of the greatest printmakers of all time.

The seminar participants will put printed works—comprising both textual and visual elements—at the center of an analysis that sees them as representations of discourses external to the objects and, at the same time, as material things. Seminar participants will draw upon contemporary scholarship through various disciplinary lenses, including literary theory and art history.  By bridging a variety of disciplines, scholars in the seminar will produce a synthetic view of Early Modern visual culture and its role in shaping political and social opinion. This collaborative work will lead to new perspectives on current debates regarding the presentation and circulation of information and images in the twenty-first century.

The Program. The seminar will include the two Vanderbilt University faculty co-directors, up to seven additional Vanderbilt faculty participants, and one William S. Vaughn Visiting Fellow from an institution other than Vanderbilt. The group will meet regularly and will have access to generous program funds from the Warren Center that can be used for visiting speakers, conferences, or other appropriate program‑related expenses. The seminar provides an unusual opportunity for scholars with a variety of specializations to work cooperatively on a common issue in a sustained manner. 

Faculty Participants. The Warren Center operates under the aegis of the College of Arts and Science. Although the majority of the participants in the program will also come from the College,  we also encourage participation from faculty members from the other divisions of the University.   All tenured and tenure-track faculty and senior lecturers are eligible for Warren Center Fellowships.  Faculty participants may have offices in the Center and are awarded $4,000 individual research funds.

Application Process. Applicants should send a copy of their curriculum vitae (NO MORE THAN FIVE PAGES) and a statement of one or two pages in which they describe the relation of the topic to their own scholarly project to Warren Center Seminar Coordinator Emma Furman . Applicants should also notify their department chairs. 

Applications are due by Thursday, October 19, 2017

Questions? If you have questions about the program or the application process, contact the Warren Center (343-6060) or the executive director, Mona Frederick.

Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities

VU Station B #351534