Research Seminars and Workshops
Resources for Seminar Proposals
Proposals are currently being accepted for faculty research seminars and workshops.
The deadline is July 1 of the current calendar year.
- Request for Proposals and How to Apply
- Model Proposal for Research Seminar
- Model Proposal for Research Workshop
Contact: Vejas Liulevicius, History
What happens when the roar of battle and the clash of arms at last die down? The aftermath of any war presents problems and challenges of a different order than the imperative of victory during the conflict. This seminar brings a comparative humanistic approach to the entire problem of what happens after wars, which remains a crucial question in our own contemporary world. This is also a topic which is now being fully engaged in different fields of humanistic scholarship, from history to literary studies. We confront key questions about how the aftermath of war has been shaped at different times and in different places in the distant and more recent past.
Freedom From All Sides - Philosophical Issues
Contact: E.J. Coffman, Philosophy
Over the last several decades, philosophers have tended to set "freedom" to the side as a concept and value far too unwieldy to examine directly. Instead, they have tended to carve off particular aspects of freedom – moral, political, legal, metaphysical, epistemological, individual, collective, and so on -- for close and careful study. In so doing, they have made progress. But this progress has slowed in recent years as the need to bring the results of these separate, focused inquiries into contact with one another has become increasingly apparent. In this research seminar, participants undertake to examine the concept and value of freedom from all sides, moving between the separate, focused philosophical discussions already well underway, with an eye toward both advancing them individually by exploring connections between them and working toward a more synoptic or comprehensive philosophical treatment of the concept and value of freedom in all its dimensions.
Contact: Christine Shepardson, Religious Studies
This interdisciplinary seminar brings together faculty and advanced graduate students whose research lies in the Mediterranean world of late antiquity. The range of the seminar includes the Mediterranean world of the third century C.E., defined primarily by the dominant Roman Empire; the fundamental transformations that characterized the fourth and fifth centuries, from the development of Christianity as a political power, to the collapse of the western empire and its division into various barbarian kingdoms, to the establishment of a single imperial power in Constantinople; and the new religion of Islam and further momentous transformations that ended the fundamentally Roman unity of the late antique period. The participants in this seminar are not only based in different departments, but also come from different disciplinary backgrounds. Each possesses specialist knowledge, language skills, and methodological approaches to textual and material evidence that can help inform the research of the others.
Modern Germany and Central Europe
Contact: Denise Phillips, History
The Faculty Research Seminar on Modern Germany and Central Europe draws on UT’s cross-departmental strength in German Studies, joining together faculty and graduate students from the German Program, the History Department, and the Department of Religious Studies. The seminar provides an ongoing forum for the interdisciplinary discussion of recent work on German-speaking Europe; its core participants present their own works-in-progress and also bring in outside scholars who are doing research in related fields.
Nineteenth-Century British Studies
Contact: Nancy Henry, English
This seminar explores all aspects of literature and culture during the “long nineteenth century,” encompassing the Romantic and Victorian periods. We have an inclusive interdisciplinary approach and we collaborate with faculty in eighteenth-century British studies and nineteenth-century American studies. We read primary texts (fiction, non-fiction, poetry) as well as the latest critical works. Our topics of discussion are usually driven by the research of our members and by the speakers we host. Recent areas of focus have included transatlanticism, economic theory, biography, musical performance, and radical politics.
The Transatlantic Enlightenment
Contact: Mary McAlpin, Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures
The aim of this seminar is to bring together faculty and advanced graduate students who share an interest in the “long eighteenth century” (1688 to 1815), a period framed by the Glorious Revolution in England that marks its beginning and the American, French, and Haitian Revolutions that signal its end. The core faculty group consists of five specialists from the Modern Foreign Languages Department (French and German), the English Department (British and American), and the History Department (German), but in the spirit of the rich interdisciplinarity inherent in Enlightenment studies, the goal of this group is to organize events of interest to a wide-range of additional faculty and students.
Medieval Frontiers: Intellectual, Cultural, and Linguistic
Contact: Jay Rubenstein, History
For the better part of the last century medieval scholars have, by instinct, challenged traditional borders, both in terms of the geographic scope of their research and their willingness to cross disciplinary boundaries. The faculty research seminar "Medieval Frontiers: Intellectual, Cultural, and Linguistic," continues in this intellectual tradition, seeking to reconstruct the geographic and imaginary worlds that gave form to life in the Middle Ages and led to the construction of the national identities that continue to shape fundamental assumptions about today's world. While addressing the significance of the boundaries that have defined and continue to define peoples, this seminar will also give careful consideration to alien groups, living both within and outside the Christian European world—particularly, but not limited to, Muslims, Jews, and heretics. An awareness of how these groups coexisted and clashed, often violently, with dominant Christian communities, is an essential task in the redefinition of the medieval world and the frontiers that existed both at its borders and within its superficially unified communities.
Religion in North America
Contact: Dawn Coleman, English
The Faculty Research Seminar on Religion in North America is a multidisciplinary intellectual community designed to foster scholarship that addresses questions of religion and secularity in North America from 1500 to the present. The group welcomes faculty and graduate students from any discipline in the humanities or social sciences; participants thus far have hailed from Religious Studies, English, History, and Art History. Most meetings focus on the presentation and discussion of a participant's pre-circulated work in progress, with lead discussants beginning the session with prepared remarks. Each semester the group also sets aside a session to discuss a book or series of articles relevant to participants' research interests and hosts a visiting speaker who meets with the seminar and gives a public lecture on some aspect of religion in North America. In Spring 2012, the seminar sponsored Dr. Laurie Maffly-Kipp, Professor and Department Chair of Religious Studies at UNC Chapel Hill and Adjunct Professor of American Studies, who gave a well-attended talk titled, "Saints of Darkness: Mormons, Race, and the Issue of an African American Priesthood."