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Visiting Scholars Project

Hosted by the UT Humanities Center, the Visiting Scholars Project brings renowned scholars to the UT campus and connects UT humanities faculty to the best researchers in their fields. Because only full professors with exceptional records of publication and research activity are eligible to receive a nomination as a visiting scholar, the program brings to campus some of the most cutting-edge and prolific intellectuals in the humanities today.

We invite nominating proposals from UT tenured or tenure-track faculty for speakers for academic year 2018-2019.  Visiting scholar nominees should have an exceptional record in their fields, including such markers of excellence as publication of at least two scholarly monographs by first-tier university presses, membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Distinguished Achievement Award from an organization such as the Mellon Foundation, or major national fellowship awards from such organizations as the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Humanities Endowment, or the American Council of Learned Societies.

Nominations may come from individual faculty members or from an individual representing a group that would find it collectively beneficial to host a visiting scholar, such as a faculty organizer of an upcoming UT Authorfest or a humanities conference on the UT campus.  In all cases, the visiting scholar would

  • present a specialized lecture about his/her/their research that was intended for a well informed and interested public audience and for faculty and advanced graduate students from the speaker’s discipline;
  • give a condensed version of this talk or related topics pertaining to the speaker’s current research at a UTHC Chandler luncheon attended by UTHC faculty fellows; and
  • participate in other activities mutually agreed upon by the speaker and the nominating UT faculty member, such as visiting a graduate or advanced undergraduate seminar, consulting with the nominating faculty member about the latter’s research, and/or advising advanced graduate students during meals or a scheduled manuscript review.

The UT Humanities Center awards speakers a stipend of $1,000 each, and another $1,000 is committed by the UTHC toward funding travel and other expenses associated with the speaker’s visit.  Nominating faculty may, of course, supplement this UTHC funding with additional funding provided by their home departments.  The nominating faculty member’s host department makes all travel arrangements and sends documentation of all associated charges to Melanie Murphy so that funds can be transferred to the appropriate departmental account.

It is recommended that before submitting a proposal nominating a distinguished speaker, UT humanities faculty should make preliminary contact with the presumptive visitor to check on his/her/their availability.  Faculty should submit their proposals to the UT Humanities Center by 5pm on October 1.  Proposals should include a speaker proposal, the CV of the nominating faculty member, and the CV of the nominated speaker.

    Proposal --  In no more than two double-spaced pages, the proposal should
    • demonstrate that the visiting scholar is a leading figure in his/her/their discipline;
    • describe the faculty member’s own current scholarly work and state how it would benefit from the scholar’s visit; and
    • describe how the nominating faculty member’s graduate and/or undergraduate students, or the campus as a whole, would benefit from the scholar’s visit.
    Curriculum Vitae -- Two CVs should be attached as appendices to the proposal: 1) a curriculum vitae for the visiting scholar or a list of his/her/their significant publications, major fellowship awards, and professional recognitions; and 2) a curriculum vitae providing a detailed, current record of the nominating faculty member’s publications.

If the UTHC receives an overwhelming number of nominations, certain facts may make some proposals more attractive than others, such as whether nominating faculty have applied for an external fellowship within one year of the application deadline or whether certain nominees address timely topics of interest to a number of campus constituencies.In all cases, the recent scholarly productivity of the UT faculty member submitting the nomination will be a significant factor in the evaluation.

Proposals should be sent by email no later than 5pm on October 1, to Amy J. Elias, Director, Humanities Center at

Faculty members should direct any questions by email to Amy J. Elias.

Sponsored by: The University of Tennessee Humanities Center and the Office of Research & Engagement

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.