Humanities Institute

Faculty Fellows Seminar

Spring 2017 Seminar with Priscilla WaldThe theme of the 2018-2020 Humanities Institute seminar is “Narrative Across the Disciplines.” With this year’s theme, the Humanities Institute aims to discuss the central role that narrative—stories and storytelling, broadly conceived—plays in a variety of different fields. The social function of stories is evident in disciplines such as medicine, law, cognitive science, sociology, communication, and economics, as well as in the traditional humanities. Fellows will consider a range of questions related to narrative and storytelling from their own disciplines and beyond. For instance, what forms of inquiry and insight does a focus on narrative make available, and what additional possibilities remain to be explored? Conversely, what facets of the world, including perhaps the non-human, might be obscured by approaches that privilege narrative? How have new technologies affected the structure, performance, and reception of narrative? What can be learned by discussing narratives of various forms, media, and historical periods together? 

Read more about the 2018-2020 class of Faculty Fellows here. Visit the Humanities Institute's blog Thinking in Community to keep up with our weekly posts on research presented in the Faculty Fellows Seminar!

The Humanities Institute Faculty Seminar meets weekly during the academic year to explore an annually selected issue or theme that lends itself to inquiry across a broad disciplinary spectrum. Designed to promote intellectual collaboration and collegiality across college and departmental lines, the seminar is open to faculty by application. Advanced graduate students may also apply to take the seminar for course credit. Successful faculty applicants are appointed as Humanities Institute Fellows and receive a one-course teaching load reduction for the semester of their appointment in the Institute. Each faculty fellow typically leads one session of the seminar on work or interests related to the annual theme.

Each group of fellows also invites four or five distinguished visitors whose work has been formative for the issues under discussion to guest-lead sessions of the seminar and deliver public lectures in the Institute's Distinguished Visiting Lecture Series. Faculty from the colleges of Liberal Arts, Fine Arts, and Communication, from the schools of Law, Social Work, and Architecture, and from the McCombs School of Business have participated in the interdisciplinary seminar. Many Faculty Fellows take the opportunity to work on a large project or book during the semester of the seminar.

Past annual themes have included: "Health, Well Being, and Healing," "Imagined Futures," "Ethical Life in a Global Society," "The Future of Disciplinary Knowledge," "Texas in Global Contexts," "Modernity," "The Work of Religion: Past, Present, and Future," "Remembering and Forgetting, Collecting and Discarding," and "The Human and its Others."

For more information, please contact the Institute at (512) 471-9056 or

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