Liberal Arts Honors Programs | College of Liberal Arts
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Junior Fellows

College of Liberal Arts

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The Junior Fellows Program was begun in 1959 by Harry Ransom as a means of encouraging academic excellence in the College of Arts and Sciences. At that time it was essentially an honor society to which students were elected at the end of their freshman year. Over the years, the Junior Fellows has evolved into a society of juniors and seniors from the University at large who are engaged in independent research projects under the direction of members of the faculty.

Fellows are required to attend meetings of the group, held every other week in both the fall and spring semesters. Besides project presentations, meetings feature discussions led by eminent scholars from on and off campus. Fellows have the opportunity to participate in field trips, seminars, and other academic activities.

It is possible to earn academic credit for work done as a Junior Fellow, by enrolling in the appropriate conference course with the supervising professor. For example, Humanities and Plan II majors usually use their senior theses as their Junior Fellows projects. Students pursuing Special Honors in their major use the honors thesis number. Other non-honors courses are also available, for example ARH 376, E 367C, CH 475K, RTF 336. Fellows should register for the course that is approved by their advisers, fits into their degree plans, and has the right format for the chosen topic. Funds are available to assist Fellows with expenses involved in their research. There is also some money available for Fellows who can demonstrate financial need.

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About the Director

Elizabeth Scala

Elizabeth Scala teaches in the English Department and currently runs its Honors Program. She is the Ellen Clayton Garwood Centennial Professor of English Literature. Before arriving at UT, she attended Wellesley College (BA) and Harvard University (MA, PhD) and held a post-doc at the University of Chicago, where she taught in the Freshman Humanities program. Her primary area of research concerns the works of medieval poet, Geoffrey Chaucer, and the textual environments in which his works survive—both manuscripts and early prints. She regularly teaches a course on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales each year. She has also been known to teach classes on Shakespeare, Harry Potter, Food Writing, and the films of Alfred Hitchcock. This is her third year directing the Junior Fellows Program, which she thoroughly enjoys.