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Visiting Scholars Lecture Series: How to Apply

Distinguished scholars and artists in the Visiting Scholars Lecture Series are hosted by UT tenured or tenure-track faculty in one of the Humanities Center’s nine affiliated arts and humanities departments. ¬†Faculty submit a speaker nomination to the UT Humanities Center in October.

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 in one of the nine arts and humanities departments or from a faculty member in these departments who represents an arts or humanities 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 on the UT campus about his/her/their research that was intended for a 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 supports each speaker’s visit with a grant of $2000: $1,000 as an honorarium and another $1,000 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 department makes all travel arrangements.

Proposing a Distinguished Speaker

Before submitting a proposal nominating a distinguished speaker, humanities faculty should make preliminary contact with the presumptive visitor to check on his/her/their availability.

Proposals should include:

  1. A speakers proposal of no more than two double-spaced pages that:
    1. demonstrates that the visiting scholar is a leading figure in his/her/their discipline;
    2. states how the host faculty member’s own scholarly work would benefit from the scholar’s visit;
    3. describes how the speaker would enhance research for UT faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students; and
    4. considers how the speaker would appeal to general public audience and promote public education in the region.
  2. A curriculum vitae providing a detailed, current record of the nominating faculty member’s publications.
  3. A curriculum vitae for the visiting scholar or a list of his/her/their significant publications, major fellowship awards, and professional recognitions.

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 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 the UT Humanities Center at humanitiesctr@utk.edu.

Faculty members should direct any questions by phone to 974-4222 or by email to humanitiesctr@utk.edu.


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