Faculty Development Seminars
Designed to enhance the quality of humanities research at UW-Madison and to promote sustained collaboration and dialogue across disciplinary lines, the Center for the Humanities and Institute for Research in the Humanities (with major support from the Dean of the College of Letters and Science) inaugurated Faculty Development Seminars in the Humanities in the spring of 2007.
The Seminars enable an individual senior faculty member, or a team of two senior faculty members, to teach fellow faculty for ten weeks (a weekly two hour seminar) on a focused and vital topic. The presiding faculty receive course credit and their department receives funds for a replacement lecturer. The ten faculty members taking the course receive research funds to recognize their selection and to cover the costs of materials.
Machiavelli’s Prince was completed 500 years ago, and it – along with its author and his works – has been the subject of controversy ever since. Seminar participants will pursue three interrelated aims. First and foremost, participants will encounter Machiavelli’s life and times through his major works. Second, participants will encounter seminal works of Machiavelli scholarship from a variety of humanistic disciplines through introductory discussions by the faculty conveners. Third, participants will grapple with the questions Machiavelli himself – and his interpreters – have confronted: empire, republicanism, the limits of human agency, and the aims of literature.
This seminar has two goals. First, it will explore the vital role of the environmental humanities in reimaging the intellectual priorities of environmental studies. Second it will explore the implications of one such ascendant story, that of the Anthropocene. This seminar should appeal to a diverse range of faculty interested in exploring the dynamic interface between the environmental humanities and the social, biological and earth sciences, including faculty interested in theorizing, historicizing, representing and mobilizing the Anthropocene.
Beginning in 2007, Center-sponsored Faculty Development Seminars have ranged in topics, from policies for international governance to theories of visuality, from prolonged study of Ovid to the proper aims of higher education.
The seminars may be led by an individual faculty member or may be team taught by two faculty members from different departments in the humanities (both faculty members will receive teaching credit and their departments will receive funds for replacement lecturers). Topics should be broadly conceived and of potential interest to a large number of humanities disciplines.