William S. Vaughn 2017/18 Visiting Fellowship: "Telling Stories: Modes, Media, and Meanings"

The Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities will host a year-long interdisciplinary faculty seminar to explore storytelling. Telling stories is fundamental to human life, but what makes certain stories “telling”? When, where, why, by whom, and to what ends do stories get told—and who listens to them? Many academic disciplines have witnessed renewed interest in the meanings and functions of stories, and the modes by and media in which people tell them. This year-long Warren Center Faculty Fellows Seminar will explore innovative scholarly and popular approaches to telling stories emerging from the various humanistic disciplines and consider how these new approaches reframe the politics and ethics of storytelling.

Taking a humanistic, interdisciplinary approach to pressing empirical, theoretical, and methodological issues associated with storytelling has the potential to deepen understanding of what makes some stories “tell” or compel. Members of the seminar may explore questions such as the following: 

  • How do different modes of telling stories—e.g. literary, scholarly, journalistic, dramatic, oratorical, artistic, or cartographic—work and what do they accomplish? 
  • What is the relationship between these traditional storytelling modes and emerging modes, such as computer-generated worlds or digital storytelling? 
  • In what ways do media matter?  In addition to oral, aural, print, and visual media of many kinds, Warren Center Fellows may consider the stories told by mixed forms (e.g., museum exhibitions, statistics, material culture, the natural world, graphic novels, narrative medicine, or big data).

Innovations in these areas offer opportunities to open new conversations across disciplines.

We invite applications for the William S. Vaughn Visiting Fellowship from lively, collegial scholars in all disciplines. The combined interests of the Visiting Fellow and the Vanderbilt Faculty Fellows will determine the form and content of seminar discussions. We anticipate that the successful applicant will have completed the terminal degree in her/his field at the time of application and will have a record of scholarly publications. The seminar meets weekly and will allow the Visiting Fellow ample time to pursue a major research project. 

The Visiting Fellow is provided with a spacious office within the Center’s own historic building. The fellowship pays a stipend of up to $50,000 and provides $2,000 in moving expenses.

Application date
18 Jan 2017
1 year
America United States South East
Humanities Anthropology, Ethnology and Folklore Archaeology Architecture Art & Art History Classical Studies Digital Humanities History Linguistics Literature Media Studies Music & Musicology Philosophy Religion & Theology
Required post-doc experience: 
between 0 and 99 years
Award granted
Up to US$ 50.000 + moving expenses