William S. Vaughn 2018/19 Visiting Fellowship: "The World of Print(s): Multiples and Meanings in Early Modern Europe and North America"
The Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities will host a year-long interdisciplinary faculty seminar to explore the significance of printed words and images in Early Modern Europe and North America. Though the current age is often considered unique in terms of the amount of information constantly flooding the airwaves and the Internet, it is important to historicize the current phenomenon in comparison to the Early Modern period when there was an explosion of printed materials that similarly saturated the West. The advent of cheap print in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries meant that larger audiences than ever before had access to the marketplace of written words, some serious and thoughtful, some salacious and sensational. Images on woodblocks combined with moveable type made possible the publication of a variety of illustrated texts as well. The visual culture brought about by the advent of this technology in the Early Modern period was the backdrop to the work of some of the greatest printmakers of all time.
The seminar participants will put printed works—comprising both textual and visual elements—at the center of an analysis that sees them as representations of discourses external to the objects and, at the same time, as material things. Seminar participants will draw upon contemporary scholarship through various disciplinary lenses, including literary theory and art history. By bridging a variety of disciplines, scholars in the seminar will produce a synthetic view of Early Modern visual culture and its role in shaping political and social opinion. This collaborative work will lead to new perspectives on current debates regarding the presentation and circulation of information and images in the twenty-first century.
We invite applications for the William S. Vaughn Visiting Fellowship from scholars in all disciplines whose lively presence will help to focus our work and stimulate discussions. 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, research, or creative expression. The seminar will meet regularly and will also allow the Visiting Fellow ample time to pursue a major research project. The combined interests of the Visiting Fellow and the Vanderbilt Faculty Fellows will determine the form and content of seminar discussions.
The Visiting Fellow is provided with a spacious office within the Center’s own building. The fellowship pays a stipend of up to $50,000 and provides $2,000 in moving expenses. Application materials may be downloaded from our website. Complete applications must be submitted by January 19, 2018.