Baylor offers seminars to showcase faculty and student research in the humanities

By Sørina Higgins
Doctoral student in English and Presidential Scholar, Baylor University

At Baylor University, there are three “research seminars” that exist to showcase research by graduate students, faculty members and invited guest scholars in the humanities. These time-period-based groups are interdisciplinary effects of the English, Religion and History departments. Throughout each semester, they offer events such as graduate student panels, social gatherings, faculty talks, lectures or readings by notable outside guests, and symposia of various kinds. Graduate students and faculty who are interested in these fields are invited to read the descriptions below of the three seminars, and then to contact the relevant people if they would like to be added to a notification list or to join a planning committee.

1. The Medieval and Renaissance Research Seminar (MRRS)

MRRS seeks to provide students, teachers and scholars with an interdisciplinary academic forum in which they can share their knowledge and enjoyment of a multitude of subjects that represent the diversity of human thought, creativity and accomplishment throughout the Medieval and Renaissance periods. To this end, we host a variety of scholarly and social events throughout the year.

Traditionally, we begin each academic year by holding a potluck feast for the purposes both of strengthening interdepartmental ties and introducing new scholars to their colleagues outside of their own departments. We end each academic year with a panel of graduate students who have the opportunity to present their dissertation research. In between these bookending events, we facilitate lectures by both Baylor and visiting faculty, and seek to partner with Baylor Medieval and Renaissance scholars in various capacities. In previous years, for instance, we have organized conference panels and volunteered on conference organization committees.

We invite on-campus scholars to give conference-style presentations on research they are currently conducting into any topic dealing with the medieval or Renaissance time periods. This semester, our lectures will be on Sept. 21, Oct. 12 and Nov. 16.

If you are interested in learning more about MRRS or joining our mailing list, please contact Josh Pittman (

2. The 19th Century Research Seminar (19CRS)

The 19th Century Research Seminar (19CRS) joins with Baylor University’s English department, the Armstrong Browning Library and other academic departments of Baylor to provide an interdisciplinary forum for faculty and graduate students in and outside of the university to present original research in all areas of 19th century studies. Every academic year 19CRS hosts a series of monthly lectures. Scholars of all disciplines are encouraged to present research that furthers our understanding of the 19th century.

This fall features many exciting events. On Sept. 14, this year’s Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Awards were given to Nicole Bouchard and Nicholas Krause. On Sept. 21, Professor Clare Simmons will lead a workshop on “Publishing Your First Article and Submitting to Conferences.” On Oct. 4-5, the “Rhyme and Reform” International Symposium will experiment with a more sustainable form of conferencing and collaboration: it will digitally link two event centers across the Atlantic, use COVE to create a cooperative digital annotation of “Cry of the Children,” and invite participants around the world to access exhibitions and live-streamed presentations through this website. To register and learn more, please visit

For more information and additional events, visit To get involved in 19CRS or have your name added to the mailing list, contact Nicole Bouchard (

3. The Modern and Contemporary (20th and 21st century) Research Seminar (Mod/Con)

The Modern/Contemporary Research Seminar (Mod/Con) exists to highlight the research of faculty members, graduate students and invited guests in 20th and 21st century literature, history, religion and related fields. A committee of graduate students headed by Dr. Richard Russell and Dr. Julia Daniel meets periodically to plan and run lectures, roundtables and social events.

This fall, some of our events include the following. On Sept. 28, Dr. Richard Rankin Russell will give a lecture drawn from his current book project, entitled “Protestant Self-Fashioning in Joyce’s ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.’” On Nov. 12 and 13, John Greening will be delivering a scholarly lecture on World War I, then reading from his own original poetry.

To find out about additional events, volunteer on the committee, or be added to the mailing list, contact Sørina Higgins (

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