Welcome to the NEH Summer Seminar for Teachers

Disputatio and the Pursuit of Wisdom in the Humanities

NEH Summer Seminar 2021

NEH Summer Seminar for Teachers
Baylor University, Waco, TX
July 18th-30th, 2021
Stipend: $2,200
All Meetings Online

What is this seminar about?  

Whether we study literature, history, civics, or philosophy, teaching in the humanities involves the engagement of wisdom questions--the questions that guide human conduct and shape the interpretation of human experience.  This seminar explores the disputatio, or the disputed question, as a time-tested pattern for considering such questions across the disciplines.  The idea animating this seminar is that the disputatio is to wisdom questions as the scientific method is to knowledge questions--it is a step-by-step procedure for producing and communicating, not the final word on a given subject, but a stable, well-reasoned answer.  For more information on wisdom questions and the disputatio genre, See the Program Description link.  

Who is this seminar for?  

The seminar is designed for humanities teachers, primarily in high schools, though applications from humanities educators at all levels are welcome.  The seminar will be most useful to humanities teachers seeking to equip students to engage ideas philosophically, whether those ideas arise in a philosophy course, a literary text or through the study of history or government.  See Application Process link for more information about eligibility.  

Who is leading this seminar?  

Drs. Todd Buras (Philosophy) and Phillip Donnelly (Literature) of Baylor University, together with K-12 Specialist, Dr. Sean Riley (Stony Brook School), and Graduate Student Assistant, Kirsten Welch (Teacher's College, Columbia University).  See Project Team link for more information.  

What will we read in this seminar?  

The aim of our program of study is to recover the disputatio and explore its capacity to foster the pursuit of wisdom in humanities classes.  Our readings will therefore consist of two parts.  We will read a variety of ancient primary sources to understand wisdom questions and trace the development of the disputatio.  We will then read a selection of literary and philosophical sources to explore the capacity of disputatio to foster the pursuit of wisdom in different classroom contexts.  See Program of Study link for more details.  

How will this seminar be delivered? 

Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the seminar will be entirely ONLINE.  Details will be posted in due course on the Logistics link.  

How do I apply?  

Click the link on the bottom of the Application Process page.  

NEH - National Endowment for the Humanities