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University Seminar Request for Proposals for Academic Year 2019-2020

For more than a decade, the University Seminar (USEM) program has provided an opportunity for firstyear students to take unique two-credit seminar style courses in a variety of fields. Student participation in a USEM should foster a love of learning with the goal of igniting a spark of enthusiasm for a particular subject. It is expected that these courses will help students develop critical thinking skills and explore new ideas in an environment that encourages interactive learning and intensive discussion. For instructors, University Seminars are an opportunity to design a course that may not fit within a specific discipline; the seminars can help blur boundaries between majors and encourage students’ intellectual exploration. For students, University Seminars offer the chance to take a course with an instructor from a school outside of their own, or on a topic that would not typically be found within a single course of study.

University Seminars are offered during both the fall and spring semesters. Beginning with the 2019 – 2020 academic year, however, proposals will be solicited and reviewed separately for fall and spring courses. The RFP (this document) will be the same for both semesters. Fall 2019 proposals are due on January 10, 2019 and spring 2020 proposals are due July 10, 2019.

What Topic Should a University Seminar Address?

While any topic of interest can be proposed, for the 2019 – 2020 academic year you must apply specifically to one of the following tracks:

Track 1: Values, Society, and Diversity. University Seminars in the Values, Society, and Diversity Track will connect to emerging issues at the university and our greater communities, such as topics related to diversity (including, but not limited to, national or ethnic origin and gender identity, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, and family and genetic information). The goal of seminars in this track will be to broaden students’ cultural horizons and give them the skills to interact in an increasingly pluralistic society.

Track 2: Community Engagement. University Seminars in the Community Engagement Track will include a hands-on learning component. Seminars in this track will encourage reflection and critical analysis; will provide opportunities for students to take initiative, make decisions, and be accountable for the results; will provide opportunities for students to engage intellectually, creatively, emotionally, socially, or physically; and will be a designed learning experience that includes the possibility to learn from natural consequences, mistakes, and successes.

Track 3: Expanded Horizons. University Seminars in the Expanded Horizons Track will be interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary. Proposals for seminars in this track are strongly encouraged to be team-taught classes, and should not be topics that would easily fit into a single academic department or major. Proposals in this track should allow for the synthesis of ideas across disciplines and the development of important, transferable skills such as critical thinking, communication and analysis.

Please note that in making funding decisions, preference will be given to course proposals that have not been offered as part of the University Seminar program in any of the last three consecutive semesters.

Who is Eligible to Teach a University Seminar?

Any member of the faculty, Administrative and Professional Faculty Members, and University Staff, may submit proposals. A&P Faculty Members and University Staff who wish to teach a University Seminar must obtain release time for this activity from their department chair or unit director, and are strongly encouraged to review policy PROV-008: Teaching Courses for Academic Credit.

What Funding is Available for University Seminars?

For each two-credit USEM course, a $6,000 award will be provided.

Faculty member(s) may choose to use this award for one or some combination of the following:

1. Research expenses;
2. Wages (for themselves or others, such as a student assistant); or
3. To negotiate release time with the department chair or unit director.

A&P faculty and university staff are only eligible to use the award funds as OTPS. All disbursements are subject to University as well as state and federal guidelines, policies, and procedures. Faculty members may not receive overload for teaching USEM courses. Nine month faculty members may only use the award for their own summer wages during periods in which they are doing University related work.

What Should I Include in My University Seminar Proposal?

Your proposal must include the following components in a single PDF document.

  1. Overview: This section of your proposal should include your name and the names of any coinstructors, the name of the course, a brief course description to be used in the Course Offerings Directory of SIS, and the University Seminar track you are applying to. (One half page max)
  2. Justification: In this section of your proposal you are asked to provide an overview of student learning objectives for your seminar and information about how funding will lead to the development of a course that meets the overall goals of the University Seminar program. This section must also include detailed justification for how your proposed seminar aligns with the specific goals of the University Seminar track to which you are applying. If your proposal is for a course that has been taught in the past, you must also provide information about how the course has evolved over time and the steps you have taken/will take to improve the course going forward. (Two page max)
  3. A syllabus (draft form is acceptable).
  4. Curriculum Vita or Resume for each instructor. (Two page max for each)
  5. Letter of Support: Your proposal must also include a letter of support from your department chair/unit supervisor. For Administrative and Professional Faculty Members and University Staff, the letter needs to note the approval of release time and state how this teaching has been accommodated in accordance with policy PROV-008: Teaching Courses for Academic Credit. The letter of support will be solicited through the application system and does not need to be part of the single PDF submission.

When are Proposals Submitted?

University Seminars are offered during both the fall and spring semesters. Beginning with the 2019 – 2020 academic year, however, proposals will be solicited and reviewed separately for fall and spring courses. The RFP (this document) will be the same for both semesters.

Fall 2019 proposals are due on January 10, 2019 by 11:59 PM
Spring 2020 proposals are due July 10, 2019 by 11:59 PM

For convenience, applicants who have proposals ready for both fall and spring semesters may submit their spring 2020 proposals on InfoReady now (although they will not be reviewed until summer 2019)

How are Proposals Submitted?

All proposals must be submitted online via InfoReady (see link below); hand-written, emailed or otherwise delivered proposals will not be accepted for consideration. The online application will ask a few short questions before you upload your proposal (as one single PDF) and submit your application. Applicants may submit a total of four (4) course proposals – two (2) for fall and two (2) for spring.

Submit proposals for fall 2019 here: https://provost-virginia.infoready4.com/#competitionDetail/1769067
Submit proposals for spring 2020 here: https://provost-virginia.infoready4.com/#competitionDetail/1776399

How are University Seminar Proposals Reviewed?

An advisory committee of faculty members, staff, and students will be assembled to review all submitted proposals and make funding recommendations to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. There will be no quota for the number of proposals that are funded. It is expected that all funding decisions for fall 2019 proposals will be made by January 24, 2019, and decisions for spring 202 proposals will be made by August 1, 2019.

The review committee will be asked to consider a number of questions in evaluating proposals, including, but not limited to:

  • Is the proposal complete and consistent with the specifications of the RFP?
  • Would the course title and description seem appealing to students?
  • Does the proposal clearly state intended student learning objectives for the course?
  • Does the instructor satisfactorily justify how funding will lead to the development of a class that aligns with the goals of the University Seminar program?
  • Does the content and design of the proposed seminar clearly align with the USEM track to which it was submitted? Does the instructor sufficiently justify how the course aligns with the goals of that track?
  • Is the course syllabus, including the grading scheme, congruent with the intended seminar style for University Seminar courses?
  • Does the instructor appear to have sufficient knowledge of the subject that has been proposed?
  • In cases where a proposed seminar has been offered in the past, does the applicant provide sufficient information about how the course has evolved over time and the steps s/he has taken/will take to improve the course going forward? Proposals that have been offered during any of the three most recent semesters should have convincing justification for the ongoing support.

Questions?

Any questions about the University Seminar program should be directed to:
Matt Banfield
Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
University of Virginia
mbanfield@virginia.edu

2018 Teaching with Technology Summit

The 2018 Teaching with Technology Summit
Beautiful Creations, Unexpected Results
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
11:00am-3:00pm
Dathel and John Georges Student Center, Clemons Library

Featuring a keynote address from:

Pasha Antonenko
Associate Professor of Educational Technology
University of Florida

This year marks the bicentennial of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: a classic illustration of the power of technology, and the tragedies that can come from its misuse. Join us as we explore the tools, practices, and ideas that are transforming teaching and learning—and outline strategies to prevent them from becoming monsters in your classroom.

Registration is currently open. Register here to secure your place in this exciting showcase of new tools, innovative practices, and much more.

Designed for faculty, instructors, and researchers at the University of Virginia, the UVA Teaching with Technology Summit is a free annual event featuring faculty experiences with integrating technology into their teaching and learning.

This year’s theme, Beautiful Creations – Unexpected Results, draws inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (and Halloween, of course).

Gain strategies for maximizing technology in your teaching and research, learn about available resources for your courses, and exchange best practices with fellow instructors at mini-breakouts and demos!

Full program details are available on the UVA Teaching with Technology website.

Questions? Contact twt@virginia.edu.

DH Workshop: Paul Vierthaler

DH Workshop: Paul Vierthaler

Thursday, October 11, 2018
12:00-1:30pm
Wilson Hall, Room 142

More about Paul Vierthaler: Paul Vierthaler is a University Lecturer (Assistant Professor) of the Digital Humanities at Leiden University in the Netherlands. In his current monograph project, he analyzes how historical events are represented in “quasi-histories” written in late imperial China. His stylometric work brings new insights to the study of genre and intertextuality.

  • Workshop from 12pm – 1:30 in Wilson 142: Paul’s workshop will introduce ways to use Python to perform the kinds of stylometric text analytics that he will have discussed in his Thursday lecture.  If you visit his website, you’ll find that his demos—while sophisticated—are also accessible to beginners (like me). Register here.
      • Title of workshop: “Visualizing Stylometric and Intertextual Relationships in Large Textual Corpora”
      • Advance installation and support: You’ll need Anaconda on your machine (downloadable here). If you don’t already have it, feel free to come to the workshop early—between 11:30-12—and receive installation support.

Sponsoring Organization(s):

Francesca Fiorani, Associate Dean, College and and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Archie Holmes, Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs
Ron Hutchins, Vice President for Information Technology
John Unsworth, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian
Institute of Global Cultures and the Humanities

DH Speaker Series: Paul Vierthaler

Paul Vierthaler Lecture

Where Did All These Rumors Come From? Computationally
Identifying Intertextuality and Machine-Classifying
Its Source in a Late Imperial Chinese Corpus”

Thursday, October 11, 2018
4:00-5:00pm
Brooks Hall
Authors of late imperial Chinese quasi-historical documents recycled text with little regard for specifying their sources or maintaining fidelity to them. Identifying these instances of intertextuality provides a valuable window into how historical information transformed as it propagated through texts. Yet the mechanics of this transmission can be difficult to assess because of textual attrition and often limited publication information for extant documents. As such, it is often unclear which document is quoting which. In this talk, Paul Vierthaler will briefly introduce a method for extracting these ubiquitous instances of intertextuality and describe his current research in applying machine learning algorithms to predict the text of origin for any given quote.

Paul Vierthaler of the University of Leiden specializes in the digital humanities and Ming and Qing dynasty Chinese literature. His current research focuses on late Ming and early Qing literary representations of recent events, late Imperial print culture and history, genre analysis, and authorship studies. His research incorporates a combination of close reading and traditional critical analysis with natural language processing, corpus linguistics, machine learning and unstructured/structured data analysis.

  • Lecture at 4pm on Thursday, October 11 in Brooks Hall: We’ll be hearing a talk from an important DH voice, Paul Vierthaler, whose work on stylometry and intertextuality description in late Imperial Chinese literature is not only technically quite clear but also broadly useful for literary analysis.
      • Title of talk: “Where Did All These Rumors Come From?  Computationally Identifying Intertextuality and Machine-Classifying Its Source in a Late Imperial Chinese Culture”
      • More about Paul Vierthaler: Paul Vierthaler is a University Lecturer (Assistant Professor) of the Digital Humanities at Leiden University in the Netherlands. In his current monograph project, he analyzes how historical events are represented in “quasi-histories” written in late imperial China. His stylometric work brings new insights to the study of genre and intertextuality.
  • Mixer at 5:30 in the same space: We will celebrate the kickoff of the new DH Certificate program with delicious nibbles and drinks from Harvest Moon, whose food is always amazing and bountiful. Register here. (We just ask you to register so that we can give the caterer a head count; feel free to drop in at the last minute even if you don’t register.)

Sponsoring Organization(s):

Francesca Fiorani, Associate Dean, College and and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Archie Holmes, Executive Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs
Ron Hutchins, Vice President for Information Technology
John Unsworth, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian
Institute of Global Cultures and the Humanities

Registration Open: 2018 ARCS Fall Education Series

ARCS staff are teaching a series of free hands-on workshops this fall that are open to all UVA researchers. Space is limited, so register today! Topics include: