Lynette S. Autrey Visiting Scholars

Each year, the HRC strives to advance teaching and research opportunities within the humanities by hosting outstanding external scholars for a one-semester residency at Rice University. By engaging in new research, symposia, and works-in-progress discussions, the fellows play an active scholarly role within the Center. Fellows also teach an undergraduate or graduate course.

Starting in fall 2014, the HRC will grant short-term external faculty fellowships as well as semester-long residencies (two-weeks to 14-weeks). This will grant Rice faculty and students access to scholars who might not be able to come for an entire term and allow fellows to co-teach portions of existing courses.

2013-14 Autrey Scholars

Catherine Wilson, Anniversary Professor of Philosophy, University of York
“Futility and Transcendence: Kant and the Problem of Materialism in 18th Century Philosophy”

Fall 2013

The role of the Lucretian image of nature as presented in De Rerum Natura as adopted, modified, and resisted in the second half of the 18th century is poorly understood and accordingly controversial. Wilson proposes to examine Kant’s relationship to the materialism of the French philosophes as it diffused into German letters. Her intention is not only to try to understand the “critical philosophy” as Kant’s response to the cultural pessimism of his Lucretian-impressed contemporaries, but also to reassess Kant’s value for contemporary moral and political theory in light of his anti-naturalism, arguing that his opponents’ conception of Enlightenment was both more humane and more philosophically tenable. Wilson will also participate in the 2013-14 Rice Seminar, “Materialism and New Materialism across the Disciplines.”

Ian Balfour, professor of English, York University
“Filming Literature In and Beyond the Culture Industry”

Spring 2014

Balfour will work on a new book about the adaptation of literature into film by drawing on theoretical work on translation and tradition by Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno, genre criticism by Northrop Frye and others, as well as recent work on adaptation in film studies (Dudley Andrew, Robert Stam) and the pioneering work of André Bazin. Balfour aims to investigate several different clusters of issues and track them across a wide range of examples, such as genre and its formal consequences, word-image relations, period pieces and the styles of history, the poetics of avant-garde adaptation, and national cinemas and their relation to the world.

Ana Maria Tavares, assistant professor, Departamento de Artes Plásticas da Escola de Comunicações e Artes, Universidade de São Paulo
“Nature In-Vitro: Interrogating Modernity”

Spring 2014

Tavares’ project is an interdisciplinary and transnational research and museological project based on her collaboration with Rice University art and architectural historian Fabiola López-Durán. This research project’s main goal is to investigate the role of aesthetics, science, and ideology at the center of the construction of modernity in Latin America. This research raises the question of medium specificity in the study of modernism--as Andreas Huyssens has demonstrated, we cannot talk about modernism and modernity without considering architecture and the built urban environment among its main transmitters. In the underpinnings of these “cultural objects,” Tavares’ artistic work and the scholarly research of López-Durán intersect to examine notions of nature and landscape through the idea of culture and nation.

Autrey Visiting Scholar Award Information for 2013-14

The Humanities Research Center grants external faculty fellowships for one semester or a full academic year. Autrey Visiting Scholars will receive a stipend of up to $60,000, depending on the length of the fellowship, as well as funds for relocation and research.  
Starting in fall 2014, the HRC will grant short-term external faculty fellowships as well as semester-long residencies (two-weeks to 14-weeks). This will grant Rice faculty and students access to scholars who might not be able to come for an entire term and allow fellows to co-teach portions of existing courses.

General Requirements:

  • Teach one course affiliated with a humanities department
  • Be in residence at Rice throughout the length of the appointment
  • Participate in the intellectual life of the HRC by attending and presenting their research at a brown bag series with other center affiliates
  • Scholars also have the option of organizing or participating in a conference during the academic year


  • Fellowships are awarded to support research projects in the humanities. This includes, but is not limited to history, philosophy, languages, literature, linguistics, religious studies, art history and the arts. Proposals employing humanistic approaches are welcome from anthropology and other social sciences, natural sciences, music, architecture, engineering, and other fields.
  • Both junior and senior scholars with tenured or tenure-track appointments at colleges and universities other than Rice are eligible to apply. Applicants must be at least three years beyond receipt of the PhD or terminal degree for their field at the beginning of the fellowship term.
  • In the event that a proposal is not funded, the candidate is welcome to resubmit an updated proposal in any subsequent year.
  • Rice University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer. Scholars who are members of traditionally under-represented groups are encouraged to apply.
  • There is no citizenship requirement or restriction for this fellowship. Non-U.S. nationals are welcome to apply.
  • Employment eligibility verifications are requested upon hire.
  • This fellowship position at Rice does not provide medical or other benefits.

The call for applications will be posted mid-August and outlines all of the required materials. Applications are due at the end of October and decisions are announced in late December.

Applications will be evaluated by an interdisciplinary committee, which considers the scholarly promise of the research project and its potential contribution to the intellectual community of Rice.

Click here to see a list of past External Faculty Fellows.

Click here to see publications from our past External Faculty Fellows.