The Rice Seminars are designed to promote humanistic research, broadly understood. They bring together a select group of Rice faculty members, visiting scholars, and Rice graduate students to study a common theme from several disciplinary perspectives (funding is available to bring in outside speakers to present public talks, provide feedback, meet with the seminar participants, participate in a year-end conference, and otherwise engage with seminar participants and the broader Rice community). The most visible goal of the seminars is a scholarly publication to which all participants will contribute. Equally important but less visible is the creation of international and interdisciplinary scholarly communities that will outlive the seminars themselves. The topic of the Rice Seminars changes each year.