Undergraduate Research Seminar
Featuring Original Undergraduate Research in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
The Undergraduate Research Seminar at the Hall Center offers a venue for undergraduates in the humanities, arts, and social sciences to share their research and creative projects. Modeled after the Hall Center's faculty seminars, this seminar’s primary goal is to offer a forum for undergraduate researchers to discuss each other’s works in progress and to introduce them to the value of exchange and collaboration in the production of knowledge. The seminar usually meets on Friday afternoons.
What to Expect
At the Undergraduate Research Seminar, there will typically be two or three presentations. Each presenter will open up with a 5-10 minute presentation about his/her project, followed by 20-25 minutes of discussion. The overall intent of the seminar is to have a discussion about the project, so plan on participating in a conversation! The dress code is casual (jeans are just fine!). See below for more details about what to do, depending on whether you are attending or presenting:
For those attending:
- All undergraduates are invited to attend (freshmen to senior, any major). No need to RSVP--just show up!
- Attending the Undergraduate Research Seminar is a great opportunity for you to learn about an interesting topic, see the types of projects that undergraduates can do at KU, and refine your own research and writing skills by participating in a conversation with other students about their work.
- At the seminar, your role is to ask questions, think critically about the project, and offer suggestions to help the presenter dive deeper into his/her topic. Here are some things to consider:
- Focus on providing constructive criticism: this might be the person's first time presenting, so you want to offer thought-provoking questions that will help them move forward in the project.
- What arguments did you find particularly convincing or well-supported? What confused you or left you wanting to know more?
- Do you understand the focus of the project, and how this fits with what other scholars have said on the topic? What evidence or method was used in this project? Are the ways that the presenter could make this more clear?
- Presenters should plan on giving a 5-10 minutes presentation about their projects, and then open it up for discussion. Plan on getting the discussion started by having some discussion questions ready: What questions or issues are you still thinking through with your own project? What ideas would you like some feedback on? Thinking about which areas you are still needing feedback on and leading the discussion around those areas can help you get more targeted feedback on your project.
- If s/he is available, plan on bringing your research mentor with you. That faculty/staff member can help steer the conversation in ways that will be productive for you, and can help you to make sense of the feedback that you get in order to improve your work.
- Bring some friends to the seminar as well--having supportive people in the audience will not only help you feel more comfortable, it will give you more people to bounce your ideas off of.
If you have any questions about the Undergraduate Research Seminar at the Hall Center, email Anne Dotter at firstname.lastname@example.org. The seminar is sponsored by the Hall Center for the Humanities, the University Honors Program, and the Center for Undergraduate Research.
Interested in presenting?
- Eligibility: All undergraduate students doing a research or creative project in the humanities, social sciences, or arts are invited to apply to present. Interdisciplinary projects are especially encouraged. You can be at any point in the project (just beginning or nearly completed)--you just need to be far enough into your project to be able to give a short presentation and guide a discussion. You do not need to be in any particular KU program (Honors, McNair, UGRA, etc.) to present--as long as you have a project and a research mentor, we'd love to have you!
- Deadline: We are currently taking applications for students interested in presenting during the spring 2020 semester. We will review applications to present and notify all applicants by the end of the fall semester about the presentation schedule for the spring.