RDE Retreats and Workshops

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In order to build upon and extend engagement and to enhance faculty and student skills as we move forward, we organize two-day retreats focused on the best pedagogical practices for instilling capacities essential for success both within academia and in the world beyond — capacities often neglected in humanities graduate seminars, but considered by leading academic associations to be foundational to career diversity (see, for example, the MLA’s “Transferable Skills for PhDs in the Humanities” and the AHA’s “The Career Diversity Five Skills”).

Included are such capacities as project management, collaborative research and writing, public presentation, communication in a variety of media and for multiple audiences, and digital and quantitative literacy. In addition, because many PhDs in the humanities will take up teaching positions at institutions other than research universities, it is essential that best practices for teaching the humanities at all levels, including in high schools and community colleges, be incorporated into graduate training. An informal survey of our humanities departments indicates that some faculty have already begun to build these key capacities into their graduate seminars, especially collaborative research and writing, digital skills, and numeracy, but they remain the exception, not the rule.

We have so far offered four retreats: fall 2018, fall 2019, spring 2021 and spring 2023. Please see the links below to learn more about the experts invited to lead working sessions on topics such as collaborative learning environments, building numeracy into humanities syllabi, and community engagement and the public humanities, drawn from our own faculty and outside our institution.

Current programs

RDE Workshop Spring 2024

“Writing as Advocacy”

March 28–29, 2024

Register by February 15, 2024

The spring 2024 RDE workshop for WashU graduate students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences will focus on writing as a tool for advocacy of various forms. Through a series of writing workshops and discussions with an array of humanities practitioners, this event will explore ways that graduate students can use their most well-honed and readily deployable skill — writing — to achieve a variety of ends across the graduate school experience, both on campus and off. Students participating in this workshop will be invited to think capaciously about writing, community and the role of the humanities PhD in the contemporary world.

Public program: “Roundtable: Writing as Advocacy,” Thursday, March 28, 2024

RDE Artistic Practice Research & Gathering 2024

Spring 2024 semester

Application deadline has passed

WashU’s Center for the Humanities and Tyson Research Center invite WashU humanities graduate students to participate in artistic practice research in spring 2024 at Tyson’s fascinating site, which includes remnant structures from WWII built into the wooded landscape, and which will culminate in a two-day on-site workshop-gathering on April 26 and 27. 

The participation will include on-site meetings, individual project development with guidance, a publication opportunity, as well as exposure to the field of “Artistic Research.” The intention is to generate community among researchers from different branches of humanistic inquiry, for whom creative practice can provide a methodologically necessary complement to their critical and intellectual work. 

Public program: April 2024 (details to come)