The Humanities Research Seminar Series

The Purpose: The purpose of the seminars is to encourage scholarship and publication by Bergen Humanities faculty and to promote the exchange of new ideas, research interests, and methodologies across the Humanities disciplines and eventually across local institutions. Some of the most innovative scholarship and teaching comes from exposure to interdisciplinary ideas. And the introduction of other area scholars can only help to foster a sense of camaraderie, collegiality, and collaboration among humanities faculty that has endless potential for collaborative scholarship and exchange.

Structure of the Series:The series is modeled on the National Humanities Center’s seminar series that attracts scholars from the surrounding colleges to hear, discuss, and critique each other’s work in progress. The monthly meetings will be held in a seminar room where the featured scholar will summarize a draft of their short paper, book chapter, article draft or conference paper informally for their audience who has had the opportunity to read the piece in advance (the pieces will be posted on this site within one week of the scheduled seminar). The hour-long discussion and questions that follow this presentation are beneficial not only to the featured scholar, who is better able to prepare the piece for publication or conference presentation, but also to the audience who leave with new ideas for their own research and teaching or, for students and the general public, with new insight into the work being done in the Humanities. Tea, Coffee, and Desserts will be provided.

Events, Seminars and PDF of Papers for 2014:


Author: Geoffrey Sadock (Literature/Composition)
Title: Night, a Famine Play or Genocide in Green

Time:  Thursday April 17 12:30-1:40pm Room C321 

Benefits for our Focus on Teaching: The seminars are designed to foster new scholarship and growth by Humanities faculty but the intention is that this new scholarship and intellectual exchange will also benefit our students as faculty utilize this new perspective to reassess their educational methodology and the structure and content of humanities curricula. In turn, the development of new course material can spark new research questions and encourage new areas of scholarship. An indirect goal of the seminars, therefore, is to emphasize and nurture this symbiotic, organic relationship between the dual roles of scholar and educator at the community college.

Who Should Attend? Everyone! The seminars are designed to feature scholarship in the fields traditionally recognized as “Humanities” but anyone is welcome to attend who has an interest in reading, hearing, and discussing these papers. Faculty from all disciplines, staff and administrations, students, and guests from the community and other colleges are all encouraged to come learn more about the latest work being done in the Humanities by our colleagues.

What to expect as a presenter and audience member: The papers will all be available on the website at least 1 week before the seminar so that participants can, if they choose, read the piece in advance and contemplate appropriate questions. The presenting author will have 10-15 minutes at the beginning of the seminar to talk about their work, both the piece the participants have read and also the larger framework or research underway. After this, discussion will be opened to the audience to ask questions and initiate helpful discussion of the piece.

For more information about the seminars or to submit a paper proposal for future seminars please contact Sarah Shurts.


Author: Dorothy Altman (Literature/Composition)
Title: Emerson’s Women: Redefining the Nineteenth Century Caregiver Role in their Lives and Literature: Part I Margaret Fuller

PDF of Altman Caregivers and Chapter 1

Time: Thursday February 6, 12:30-1:45pm in room A225


Author: George Cronk (Philosophy/Religion)
Title: “The Ontological Argument Revisited

Time: Thursday March 6  12:30-1:30pm   Room L347


The Schedule of Seminars and PDF of Papers from 2013:


Author: Ellen Feig (Literature/Composition)
Title: “Searching for Identity in the Shadow of America:  David Albahari, David Bezmozgis, Assimilation and the Jewish-Canadian Dream”

Time: Tuesday November 12th 1:45-3:00pm   Room S114

Ellen Feig’s Paper can be read and printed and there are also supplemental readings in Jewish Candadian literature 



Author: Bill Morales (History)
Title: “Restored to what was planned by Washington: TR and the White House Renovation of 1902” 

PDF of Restored to What was Planned by Washington

Time: Thursday December 5, 1:45-3:00 pm in Room A241