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Tenenbaum Sophomore Tutorials in Liberal Arts Faculty Overview

Tenenbaum Sophomore Tutorials in Liberal Arts,
Illustration Credit: Czarlyn Trinidad (NT '21)

Tulane’s School of Liberal Arts offers students the best of both worlds: the faculty of a world-class research university and the close faculty-student connections of a liberal arts college. The Tenenbaum Program in the Liberal Arts is an opportunity for students at Tulane to highlight and deepen this dual identity.

Description and Objectives

The Tenenbaum Program brings together faculty with individual sophomores or juniors in individual tutorial discussions and research, creating the ideal conditions for intellectual exchange. 

The program builds on the tutorial-style relationship and helps students strengthen written and oral communication skills while pursuing independent research projects. Tenenbaum research tutorials are 4-credit hour courses encompassing extensive instructor contact time, directed reading, and research. The projects need to be situated about ‘big ideas’ in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. Past students have sought disciplinary training in understanding concepts such as “justice,” “beauty,” “well-being,” and “community.” This is a chance to guide students to an advanced reading list in your area of expertise with an idea towards a final project that demonstrates their future potential as researchers in your fields. 

Faculty mentors help students develop a plan of study, including a reading list and outputs for the semester. In the past, students have built a tutorial and research agenda around broad topics as varied as crime, justice, race, feminism, and statehood. Many have done original research that takes them to archives, field study, and conferences. Any humanities or social science faculty with an ongoing research agenda in liberal arts may be a tutorial mentor.  Students, with your consultation and approval, may decide to include their final research presentations or artistic work as outputs from the study.

Each student will have up to a $1500 research budget to assist their inquiries.* Some students have wanted to use the tutorial to complete their tier-2 writing requirement (those parameters are on the School of Liberal Arts Writing Intensive Requirement page), and we encourage you to help them by editing their drafts for revision. Students may also want to do their research during a study abroad semester. In that case, you will want to complete the plan of study and tutorial meeting times prior to travel.  Late in the spring semester, students share their projects to the group in a symposium attended by students, Tenenbaum faculty mentors, and invited guests.

Each faculty member will receive $3000.** Moneys are disbursed at the end of the semester either as research funds or as a one-time payment. The latter is taxed. Faculty may only do one tutorial per semester, up to 2 a year. 

This is a selective program of up to 12 students annually. We encourage the students to work harder than they would in developing a course of study and to show sustained initiative in their work with you. You will grade them at the end of the semester. Many of these students will be considering this research as a foundation for their future honors project. Departments and programs are not obliged to count the INTD course for the program as a major or minor course, though they are welcome to in consultation with a chair or director. 

Application Procedure for Faculty

Faculty may participate in the program by leading independent tutorials in the fall or spring terms. Applicants must have sophomore or junior standing at the time of the tutorial. 

Interested faculty mentors should apply via this online form that asks for areas of research interest and disciplinary training, along with a cv. This will information will be included on a website from which Tenenbaum students can select faculty mentors. We will select as many faculty mentors as meet the requirements and will seek to achieve diversity across departments and interdisciplinary approaches.

We recruit the students to the program in two ways:

  1. Open applications from students who know the faculty member they want to work with, and
  2. Faculty who teach sophomores and juniors may nominate one of their best students to apply to the program.

Applications to be a faculty member are accepted on a rolling basis. They can be found in Box.

* For students who matriculated into the program in Spring of 2023. 2022 students will have up to a $1000 research budget to assist their inquiries.
** For faculty who matriculated into the program in Spring of 2023. Faculty who matriculated into the program in the Spring of 2022 will receive $2000.