Apply for Humanities Core Lectureships

Thank you for your interest in applying for a lectureship in the Humanities Collegiate Division! We are now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 academic year.

This site provides job descriptions and application instructions for lectureship positions in the Humanities Collegiate Division general education (Core) sequences. Applicants for these positions must be University of Chicago graduate students who have attained ABD status no later than the end of Spring Quarter 2021.

Hiring decisions will be made by faculty committees in consultation with the Master of the Humanities Collegiate Division during the early summer quarter, and scheduling is done based on the scheduling requirements of the Humanities Collegiate Division. Preference will be given to those graduate students who have completed a substantial part of their doctoral dissertation, participated in the pedagogical training course offered by the College Writing Program, and served as writing interns in the Humanities Core. For details on the training courses offered by the College Writing Program, contact them at 773.702.2658 or

Applicants are free to apply for more than one sequence. Brief descriptions of each sequence are provided below. Complete descriptions of the Humanities Core sequences can be found in the College Catalog.

If you have questions, please contact the Collegiate Division Coordinator at

Expectations of Lecturers

Lecturers are chosen on the basis of their qualifications as teachers and scholars and the progress of their academic work. Lecturers have full responsibility for teaching one or more sections of a Core Sequence in the Humanities for one or more quarters. Within the limits established by tradition, faculty consensus, and a syllabus of shared readings, lecturers have discretion to teach the class as they see fit to achieve the learning goals of the Humanities Core Curriculum. The Faculty Core Coordinator of each Core sequence and the Humanities Core Pedagogy Coordinator, a position held by Valerie Levan, Assistant Senior Instructional Professor, are the resources to which lecturers should turn for assistance with their teaching. For help with logistical and administrative issues, please contact Hannah Stark.

The chief responsibilities of lecturers are the following:

  • Attend required pedagogy workshops offered by the Chicago Center for Teaching in collaboration with the Humanities Collegiate Division
  • Participate in all regularly scheduled meetings of the staff teaching in the same sequence. Staff meetings are arranged by the coordinators of each Core sequence
  • Prepare a syllabus that clearly states the objectives of the course, the requirements that students will be expected to fulfill, and the basis on which they will be graded. A syllabus template is included as an appendix to the Humanities Core Teaching Handbook.
  • Announce clear policies on grading, attendance, class participation, and cheating, and adhere to those policies
  • Grade and comment on papers in a timely fashion
  • Maintain regular weekly office hours
  • Give students meaningful and timely feedback on their performance
  • Work closely with the writing interns to integrate the writing workshops with the Core class
  • Submit final grades by the Registrar's published deadline

Humanities Core Courses Descriptions

    In this sequence, students examine the relationship between the individual and society in a rich and exciting selection of literary texts from across the globe. Concurrently, they address the challenges faced by readers confronting foreign literatures, reading across time and cultures, and reading texts in translation. The sequence focuses on two major literary themes and genres: Epic Poetry (Autumn Quarter) and Autobiography (Winter Quarter). Students wishing to continue into the Spring Quarter can choose from a selection of topics courses (e.g., “Masters and Slaves,” “Reading Crime Fiction,” “Love and Transformation,” or “Animals and Others.")

    In this sequence, students consider philosophy in two lights: as an ongoing series of arguments addressed to certain fundamental questions about the place of human beings in the world and as a historically situated discipline interacting with and responding to developments in other areas of thought and culture. Readings tend to divide between works of philosophy and contemporaneous works of literature, but they may also include texts of scientific, religious, or legal practice.

    In this sequence, students learn about the three poetic genres that Aristotle thought most important: Epic, Tragedy and Comedy -- how they were invented by the Greeks and how they were then adapted and reinvented many times, first by the Romans and then by subsequent poets and playwrights from the Renaissance to modern times. Autumn is devoted to epic poetry, beginning with the Iliad and ending with Paradise Lost, in Winter we read a different tragic play each week, beginning with Aeschylus and ending with dramatists like Shakespeare and Racine and in the Spring we turn to Comedy starting with Aristophanes and Plautus and ending with comic playwrights like Shakespeare, Moliere or Kleist.

    What does it mean to be an excellent human being and an excellent citizen? This sequence invites students to debate, discuss, and critically examine what it means to be part of a community, and other related matters. Students read and discuss seminal works predominantly of the Western tradition, selected both because they illuminate the central questions and because, read together, they form a compelling record of human inquiry.

    In this sequence, students learn the art of close reading through the analysis of objects across a broad range of times and places, from Homer’s Odyssey to contemporary film, from folktales to museums. In the process they explore questions about memory, home, and belonging; the various historical forms of cultural production, from epic to folk tale, music, film, and novels; about the challenges of translation to responsible interpretation; about texts as formative sources of human community, interpersonal obligation, and transcendence; about hybridity and the legacy of colonialism; and, of course, about the role of humanistic inquiry in addressing all these questions.

    Students in this sequence study a question central to humanistic inquiry: How do different kinds of media allow us to perceive and represent our world? To answer this question, they study how painting, photography, writing, film, song, and other media have allowed for new forms of knowledge, expression, and experience—but have also been seen as ethically dangerous or politically disruptive. The sequence traces philosophical and aesthetic debates about media from antiquity to the present in various cultural contexts. Students examine discussions of image, text, and sound in Plato, Shakespeare, Nietzsche, W. E. B. Du Bois, Alfred Hitchcock, Toni Morrison, and recent critical theory.

    Language is at the center of what it means to be human and is instrumental in all humanistic pursuits. With it, we understand others, persuade, argue, reason, and think. This course aims to provoke critical examination of common assumptions that determine our understanding of language, texts, and the ways language is used and understood via three interconnected processes: power, identity, and thought.

    What is poetry and why do we do it? In this three-quarter sequence, students examine the practice of poetry as a form of communication and linguistic innovation, asking questions such as: How is poetry as language and action different from other forms of linguistic activity? What is the role of poetry in society, in regard to memory, storytelling, and history; ritual and magic; knowledge and formation of selfhood; institution and revolution? This course addresses these questions in the poetry of different eras and peoples. In the Spring Quarter, this sequence branches: students may continue into HUMA 18200 or switch into the affiliated Arts Core course CRWR 18200 Poetry and the Human.