Advanced Seminars at the School for Advanced Research (SAR) promote in-depth communication among scholars who are at a critical stage of research on a shared topic and whose interaction has the potential to provide new insights into human evolution, behavior, culture, creativity, or society, including critical contemporary issues. SAR generally funds two or three traditional Advanced Seminars per year.
The deadline for Advanced Seminar applications is February 1 of each year. Awards are announced in April. To allow ample time for preparation and circulation of participants’ papers, the School schedules Advanced Seminars 18–24 months in advance.
The advanced seminar selection process is guided by the School’s longstanding commitment to support research that advances knowledge about human culture, evolution, history, and creative expression. SAR views its mission, its scholars, and its attractive campus environment as the connective tissue that supports the kinds of research that underlie its national reputation.
Competitive proposals have a strong empirical dimension, meaning that they address the facts of human life on the ground. They also situate the proposed research within a specific cultural or historical context and engage a broad scholarly literature. Applicants should make a convincing case for the intellectual significance of their projects and their potential contribution to a range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.
Each Advanced Seminar consists of 10 scholars — including one or two who serve as chair/s — who meet at SAR’s Santa Fe campus for five days of intense discussion. Participants appraise ongoing research, assess recent innovations in theory and methods, and share data relevant to broad anthropological problems.
Seminar papers are circulated among participants at least one month prior to the seminar and are discussed during the sessions. These discussions are followed by a consideration of crosscutting issues and a synthesis of ideas. The resulting papers are submitted to SAR Press for possible publication in its Advanced Seminar Series. Following the seminar, the chair is required to submit a 1,500-word summary for use on the School’s web site and annual report.
Seminars are held in the School’s comfortable and fully staffed seminar house, which has a meeting room, dining room, kitchen, private bedrooms for participants, and a pleasant courtyard. Every effort is made to create an atmosphere in which participants can meet without interruption or distraction.
The School provides round-trip coach airfare, lodging, and all meals for up to ten participants. Travel costs are reimbursed at a rate of $600 per participant for domestic travel. SAR will reimburse travel costs for two international participants at a rate of $1,400 each.