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Graduate Student Programs

The following opportunities are available to all Vanderbilt graduate students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.

Dissertation Bootcamp

RPW hosts a Dissertation Bootcamp each fall and spring semester. In addition to receiving and giving peer support, participants take part in individual activities designed to get over hurdles and toward a final draft. Participants agree to weekly minimum writing requirements, in-person attendance at weekly Bootcamp meetings, and the full nine-week program. Participants should be ABD and have completed enough of their dissertation research to spend the semester writing. Participants who complete Bootcamp successfully receive $500 in research funds.

12 Weeks to an Article

RPW sponsors 12 Weeks each spring for advanced graduate students looking to publish an article in an academic journal. Workshop participants meet weekly and complete assignments designed to ready research for publication. These include designing writing plans, crafting abstracts, selecting a journal, and navigating the review process. Participants who submit their article for publication receive $500 in research funds. Participants must have successfully completed Dissertation Bootcamp or hold a recommendation for an article from their dissertation advisor. The workshop is based on Wendy Laura Belcher’s Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks.

Humanities Grad Student Happy Hours

Need a break? RPW offers happy hours throughout the academic year right here at the Vaughn Home.



Career Center Drop-in Hours

RPW joins with the Vanderbilt Career Center to offer weekly drop-in hours exclusively for humanities graduate students. Career and fellowships coach Whitney Taylor can review CVs and resumes, make suggestions on cover letters or fellowship application materials, and answer general questions about job searches, networking, and other professional development opportunities. September-April only. Wednesdays, 1:00-3:00PM; no appointment necessary.

Writer’s House

Most Thursdays throughout the academic year RPW sponsors an afternoon of lunch and writing for graduate students and faculty. Participants enjoy an hour’s lunch together at noon before writing in silence and solidarity from 1:00-4:00PM. Visit our events calendar to see upcoming sessions. RSVP required for lunch via the RPW weekly newsletter.


Humanities Grad Student Un-Cruel Summer Lunches

RPW sponsors biweekly lunches throughout the summer for humanities graduate students to offer collegiality and mutual support to one another. RSVP required. Summer 2024 schedule: June 6, June 20, June 27, July 11, July 25, August 8.



Graduate Theme Fellowship

RPW selects an annual theme that guides the center’s programming for the academic year. Recent themes include Emerging Technologies, the Place of Memory, Environments, Imagining Cities, and Borders and Belonging. Thematic programming includes fellowships for graduate students whose research aligns with the theme. Fellows meet throughout the academic year and participate in shared readings as well as share their own works in progress. Fellows receive a $2000 stipend. RPW welcomes applications from all schools at Vanderbilt. Learn more about the Graduate Theme Fellowship.


Please contact Matt DiCintio, Associate Director, Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities.