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The RPW Center offers undergraduate courses as part of an NEH Humanities Connection Implementation Grant. These “Humanities in Place” courses offer an immersive, place-based curriculum for historic preservation and humanities-centered land use at Vanderbilt University, as well as introduce students to a wide range of careers in the applied humanities. 

Courses Taught by Warren Center Faculty

In addition to the Humanities in Place courses, RPW Center Director Holly Tucker and Associate Director Elizabeth Meadows teach courses that connect humanities research and learning to real world issues and opportunities. 

In this course, students will analyze first-hand accounts of pandemics to understand how public health crises were experienced and documented. They will make connections between lived experiences in the past to understand in deeper ways their own experiences during the current pandemic and create personal, first-hand accounts that document their experiences with COVID-19. 


Through an immersive role-playing game, students plunge into the intellectual and political currents that surged through revolutionary Paris in 1791. How does one find a balance between individual desires/goals and the responsibilities of citizenship? Do revolutionaries have a right to use violence to eliminate an oppressive government? Conversely, does a state have the right to employ violent means to suppress rebellion? 

Elizabeth Meadows and Chris Rowe

This course unites English and Engineering in exploring the evolution of urban environments and the roles of literature and culture in that evolution. Students will examine the landscape of urban infrastructure and representations of cities in books, movies, and works of art to unearth how and why cities create opportunity and innovation while simultaneously restricting access to such benefits.  


Past Courses

Madeleine Casad 

Emphasizing interconnections between identity, cultural memory, and narrative practice in the digital age, students will learn about effective and meaningful storytelling with digital technologies across a variety of applications and platforms. Students will explore interactive narratives, read theoretical works about narrative, memory, and technology, and create a series of engaged, interactive stories of their own, using a variety of digital technologies to mobilize different kinds of imaginative immersion and interactivity. 

Christopher Loss, Elizabeth Meadows, and Teresa Gray  

Learn about the history of the United States through the lens of the American research university after the Civil War, using Vanderbilt as a case study. Students will get the chance to work with primary documents (e.g., newspapers, yearbooks, and other student publications; administrative records; letters, correspondence, and personal papers; ephemera; and so on) related to the history of Vanderbilt University. 

Matthew Worsnick 

Students will undertake extensive original historical research into the Vaughn Home on Vanderbilt’s campus, in order to produce a collaboratively authored professional, formal historic structure report on the building, its dependencies, and the immediately surrounding landscape. 

This course will cover excavation techniques needed to explore the Vaughn Home grounds as a hands-on lab. 

Matthew Worsnick and Celia Walker 

Students will work inside the Vaughn Home with library and Fine Arts Gallery staff to create a museum centered on the history of the University.

Lori Troxel 

Students will work with Engineering faculty and campus planning, using a human-centered design process, to create a public space that showcases the centrality of the Humanities in Vanderbilt’s past, present, and future. 

Steven Wernke 

Students will learn how to catalog, research, and curate artifacts uncovered by recent archaeological excavations near the house.