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Research Assistants

Call for Applications: 2021-22 Undergraduate Research Assistants 

Each year, pending funding from the Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE), the Stanford Humanities Center hires undergraduate Research Assistants (RAs) to assist Humanities Center faculty fellows with research projects over the winter and spring quarters. Undergraduate RAs work eight to ten hours a week, and are paid the undergraduate rate of $15/hr, for a total of $1,500 per quarter (paid in one lump sum at the end of the quarter). The faculty leader of each project provides guidance and mentorship (e.g., weekly meetings and reviews) as the research progresses. RAs are also invited to participate in specially-tailored events at the Humanities Center during their two quarters of research.

For more thant 40 years, the Stanford Humanities Center has been a hub for advanced research in the humanities. With over 50 scholars in residencies of various lengths, the Humanities Center supports inquiry into major questions and problems in philosophy, art, literature, music, history, and religion. Research Assistants at the Center have worked with faculty fellows (from Stanford and visiting from outside universities) on a wide range of scholarly topics and research methods, including data management, network analysis, digital humanities, archival documentation, and more. RAs bring their own expertise to the faculty projects and expand their skills through working with their mentors, developing their understanding of humanities research and how it might play a role in their future studies and professional paths.

How To Apply:

  1. Read the Project Descriptions listed below and determine which project(s) you are interested in applying to.
  2. Reach out directly to the faculty leader at the email provided in order to indicate your interest and discuss next steps in the application/interview process.

List of Project Titles for which RAs are sought. 
Full descriptions of the projects, including research assistant qualifications, follow below.


Project Title: Audiation: Listening to Writing 

Faculty Leader: Lucia Martinez Valdivia, English, Reed College (Associate Professor)/SHC External Faculty Fellow,

Project Description: This project imports and introduces the concept and keyword of audiation from music education to literary criticism and sound studies, describing the faculty by which we “hear” in the mind. For literary criticism, audiation facilitates a focus on the mental soundscapes text can convey, on the range of non-lexical and non-vocal sounds alphabetically represented language can record and communicate, and on its capacity to create mental experiences of sound that exceed the possibilities of physical speech and the acoustic worlds available to our physical senses. Surveying and reconsidering the sound-related phenomena and vocabularies that typically attach to literary critical and neurocognitive discussions of silent reading in general, and of reading lyric poetry in particular, this project models possible affordances of the concept of audiation for theorizing literature and sound. 

Research Assistant (RA) Responsibilities and Learning Outcomes: The RA will help identify and interpret relevant scientific studies from fields such as linguistics, psychology, and neuroscience, learning to put them in dialogue with humanistic lines of inquiry such as literary criticism and sound studies. In so doing, the RA will also refine skills in secondary research and literature review. The ideal candidate will have some lab experience, up to and including experiment design, and an interest in cognition and/or language processing.