Exploratory Seminars & Faculty Fellows

Exploratory Seminars


Bok Exploratory Seminars offer faculty a collaborative space to deliberate the most urgent problems and potentially transformational opportunities in Higher Education, with the primary goal of developing interventions that will chart the course of future teaching and learning at Harvard. Inspired by the Exploratory Seminars of the Radcliffe Institute, each seminar is led by a Faculty Fellow whose current or future teaching is highly informed by the seminar’s theme.  Seminar participants typically spend 1–2 days making a deep dive into the theme and formulating concrete responses, e.g., new course design or curriculum redesign, aimed at having a measurable impact on teaching and learning at Harvard.

Funding for exploratory seminars includes the cost of bringing in guest participants with relevant expertise or perspectives. The outcomes of the seminar, ranging from new course design to curricular programming, receive support from the Bok Center for implementation as well as any related research and evaluation plans.

Read more about Bok Exploratory Seminars

Visit the Exploratory Seminars' Canvas site

Upcoming Exploratory Seminars

Coming Soon

Bok Exploratory Seminar on Improving the Social Science Curriculum for Data Science

May 9-10, 2019
May 9 Dinner - 7:15pm, May 10 Seminar 9:00am-3:00pm
Dinner - Harvest restaurant, Seminar - CGIS Room 354
Led by Bok Faculty Fellow Matthew Blackwell

This seminar will explore ways of integrating data science into the government concentration.  It will bring together Harvard faculty in the social sciences, leading scholars and educators from several peer institutions who have successfully integrated data science into their social science courses and programs, as well as leaders in the data and technology industry who can provide insight into desired skills for the workforce and avenues for partnerships. This event will explore how other institutions have approached similar challenges and find new avenues for innovation.

The Exploratory Seminar will focus on three levels:

  • Course level:  How might we design and teach courses on data science for Government concentrators?  For example, what might a methods course cover? What are examples of in class activities and assignments that enable students to develop and apply requisite skills?

  • Curricular level:  How can we integrate data science into the overall Government concentration?  What set of classes should we offer?

  • Extracurricular level:  How can we build community among students interested in data science?  How might we connect students with partners in industry, nonprofits, and other sectors?

While this Bok Exploratory seminar is focused on the Government Department, we expect that faculty in related social science departments would also be interested in the conversation.

Register for this Exploratory Seminar

Visit the Canvas Site for this Seminar

Past Exploratory Seminars


Bok Exploratory Seminar on Improving the Social Science Curriculum for Data Science - May 10, 2019
Bok Exploratory Seminar on Fostering an Inclusive Environment in the Classroom - February 8 & March 1, 2019
Bok Exploratory Seminar on
Case Teaching - April 26-27, 2017
Bok Exploratory Seminar on
Data Literacy - April 6-7, 2016

Faculty Fellows

Beginning in 2018-19, the Bok Center will appoint a Faculty Fellow to lead each exploratory seminar.  The Faculty Fellow will be responsible for determining the goals of the seminar, setting the agenda, and identifying appropriate guest speakers.  The Bok Center Faculty Fellows program was originally created to allow a small number of faculty to focus on interesting and impactful ideas in teaching and learning. The Bok Center provides faculty fellows with the context, human support, and resources to enable them to pursue their projects. 

To apply to lead an Exploratory Seminar, and become a Faculty Fellow, see the above links.