Preparing for Annual Evaluations and Promotion Reviews

Monday 13th February at 2pm
Humanities Research Center, Seminar Room 201, 920 W. Franklin Street

A panel of faculty with extensive experience in the faculty evaluation process here at VCU and elsewhere, including Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs Winnie Chan, who is currently responsible for overseeing this process in our College, will be on hand to answer questions and address concerns about this sometimes perplexing and stressful part of our professional lives. The panel will discuss how best to prepare for each stage of the process and there will also be an update on recent changes in evaluation procedure at VCU.

Mentor-Hunting in the Academy

Tuesday 28th March at 2pm
Humanities Research Center, Seminar Room 201, 920 W. Franklin Street

This workshop will discuss strategies for finding advice and support from peers, from senior colleagues at one’s own institution, and from more experienced scholars within one’s academic field at other institutions.


Workshop for New Faculty

September 28, 12.00-2.00pm
HRC Seminar Room

Colleagues who joined VCU as full-time faculty either last year or this fall are invited to attend a workshop on Wednesday 28 September from 12 to 2pm, to discuss any issues that they may be encountering or questions they may have about settling into teaching and other aspects of their life and work at VCU. This is an opportunity to meet and talk with each other as well as several more senior faculty who will be there to engage in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.

Lunch will be provided. Please let Gail Bartee, Coordinator at the Humanities Research Center, know by Friday 16 September if you plan to attend so that we can order food for you.


Scholarly Publishing Workshops for Humanities Faculty

October 17
HRC Seminar Room

The Humanities Research Center at VCU is hosting two Scholarly Publishing Workshops for Humanities Faculty on 17 October, one focused on pre-tenure faculty and the other on post-tenure faculty. These workshops will be led by Dr. Carole Sargent, who has worked for two decades at Georgetown University, first as a faculty member in the English Department and then as founding Director of the Office of Scholarly Publications, where she has guided over 4/5 of Georgetown’s tenure-track faculty to publication.

Sargent’s own research on late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth- century women political writers has appeared in her field’s top journals, including Eighteenth-Century StudiesSEL: Studies in English Literature 1500-1900, and The Scriblerian. She published two books with Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Her books have been featured on National Public Radio, in The New York Times, on CNN, “60 Minutes,” and scores of other media outlets.

Dr. Sargent has led workshops at universities across the country, winning rave reviews from junior and senior faculty. She guides her work by one radical phrase: “They Need You.” Sargent teaches scholars how surprisingly valuable their unique perspectives — including gender, race, socioeconomic background, regionality, nationality, religion, and much more – actually are in the publishing world.She consults with editors at university presses such as Yale, Oxford, Duke, Cornell, California, Georgetown, Princeton, Harvard, Columbia, Oxford, Stanford, and Cambridge to create seminar content.

Scholarly Publishing for Pre-Tenure Faculty

Morning session, 9:30-12:00
HRC Seminar Room

This inspiring overview is geared to early-career scholars, featuring a wealth of straight-from-editors information that counters much conventional wisdom. The process streamlines scholarly publishing so that faculty members craft leaner prose in less time. It significantly improves faculty ability to write fruitfully during teaching semesters, gain editor interest before work is entirely finished, and gauge which journals might care about the work without having to just submit and wait. The first half focuses on key secrets to understanding the needs and interests of first-tier journals. Then we demystify university press book publishing, guiding authors to inquire widely before submitting, and to make exceptionally powerful use of editor meetings at conferences. Topics include analyzing board politics at journals, understanding financial challenges at presses, strategies for growing research from article to book, why it is ironically easier to publish at the higher levels, key issues surrounding diversity and career-life balance, and twenty-first-century digital tools to boost every scholar’s research impact. This content has been developed with faculty members at Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, and the University of Virginia.

Scholarly Publishing After Tenure

Afternoon session, 1:30-4.00
HRC Seminar Room

Many of the same topics in the morning session are adapted here for the particular needs of the post-tenure professor. Additionally we discuss larger-statement career books, later-career grant funding, and university press books that have won the Pulitzer Prize, Wolfson History Prize, and other significant awards. Pressures change after tenure. Many faculty members have growing families, and some find themselves facing dual-career demands that change after one partner’s job becomes more secure. Additionally, departments can reasonably be expected to pile on the service requests, while the pressure to publish decreases. Most scholars have exhausted all possible publishing material from their dissertations, and it can be a challenge to keep going. This session inspires these post-tenure scholars by exploring–in the words of actual scholars who made it–what it means to go up for full professor: why it matters, who benefits, and what changes on the publishing horizon. Is there a benefit or a downside to reinventing oneself in the subject matter? Should one “broaden the message” for university press trade lists, or is that risky? An afternoon rich in on-target anecdotes and unconventional wisdom.



New Technologies for the Humanities at Cabell Library

Cabell Library, Lower Level, The Workshop
Friday, November 18, 2016, 2.00pm – 3:30 pm

How can humanities scholars and teachers make use of emerging technologies and engage with digital scholarship? Join us on November 18 to hear from your colleagues about their digital projects, and learn about digital technology support services offered by VCU Libraries. Attendees will be introduced to new resources in The Workshop in Cabell Library, which range from 3D printers to multimedia production to virtual reality, and participate in a discussion about getting started with new technologies. This workshop offers a chance to consider new tech up close in light of humanities scholarship and teaching, and to talk with library staff about how to begin exploring your ideas.



Teaching in the Humanities

Alternatives to the Paper: Exploring Creative Assignments and Digital Possibilities

February 9, 2016, 2-3.30pm 
Humanities Research Center, Seminar Room 201, 920 W. Franklin Street

Looking to get more than the traditional 3-5 page essay often used in humanities classes? Tired of worrying about plagiarism?  Thinking about how to change things up a bit in your writing assignment? This session on Teaching in the Humanities will provide strategies for designing alternative assignments, examples of creative approaches, and opportunities to discuss moving from conception to assignment. Attendees are encourage to bring their questions, ideas, and strategies for a lively discussion.


Teaching your Research: Making the Excitement of Academic Discovery Accessible to Undergraduates

April 12, 2016, 2:00-3:30pm 
Humanities Research Center, Seminar Room 201, 920 W. Franklin Street

This session on Teaching in the Humanities will discuss strategies for engaging students with our own research, making our work accessible to them, communicating the excitement of academic exploration and discovery, and giving them hands-on experience in what we do as scholars.