The Humanities Research Center’s Interdisciplinary Research Groups foster conversation and creativity across conventional disciplinary boundaries by bringing together faculty and graduate students from different departments with common interests. Group members meet on a regular basis to discuss books and journal articles of common interest and/or their own work-in-progress. The Humanities Research Center provides space and administrative support for group meetings.

Proposals for new groups are always welcome. Please contact the Director, Richard Godbeer, with any ideas you may have for an Interdisciplinary Research Group.

The following groups are convening in the 2016-2017 academic year:

Film and Media Studies

Contact: Oliver Speck, School of World Studies,

The Film and Media Studies group meets to discuss the history and theory of film and media. We discuss work-in-progress by VCU faculty and graduate students as well as important work of interest to the group. All approaches to film and media studies — historical, sociological, and theoretical — are welcome.

Premodern Society and Culture

Contact: Richard Godbeer, Department of History and Director, Humanities Research Center,

This group examines a broad range of questions and issues relating to medieval, early modern, eighteenth-century, and early nineteenth-century society and culture.  It meets two or three times a semester to discuss a participating member’s work-in-progress — usually a draft book chapter or journal article. All disciplinary and methodological approaches are welcome.

The Nineteenth Century

Contact David Latane, Department of English,

This group explores questions relating to the period from the end of the Napoleonic wars to World War I across multiple disciplines and cultures. It meets two or three times a semester to discuss a participating member’s work-in-progress  (usually a draft book chapter or journal article), workshop a member’s upcoming presentation, or critique a new scholarly work of wide interest. All disciplinary and methodological approaches are welcome.

Writing the First Book

Contact: Christine Cynn, Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies,

This writing group provides a supportive and rigorous forum in which junior faculty can engage with each other as they work on their first scholarly monographs. The group reads and discusses draft chapters, book proposals for submission to presses, and applications for fellowships and grants. It also invites senior colleagues to visit, talk about their experiences in writing and publishing their first books, and share strategies for successful and timely completion of a book project.