Spring 2017

What the ‘Literary Greats’ Have to Say to Us Today

Over the last few decades there has been much discussion of how literary canons evolve over time and which authors rightfully belong to that canon. Many works by women, LGBTQ authors, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and non-Europeans have now made their way into college literature courses, though whether these authors should become a permanent part of the college curriculum, or whether there really ought to be a literary canon at all, are matters of heated debate. But meanwhile, what do the mostly white and male ‘literary greats’ who used to be firmly embedded within the high school and college literary curriculum have to say to us today? Are they still relevant to our increasingly diverse twenty-first-century global society? Next spring four highly respected scholars address these questions in a series of provocative talks about the place that the ‘literary greats’ can still occupy in our lives today. This series is co-sponsored by the Department of English.

Admission is free and all are welcome!

  • Ayanna Thompson
    Spring 2017 Speaker Series: Ayanna Thompson

    Wednesday February 1, 2017

    Is Shakespeare Beyond Race?

    Ayanna Thompson, Professor of English,...

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  • Emma Smith
    Spring 2017 Speaker Series: Emma Smith

    Wednesday March 15, 2017

    What’s it worth? Shakespeare’s Value Then and Now

    Emma Smith,...

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  • Joseph Valente
    Spring 2017 Speaker Series: Joseph Valente

    March 22, 2017

    From Whiteboys to White Nationalism: A Joycean Prophecy of the Trump...

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  • Devoney Looser
    Spring 2017 Speaker Series: Devoney Looser

    Wednesday April 5, 2017

    Jane Austen Then and Now: Reinventing a Literary Legend


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Fall 2016

We have two speaker series this fall in addition to our Meet VCU’s Authors series.

Native American Knowledge and the Environment

As we ponder the implications of climate change and environmental damage inflicted by human behavior, alternative sources of energy such as wind and water are attracting increasing attention. But less attention is being paid to alternative knowledges, or different ways of conceptualizing our relationship with our environment. This speaker series features three leading scholars of Native American Knowledge as it relates to the environment. These three scholar activists explore Indigenous knowledge systems and their applications in diverse contexts including water and environmental governance, environmental justice, forest policy and management, and sustainable development. They offer different ways of engaging with our world and exciting possibilities for our collective future.

    HRC Speaker Series: Dr. Daniel Wildcat

    September 8, 2016

    “Exercising Indigenuity: The Role of Indigenous Knowledges in Healing the Planet” Read More

    HRC Speaker Series: Dr. Deborah McGregor

    October 6, 2016

    “Applying Indigenous Legal Traditions to Conceptualizing Water Justice”

    Dr. Deborah...

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    HRC Speaker Series: Dr. Clint Carroll

    November 3, 2016

    “Landscapes of Renewal: Cherokee  Adaptation and Environmental Governance”

    Dr. Clint...

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This series is co-sponsored by the Science, Technology, and Society Program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Admission is free and all are welcome!

Celebrating Forty Years of LGBTQ Activism at VCU

Forty years ago VCU’s first LGBTQ student group, the Gay Alliance of Students, secured official recognition as a student organization following a two year legal struggle. This year we celebrate that victory, which coincided with the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence, as an important milestone on the path toward inclusion and acceptance for LGBTQ students, staff, and faculty at VCU. This Humanities Research Center speaker series examines the 1974-76 struggle at VCU, puts that local history into a broader national context with a talk by acclaimed historian Professor Marc Stein, and concludes with a keynote address by tennis superstar and advocate for women and LGBTQ people, Billie Jean King. Admission is free and all are welcome!

    Trials and Triumphs, 1974-76: The Struggle for Recognition of VCU’s first Gay Student Group

    Tuesday October 4 at noon
    Cabell Library Lecture Hall, 901 Park Avenue

    Trials and...

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    Students, Sodomy, and the State: LGBT Campus Struggles in the 1970s

    Thursday October 13 at 4pm
    Richmond Salons I & 2, University Student Commons, 907 Floyd...

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  • Billie Jean King
    A Conversation with Billie Jean King

    Thursday October 27 at 6pm
    Siegel Center

    If through her words and deeds...

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This series is co-sponsored by the Office of the President, the Division for Inclusive Excellence, the Office of the Vice President for Health Sciences, the Division of Student Affairs, VCU Athletics, the VCU Libraries, VCU Alumni Rainbow Rams, the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, Equity and Access Services, and Equality VCU, to whom many thanks!

All of these events are free and open to the public.