The HRC’s Environmental Humanities Lab is a convening ground centering humanistic inquiry in a broader field of transdisciplinary environmental scholarship. We understand Environmental Humanities as an interdisciplinary mode of inquiry that seeks to understand, interpret, and diagnose how social and cultural relationships with the natural world are mediated by texts, media, art, history, and embodied experience.
The HRC Health Humanities Lab fosters interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research collaborations that center on better understanding and critiquing the systematic and structural inequities that produce health and healthcare disparities, and on imagining and enacting alternatives. The goal of the Health Humanities Lab is to bring fresh perspectives from the humanities, arts, and social sciences, as well as from the Richmond community and beyond, to advance individual and communal well being.
The HRC Public Humanities Lab serves as a central hub for connecting students, faculty, staff, and other community practitioners engaged in the research, pedagogy, and practice of public humanities. The goal of the Public Humanities Lab is to foster the practice of collaborative work on history, heritage, and culture, connect humanistic inquiry with civic and cultural engagement, and to build sustainable relationships among VCU and its broader communities.
The HRC AI Futures Lab is an interdisciplinary hub dedicated to understanding the power relations that organize AI systems and imagining ethical AI practices and futures. The goal of the AI Futures Lab is to bring people from the humanities, arts, social sciences, and sciences together to collaboratively examine AI technologies and their impacts on the world, including how AI intersects with race, gender, sexuality, and disability, as well as with environmental concerns.
Graphic narratives—ranging from cave paintings to wood cuts to comic books—are integral to how individuals and societies express and share views of their places in this world. The HRC's Graphics Narratives Lab is a central hub where faculty and students will meet to study the importance of graphic narratives within the humanities, and consider why and how faculty can implement graphic narratives into their pedagogy. The creative process underlying graphic narratives is explored through the lab.
In the humanities, the term memory is often used to describe how social groups form and remember ideas about the past. Group memory is formed through social practices, such as commemorative holidays, monuments, language, stories, school curricula, popular culture, and other shared activities. The HRC Memory Studies Lab is a space to examine and engage with memory studies through an interdisciplinary research approach. We come from a wide array of disciplines, such as history, political science, education, comparative literature, paleo-anthropology, and urban planning, and we study memory in both local and global contexts.
The HRC Migration Studies Lab provides a forum and research home for all VCU faculty, post-docs, and graduate and undergraduate students interested in migration from any disciplinary or regional angle. The Migration Studies Lab enhances the collaboration between VCU and community partners who work with migrant communities, including Sacred Heart Center and New Virginia Majority.