Research Groups

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, Brooke Newman, at bnewman@vcu.edu with any ideas you may have for an interdisciplinary research group.

nuclear power plants with smoke coming out the tops

Critical Environmental Thought

This reading group will discuss texts from the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences that are relevant to critical engagements with environmental change. We are specifically interested in exploring work that deals with themes such as environmental racism, sociotechnical systems, climate change politics, decolonial and anti-racist praxis, and environmental activism (global and local). We intend to bring scholars together that are working in or interested in exploring interdisciplinary fields such as world ecology, indigenous studies, environmental humanities, political ecology, and environmental justice. The group will be a forum to discuss scholarly works-in-progress as well as a platform for community engagement. Faculty and graduate students from all schools and colleges at VCU are welcome.

Contacts

Aspen Brinton, School of World Studies
aebrinton@vcu.edu

Jesse Goldstein, Sociology
jgoldstein2@vcu.edu

Travis Williams, Sociology
tlwilliams3@vcu.edu

movie camera

Film and Media Studies

The Film and Media Studies group meets to discuss the history and theory of film and media. We discuss works-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. Faculty and graduate students from all schools and colleges at VCU are welcome.

Contact

Oliver Speck, School of World Studies
ocspeck@vcu.edu

l.g.b.t. couple shares an intimate moment

LGBTQ Studies

The LGBTQ Studies group meets regularly to discuss group members’ works-in-progress and books or articles addressing LGBTQ topics from a wide range of disciplinary and methodological perspectives. Faculty and graduate students from all schools and colleges at VCU are welcome.

Contact

Chris Cynn, Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies
cjcynn@vcu.edu

premodern era painting of a seated woman with a young man leaning over her shoulder

Premodern Society and Culture

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. Faculty and graduate students from all schools and colleges at VCU are welcome.

Contact

Brooke Newman, Department of History and Interim Director, Humanities Research Center
bnewman@vcu.edu

women sitting under trees in an old nineteenth century photograph

The 19th Century

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.

Contacts

Mimi Winick, Department of English
mpwinick@vcu.edu

Adam Abraham, Department of English
asabraham@vcu.edu

woman writing in a journal

Writing the First Book

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. Faculty and graduate students from all schools and colleges at VCU are welcome.

Contact

Samaneh Oladi Ghadikolaei, School of World Studies (Religious Studies)
soladighadiko@vcu.edu

neon sign that says

Women and Leadership in the Humanities

The goal of this group — open to colleagues across gender, rank and discipline — is to provide a forum for informed and supportive conversation about women’s career trajectories and their experience of leadership roles, broadly defined, in the academy. Faculty and graduate students from all schools and colleges at VCU are welcome.

Contact

Catherine Ingrassia, Department of English
cingrass@vcu.edu