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Volume 2, issue 3, November 2021

Welcome to HRC Monthly!

A preview of the November newsletter:
  • Announcing the HRC 2022 Residential Fellows
  • Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Chioke I'Anson 
  • Mark Your Calendars: November 2021 HRC events 
  • Events Co-Sponsored by the HRC
  • Funding Opportunities
    • HRC travel grants
  • Community Learning Opportunities: Humanities Events at VCU and around RVA
Announcing the Spring 2022 HRC Residential Fellows

Congratulations to the Spring 2022 HRC Residential Fellows cohort!
Clockwise: Indira Sultanic, Assistan Professor, School of World Studies, CHS;  Jonathan Molina-Garcia, Assistant Professor, Department of Photography and Film, VCU School of the Arts; Michael Hall, Assistant Professor of English, CHS; Michael Dickinson, Assistant Professor of History, CHS; Kevin Clay, Assistant Professor, Foundations of Education, VCU School of Education 

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Chioke I’Anson, Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Director of VPM + ICA Community Media Center, and underwriting announcer at NPR

Written by Dr. Mary Caton Lingold, Assistant Professor of English

“Every philosopher needs a day job.” That is what Chioke I’Anson said to me when I asked him about the links between his expertise in philosophy and audio storytelling. His role as NPR radio announcer might seem an unusual day job for a professor of African American Studies specializing in philosophy, but if you spend some time in the brand new VPM + ICA Community Media Center he directs, Dr. I’Anson’s pragmatic vision of contemporary storytelling sharpens into view. In fact, he warmly invites humanities faculty to do just that: to come see the space and get a sense of the ambitions and possibilities at the heart of the innovative center, housed on the second floor of the Institute for Contemporary Art. 

When I stepped into the Media Center I was captivated by the inviting visual design and I’Anson’s sense of possibility and purpose. The product of years of visioning and planning, the center establishes a home for members of the public and the VCU community interested in telling great stories. Podcasting is at the heart of the current programming, and a custom sound booth equipped with state-of-the-art technology takes pride of place. In the near future, the center’s focus will expand to promote other kinds of media production, including visual and textual storytelling. All services at the Media Center are free.

The overarching mission of the center is to “nurture new voices” by creating accessibility to technology and training. While the project hopes to be of particular use to members of the Richmond community who are not necessarily affiliated with VCU, the center will also be a valuable resource for faculty and students interested in launching new media projects. For faculty hoping to, say, develop a podcast connected to their research, the Community Media Center will offer how-to videos and workshops with specialists to get them started. 

We are living in a moment when many humanities scholars are striving to reach wider publics with their research. I’Anson insists that audio storytelling can be an excellent way to build skills in bridging the divides between the academy and the public. As he put it, “podcasting is a practice that can make you a more effective communicator.”  I’Anson’s philosophy of podcasting ultimately imagines the form as an intellectual art that can achieve some of the boldest aims of humanistic inquiry. Yet high-mindedness does not characterize the culture of the Media Center, rather the programming trains toward practical insights into the nuts and bolts of making meaningful, engaging stories. From selecting software to honing story arcs, the work of media production is in the details, and I’Anson hopes to make that kind of expertise available to a broad community of Richmonders.  

I’Anson has been involved in media production in lock-step with his academic journey, beginning with his years working in college radio. He is known not only for his work as an announcer on NPR, but also through his appearances on shows like Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, and on podcasts like Love + Radio. A delightful episode, Grain of Sand, from the Everything is Alive showcases Chioke’s humor and philosophical bent particularly well. Chioke is also a much sought-after speaker. A talk on the production of knowledge for Creative Mornings exemplifies his engaging work with live audiences. 

As an Africana philosopher who also studies and rides motorcycles, I’Anson’s research, teaching, and media production fosters connections between and around diverse schools of thought. At VCU he developed an innovative course, Podcasting While Black, the subject of a recent VCU News piece. He teaches a range of courses in the African American Studies Department. (Check out this engaging course trailer showcasing one of his signature courses.) 

Chioke I’Anson stands out as a model creative intellectual, whose work across media and subjects builds conversations with audiences in and beyond the academy. His work at the new VPM + ICA Media Center promises to enrich an even greater community of voices.


November 2021 Events at the HRC 
Click on the posters to register.
For a complete list of all HRC events, please click here.

IMAGE: The Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike (1-95) cleaves through the heart of Jackson Ward (Source: Library of Virginia)

Race, Space and Power in Richmond, VA
Monday, November 15, 2021, 12-12:45 p.m., discussion 12:45-1:30 p.m

History and Health; Racial Equality will host a virtual panel that  explores health disparities in Richmond; their historical roots in Black political disenfranchisement and racial segregation; and ways that we might improve our city's health by building more equitable neighborhoods. Join moderator Adam Ewing, associate professor, Department of African American Studies, CHS, as he leads a conversation with panelists Julian Hayter, professor at the University of Richmond, expert on the history of Richmond, Derek A. Chapman, associate professor of epidemiology, interim director of the Center on Society and Health, Torey Edmonds, community outreach coordinator at the Clark Hill Institute, and Mariah L. Williams, former director of Housing Opportunities Made Equal, currently with Virginia Housing. Following the panel, stay on for a facilitated discussion. The event is co-sponsored by the Humanities Research Center.

November 4, 7 p.m. The Humanities Research Center is Co-sponsoring this event with VCU Library. Registration link:

Save the Date for the Virginia Humanities Conference at VCU

Thursday, March 31 - Friday, April 1, 2022

Co-Sponsored by the Humanities Research Center and the University College

This year, the Virginia Humanities Conference at VCU will address the transformational possibilities at the intersection of the humanities, the arts, and the computational sciences. When looking for just solutions to our most critical social issues, the humanities and the arts turn to collective data to make more just choices. Please find a Call For Papers, as well as submission form, on the Virginia Humanities Conference’s website (https:// The submission deadline is February 22, 2022. The Call for Papers is available here.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY-- HRC Conference Travel Grants

With support from the VCU Office of Research and Innovation and the College of Humanities and Sciences, the Humanities Research Center is pleased to continue supporting travel by VCU faculty in the humanities to present their scholarly findings at major domestic and international conferences. More information about the application process is available here.

Community Learning Opportunities: Humanities Events at VCU and around RVA
Humanities Events around Richmond - November 2021

November 1, 2021

Museums on Main Street - Danville. More info here

November 4, 2021

The Masked Ball- Return of the Raucous Action Live Event at Virginia Humanities, 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. More info, register here

November 5, 2021

Freedom Friday at the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia

November 5, 2021

Would I Lie To You? Mural Walks - Richmond

November 6, 2021

History in Focus: Pocahontas, Meadow Farm Museum. 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. 

November 9, 2021

The ICA: VCUArts Faculty Lecture Series: Honoring the Feminine, 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

November 13, 2021

The Magic of Horror Film Festival at the Firehouse Theatre Project, 12 p.m. - 9 p.m. More info here.

November 13, 2021 Letterpress Core Skills: Fall Session 2021 at the Virginia Center for the Book at the Jefferson School City Center, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Register here

November 14, 2021

Richmond Indie Comic Expo at James Branch Cabell Library

November 18, 2021

Virginia Humanities: Virginia Festival of the Book SHELF LIFE—Beloved Beasts: Michelle Nijhuis in Conversation with Donna Lucey, 12 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. Register here

November 19, 2021

Pocahontas Reframed- The 5th Annual Film Festival. More info here

November 19, 2021 - November 21, 2021

November 20, 2021

Richmond Scavenger Hunts. More info here

The Humanities Research Center is proud to support the 5th Annual Film Festival, "Pocahontas Reframed," the only Indigenous Film Festival on the East Coast. You can learn more about it here.
Would you like to propose an event, workshop, grant application or working group for the HRC in the future? Email Cristina Stanciu at