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Volume 3, issue 3, November 2022

Welcome to HRC Monthly!

A preview of our November newsletter:
  • Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Catherine Sutton, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy
  • Announcements
    • The HRC was Awarded a Virginia Humanities small grant
    • Research Fridays at the HRC
    • The HRC Virtual Open House: Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022
    • HRC HHL meetings and mentor/mentee opportunities
    • HRC EH Lab Incubator and "Beyond Sustainability" project updates
  • Upcoming Events
    • November Events at the HRC:
      • Speaker Series in Environmental Humanities
      • Meet VCU Authors
  • Funding Opportunities
    • Internal Funding
    • HRC Funding
      • 5x5 Grants
      • [NEW] Working/Research Group Funding for Spring 2023
      • Conference Travel Grants
      • Stay tuned for Research Grants and Residential Fellowships in early 2023
    • Selected External Funding
  • Mentoring Opportunities
    • Graduate School mentoring opportunity
  • Community Event Highlights
  • Humanities around the Country

Faculty Spotlight

Catherine Sutton, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy

Written by Donald Smith, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy
Catherine Sutton

Dr. Catherine Sutton, Associate Professor of Philosophy, thinks and writes about the nature of physical objects and philosophical problems involving them. In particular, her research focuses on the relationship between physical objects and their parts, with special attention on how human beings are related to their brains and bodies. In recent decades, a bottom-up approach to understanding....

Read full spotlight


Virginia Humanities

The Humanities Research Center Awarded Virginia Humanities Grant for 2022-23

Earlier this fall, the HRC was awarded a small Virginia Humanities grant ($5,000) to support an Environmental Humanities Hub at the HRC. The grant will support programmatic efforts, including the public-facing HRC speaker series in Environmental Humanities, and a transdisciplinary research incubator at the HRC, which connects humanities and humanistic social sciences scholars with other environmentally-oriented researchers across the VCU campuses in 2022-2023.
VCU Humanities Research Center Research Fridays

Research Fridays at the HRC: Grant Writing in the Humanities (Nov. 11, 2022, 9:30 a.m.)

Starting on Friday, Nov. 11, we’ll launch a series of virtual working meetings on grant writing in the Humanities. Please join us for the first meeting on Nov. 11,  9:30-11 am, to talk about potential projects, grant opportunities and ideas, forming grant teams, and grant writing in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.

Please register here if you are interested in attending.
The HRC Virtual Open House: Thursday, Dec 1, 4:00-5:00PM. Scan QR code to register.
Mark your calendars for the HRC Virtual Open House on Thursday, December 1, 2022 from 4 -5 p.m. Register here.

HRC Research Lab Updates

The HRC Health Humanities Lab is seeking mentors across our campuses to offer mentoring support at various career levels. Please contact the Lab director, Dr. Chris Cynn, for more information (

Upcoming Meeting
Dec. 2, 11-12pm | Zoom link
Last month, the HRC Environmental Humanities (EH) Lab held a meeting for the Transdisciplinary Environmental Research Incubator, with over 35 participants, co-hosted by the HRC and the new Institute for Sustainable Energy and Environments (ISEE). As we enter into the second phase of the process, four research clusters have emerged:
  1. Urban Green Equity
  2. Black Urban Agriculture
  3. Urban Ecosystem Adventure Art Playground
  4. Circular Economy Hub
The teams continue to meet and refine their projects, while other members of the Incubator continue to brainstorm additional possibilities for collaboration. If you're interested in learning more about the process, or joining us at our next full incubator meeting (10am, November 10th), please email the HRC EH Lab Director Jesse Goldstein (

Beyond Sustainability at the EH Lab

The "Beyond Sustainability" group held their first Curriculum Collective meeting in October, with attendees from Engineering, Arts, Education, and the College of Humanities and Sciences. A number of curricular projects are in the works, which aim to bring students and faculty into creative dialogue about ways VCU may engage with the pressing reality of climate change. Beginning in spring 2023, the group will provide ways for all faculty on campus to integrate Beyond Sustainability activities or lessons into curricula, including opportunities for students to engage in cross-campus town hall events. We are also planning an environmental innovation "design sprint" for student teams for February 2023. If you're interested in learning more about Beyond Sustainability, or in collaborating on any of our projects, please contact Jesse Goldstein (

Upcoming Events at the HRC: Speaker Series and Meet VCU Authors

Click on image to register for each event.
NOV 03 | 6–7PM
HRC EH Speaker Series

WAMPUM Framework: Indigenous Climate Change Adaptation Strategies

Kelsey Leonard, University of Waterloo, will explore pressing sea level rise challenges facing Indigenous Nations along the Atlantic as well as strategies for adaption embedded within Indigenous science and ways of knowing.
NOV 10 | 6–7PM
HRC EH Speaker Series

Water and Land: Indigenous Performance as Invitation to Action

Dr. Bethany Hughes
Co-sponsored by OMSA
NOV 14 | 12–1PM
Meet VCU's Authors

Silver Veins, Dusty Lungs: Mining, Water, and Public Health in Zacatecas, 1835-1946

Dr. Rocío Gomez
NOV 17 | 12:30–1:45PM
Commons Theater

The Recovery of Cherokee Author John Milton Oskison (1874-1947)

Dr. Lionel Larré
Co-sponsored by the VCU Global Education Office 
NOV 17 | 6–7PM
HRC EH Speaker Series
Cabell Library, Room 303

"The Seed Keeper" Reading & Discussion

Diane Wilson (Dakota Nation) will present a reading from her recent novel “The Seed Keeper,” winner of the 2022 Minnesota Book Award in Fiction. The author will also discuss her work as the former executive director of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance.
View all events

Funding Opportunities:

Internal Funding

VCU Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation

OVPRI announces internal funding opportunities of nearly $5 million to support faculty research

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI) announced a new round of internal funding related to the One VCU Research Strategic Priorities Plan. This announcement serves as the start of the second year of VCU's six-year research strategic plan designed to leverage VCU’s creative and diverse strengths to improve the human condition, and is open to all researchers, scholars and creative innovators across the university.


The VCU Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Fund

Purpose: Through a partnership between the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation, the VCU Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Fund is designed to support, facilitate and enhance the creation, production and dissemination of arts, humanities and social sciences research and creative activity at any stage of development, including initial or mid-stage project development, presentation or performance, and final publication. 

Eligibility: Principal investigators must be any full-time VCU faculty regardless of rank or tenure status. Both single- and multi-scholar or artist grants are eligible.

Award Period: Funding up to $10,000 total for 12 months. The start date is July 1, 2023, and project end date of June 30, 2024.

Full proposal deadline: Application packages must be submitted via Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences: OP00000444 no later than 5 p.m. (ET), Feb. 10, 2023. You will receive a confirmation email upon receipt. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline for any reason.

HRC Funding Opportunities

The HRC 5x5 Grants

Applications are now open for the fall semester. The Humanities Research Center's 5×5 Collaborative Grants encourage faculty in the humanities, humanistic social sciences, natural sciences, and the arts to organize around a topic of common interest. This can include a set of readings, an activity, or just an idea which could lead to future research/projects.

How to apply→

[NEW] Working/Research Group Funding for Spring 2023

In an effort to build community and foster interdisciplinary exchange on topics with a humanistic focus, the HRC invites proposals for collaborative interdisciplinary working groups for Spring 2023. Both active existing groups and emerging groups are eligible to apply for funding in the Spring semester for up to $500 in funding/group. We envisions these grants as bringing together VU faculty and graduate students around a focused topic in the humanities where interdisciplinary approaches converge. The work proposed by the Working Groups may lead to new curricular offerings, publications, grant applications, or collaborative faculty projects.

To apply, please submit: the names and affiliation of group members, group leader name, a list of activities proposed for spring 2023, dates for proposed meetings, and a budget. The HRC also offers meeting space in the Valentine House for the groups meeting in person. If you’re unsure of eligibility, please reach out to the center director.  If funded, the group will be expected to submit a brief report by May 30, 2023.

Please submit applications to Cristina Stanciu ( by December 15, 2022.

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.

Research Travel Grants

Stay tuned for call for applications in January 2023

Residential Fellowships

We will begin accepting applications in February 2023.
Our annual theme for 2023-24 will be "Medical Humanities."

External Funding

Selected Funding Opportunities

Mentoring Opportunities

The Graduate School

Faculty Research Mentoring Opportunity

In a collaboration between The Graduate School and Strategic Enrollment Management & Student Success, VCU is the recipient of the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program grant. The TRIO-based program is funded through the US Department of Education and specifically assists underrepresented undergraduate students from low-income backgrounds in gaining research and the attainment of doctoral degrees. Critical to the program's success are faculty who can serve as research mentors. If you would like to volunteer to be a faculty research mentor please complete this interest form. A series of informational sessions about the McNair Scholars program and the role of mentors will be held on the following dates:  For information about the McNair Scholars program, being a mentor, or to attend one of the informational sessions, please contact Jeff Wilson of the Graduate School at   

The HRC in the News

Ethan Brown

Pamunkey artist Ethan Brown brings his work, process and expertise to VCU

Brown is serving as the inaugural Karenne Wood Native Artist/Writer in Residence at the Humanities Research Center.

Read here→
Intersections: Black and Indigenous Sound in the Early Atlantic World

VCU event to delve into the roots of Black and Indigenous music and sound in the early Atlantic world

“Intersections: Black and Indigenous Sound in the Early Atlantic World,” an in-person and virtual event taking place on Oct. 15, is free and open to the public.

Read here→

Community Event Highlights

The 6th Annual Pocahontas Reframed Film Festival

NOV 18–20

The only Native American film festival on the East Coast returns for its 6th year. The Pocahontas Reframed Film Festival brings together artists, authors, cineastes, and actors who share a passion for film and features experiential learning opportunities for the entire public. Storytelling and filmmaking have suffered from a dearth of representation of important groups that influenced American democracy, notably Native Americans. Pocahontas Reframed honors the contributions of Native Americans and reinvigorates conversations about telling stories of indigenous life.
Pamunkey Museum

The Office of Alumni Relations and the Humanities Research Center Sponsor Visit to the Pamunkey Indian Reservation

NOV 05 | 10AM–1:30PM
Development and Alumni Relations Building

Join fellow alumni for a visit to the Pamunkey Indian Reservation and tour of the Pamunkey Museum and Cultural Center. Documents preserved in the archives of the U.S. and England show the existence of the Pamunkey Indian Tribe since the first visit of Captain John Smith in 1607 when the English settled Jamestown. Brad Brown, who is Pamunkey and director of the Native Film Festival, will give a tour and talk about the tribe's history. Visit the Museum and Cultural Center. Learn about the Pamunkey way of life beginning 12,000 years ago to the present.

This event is co-sponsored by the VCU Humanities Research Center.

Where Are We Going? Changes in Transportation

NOV 01 | 5:30–7:30PM
The Valentine

Join us at Richmond Railroad Museum for “Where are we Going? Changes in Transportation” in The Valentine’s Controversy/History series. Our expert panelists will discuss the status of the high-speed rail, new and alternative transportation options, and the possibility of highway expansion in the Richmond Region.

Motions To Unfurl: Co-Sensing With Naima Green & Ica Sadagat

NOV 03 | 1–4PM

A performance and conversation with artist Naima Green and poet and essayist Ica Sadagat. “Motions to Unfurl” is an experiment towards trust, candor, and possibility where two collaborators reveal, unveil, and soften to prioritize the inquiry rather than the conclusion.

Angel Bat Dawid

ICA First Friday: Angel Bat Dawid

NOV 04 | 7:30–9:00 PM

Join us on RVA First Friday for a concert by acclaimed Black American composer, clarinetist, pianist, vocalist, producer, educator and DJ Angel Bat Dawid. She will be joined by Virginia-based artist JJJJJerome Ellis for a one-of-a-kind performance blending music, poetry, and mysticism. Followed by a conversation with Chioke I’Anson, director of the VPM + ICA Community Media Center.

Wavelength: Patrice Helmar

NOV 15 | 12–1PM

Wavelength is an online lecture series that is a collaboration between VCUarts, the ICA, and VCUarts Qatar. Patrice Aphrodite Helmar is an artist and independent curator from Juneau, Alaska. She worked in her father’s small-town camera shop and darkroom growing up and continues to work in photography.
Aware: A Community Exhibition 2022

Aware 2022 Exhibition

Nov 4–13
The Virginia Beach Art Center

The Aware ’22 Exhibition features artwork that honors our local Native American populations as well as a large community art installation called The Feather Project.

Over 1400 feathers have been created and mailed from all over the US to honor both survivors of the Indian Boarding School program and to memorialize those who did not survive their boarding school experience.

Humanities Around the Country

Humanities for All

Humanities for All showcases over 2,000 examples of publicly engaged humanities work at colleges and universities across the United States.

Learn more→
National Humanities Alliance logo

Study the Humanities

Strengthening humanities recruitment efforts through researching strategies, making the case for the humanities, and building community between faculty and administrators around the country.

Community Case Studies

Through its Community Case Studies initiative, the National Humanities Alliance is documenting the impact of a broad range of humanities work on public life in three American communities. By capturing the cumulative impact of this work on community life, NHA can better advocate for state, local, and federal policies that support the humanities.

Support the HRC

Make a donation to the HRC fund

Would you like to propose an event, workshop, grant application or working group for the HRC in the future?

 Email Cristina Stanciu at
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