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Volume 2, issue 7, May 2022

Welcome to HRC Monthly!

A preview of our May newsletter:
  • Faculty Spotlight: David Wojahn, Department of English
  • Congratulations to our new Residential Fellows for AY 2022-2023!
  • Congratulations to Dr. Adam Ewing on winning an NEH Summer Stipend!
  • Faculty Support
    • Faculty Success Program Support, Dr. Grace Gipson
    • 5x5 Grant Recipients
  • New Research Groups
    • Ethics
    • Creation, Technology and Language in the Arts and Humanities
    • The Second Book Writing Group
  • Future Funding Opportunities
    • NEH Summer Stipends
    • HRC Travel Grants
  • HRC Faculty Survey
  • Community Learning Events
  • Have a great summer!

Faculty Spotlight

David Wojahn, Professor of English

Written by Kathleen Graber, Professor of English
David Wojahn

David Wojahn is a distinguished poet, essayist, and Professor of English. He is currently the Director of VCU’s Creative Writing Program, which is unique in the College of Humanities and Sciences, as it awards this division’s only degree in fine arts, an MFA in Creative Writing. In recent years, it has also been home to three Guggenheim Fellows... [Read more]

Congratulations to the HRC Residential Fellows, 2022-2023!

Congratulations to the new cohort of HRC Residential Fellows, who will work together in the Fellows Seminar next year!!

Kai Bosworth, Assistant Professor, School of World Studies, CHS
"Grottograph: Mapping the Intimate Social Relations of Cave Conservation"

Kathleen Chapman, Associate Professor, Department of Art History, School of the Arts
"Wild, Domesticated, Modernized: Animal Art in Wilhelmine Germany"

Rocío Gomez, Assistant Professor, Department of History, CHS
“From Peru to Pittsburgh: Vanadium Mining, Toxic Legacies, and Extractive Colonialism” 

Jennifer Rhee, Associate Professor, Department of English, CHS
“The Ecological Materialities of Artificial Intelligence in the Racial Capitalocene”

Andrea C. Simonelli, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, CHS
"Climate Migration as Earth Systems Migration: Global Relocation in the Anthropocene"

Congratulations, Dr. Adam Ewing!

Congratulations to Dr. Adam Ewing on winning an NEH Summer 2022 Stipend to support his project, 

"Promised Land: The Rise and Fall of the Global Pan-African Movement"!

Faculty Support

Dr. Grace Gipson was awarded mentoring support from the HRC to participate in the summer Faculty Success Program through the NCFDD (National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity).

We are delighted to support Dr. Gipson's participation this summer in the NCFDD Faculty Success Program (FSP), an invaluable professional development resource for tenure-track faculty.

HRC 5x5 Grants

The HRC 5x5 grant applications are currently paused until the Fall 2022 semester. We congratulate all the 5x5 recipients in Spring 2022! We look forward to continuing to support your research next year!
Monuments Group
Memory Studies Group

New Research Groups

Ethics Research Group at the HRC led by Ross Collin, School of Education.

We say we want good lives-- the topic of ethics-- but it's difficult to know just what we mean. This research group meets to discuss ethics, or morality, from the perspectives of the humanities, social sciences, theology, natural sciences, professional fields, and beyond. The group considers questions including: How does morality shift with changes in social context? How do works of art make ethical arguments? What is the moral standing of nonhuman animals? How does moral change occur? The group reads a variety of texts, from Confucius' Analects to Emile Durkheim's Suicide to Toni Morrison's Beloved, as well as group members’ works-in-progress. Faculty and graduate students from all schools and colleges at VCU are welcome.

Contact: Ross Collin,
"Creation, Technology and Language in the Arts and Humanities" 

This HRC working group will explore questions surrounding the nature of language, specifically regarding its relationship to other forms of making and creativity.

Contact: David Golumbia (, Adin Lears (

The Humanities Research Center is launching The Second Book Writing Group for mid-career faculty.

This writing group provides a supportive and rigorous forum for mid-career faculty to work on second (and third or fourth) monographs. This interdisciplinary book writing group will schedule meetings occurring regularly enough that each member can present work-in-progress once during the semester. Such sessions will offer substantive group discussion of each individual chapter or work-in-progress. Groups may schedule other, optional activities, as desired. Faculty from all schools and colleges at VCU are welcome.

Contact: Cristina Stanciu,

Funding Opportunities

NEH Seal

NEH Summer Stipends

The program aims to stimulate new research in the humanities and its publication by supporting the work of individual scholars doing research or writing. Anyone can apply, as long as they are not a degree candidate at time of application. The award amount is $6,000, and the NEH application deadline is September 21, 2022. The internal HRC  deadline for review is August 22. (Please note that, after internal review, 2 VCU faculty will be nominated to apply for this award.) You can find information on the program here.
Learn more

HRC 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.

HRC Faculty Survey

HRC Icon
If you would like to provide some thoughts and recommendations for the HRC as we develop our programming for next year, please take a moment to fill out our brief survey. It should take 5-7 minutes. The first 25 responders will receive our brand new HRC t-shirt in August. Thank you for your time!

Go to survey

Community Event Highlights

Cooked: Survival by Zipcode text on map of housing districts.
Extreme Heat, Climate Change and Racial Equity
FRI, MAY 20 | 6–8 PM

Join the ICA and the Richmond Racial Equity Essays project for a special screening of the PBS Independent Lens documentary Cooked: Survival By Zip Code, followed by a panel discussion on the urgency of local climate action and equitable approaches to realizing a sustainable Richmond.

Cooked: Survival by Zip Code tells the story of the tragic 1995 Chicago heat wave, the most traumatic in U.S. history, in which 739 citizens died over the course of just a single week, most of them poor, elderly, and African American. Following the film, a panel discussion moderated by Ebony Walden and Dr. Jeremy Hoffman will explicate the linkages between what happened in Chicago over 25 years ago and what is still happening in Richmond in 2022. Panelists Amy Wentz (Southside ReLeaf), David Sale (RVAGreen 2050), Kendra Norrell (Institute for Sustainable Communities), will highlight the efforts to mitigate extreme heat, climate change, and its distributed risks in Richmond’s communities of color from the institutional, community, and policy realms. The evening will conclude with an open forum for audience members to sign up for volunteer efforts aligned with these projects. RSVP here.

Aquí me quedo/Here I Stay: A Panel Discussion
THU, MAY 26 | 6–8 PM

Join the ICA for a panel discussion that considers the influence of late artists Sila Chanto and Belkis Ramírez, as well as the themes of feminism and political and social dissent explored throughout the ICA’s new exhibition of their work Aquí me quedo/Here I Stay. RSVP here.
Lee Monument 2020
Virtual Valentine: Richmond’s Monumental Power Play
TUE, MAY 17 | 7–8 PM

Join The Valentine for a virtual program exploring how the power of money, politics, religion, media, violence, and education affected the landscape and region’s residents over time through the misinformation campaign of the Lost Cause mythology. Presented by The Valentine’s Curator of General Collections, Christina Vida, this program will explore the museum’s collection and provide an early preview of new exhibition content currently in development. Register here.
24th Annual Asian American Celebration
SAT, MAY 21 | 11AM – 7PM

For 24 years, the Asian American Society of Central Virginia has hosted the Asian American Celebration. It is an opportunity for the greater Richmond area to learn about and celebrate Asian American communities in Central Virginia through cultural performances, culture booths, hands-on activities, food, and more.
Have a wonderful summer!

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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