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Volume 2, issue 5, March 2022

Welcome to HRC Monthly!

A preview of our March newsletter:
  • Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Grace Gipson, African American Studies
  • February–March 2022 Events at the HRC
  • Events Co-sponsored by the HRC
    • History & Health Panel: Medical Research & the first Heart Transplant in the South
    • The VA Humanities Conference: Keynote Speaker Announced
  • New Research Groups
    • The Second Book Writing Group
  • Funding Opportunities
    • 5x5 HRC Collaborative Grants
    • One VCU Research Funds
    • HRC Travel Grants
  • Community Learning Opportunities & News

Subscribe to the HRC YouTube Channel

Miss an event at the HRC? You will now be able to view recordings of our events on our new YouTube channel. Watch Dr. Kyle Mays video and Dr. Danielle Dick's video. Or, view our full playlist.

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Grace Gipson, Assistant Professor of African American Studies

Written by Dr. Mignonne Guy, Chair, Department of African American Studies
Grace Gipson

Dr. Grace Gipson’s career as a rising pop culture scholar began during her undergraduate journey, while attending Clark Atlanta University (CAU) in Atlanta, GA. She followed her passion for examining representations of race and gender in pop culture and comic books, and pursued her graduate studies at Georgia State University (MA in African American Studies) and the University of California Berkeley (Ph.D. in African American Studies, with an emphasis in new media). Her graduate work served as the foundation for her current research interests, which center around Black pop culture, digital humanities, the intersections of race and gender in comic books and gaming, Afrofuturism, and race and new media... Read more

Upcoming Events at the HRC

Click image to view event page.
FEBRUARY 28 at 4:00PM: "The Material and Expressive Aspects of Articulage" with Massa Lemu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Sculpture + Extended Media at VCU. Register here.
MARCH 14 at 4:00pm: "Aiding and Abetting: Understanding the Impact of Foreign Aid on Political Violence" with Dr. Jessica Trisko Darden, Assistant Professor of Political Science. Register here.
MARCH 17 at 6:00pm: "Margery Kempe, Intimate Affect, and the Triumph of the (Feminist) Subject" with Dr. Holly Crocker, Professor of English Language and Literature at University of South Carolina, in conversation with Dr. Adin Lears, Assistant Professor of English at VCU. Register here.
MARCH 28 at 4:00pm: Meet Dr. Patricia Cummins, Professor of French at VCU for a discussion of her work "Desert Passions" and Tales of Timbuktu. Register here.
Click here to view all events on our website

Co-sponsored Events

Medical Research and the
First Heart Transplant in the South

Medical Research and the First Heart Transplant in the South, March 2 at Noon
March 2, 2022 at 12:00pm, discussion at 12:45pm

History and Health: Racial Equity will host a virtual panel, co-organized with the HRC, that examines the first transplant in the South in the historical context of racial inequality and segregation while also exploring the changes and advances in transplantation in the 21st century... [Read more]
Register Here

Virginia Humanities Conference

Virginia Humanities Conference at VCU Call for Proposals
The Virginia Humanities Conference, themed around Data & Humanities, is accepting submissions until March 4. For more information or to submit a proposal: Click here.

Keynote Speaker: Stephanie Dinkins

"On Love, Data and Technologies Rooted in Care"

Virginia Humanities Conference Keynote Speaker Stephine Dinkins

Many algorithmic technologies are rooted in methods that limit and cajole information from the first human and computational assumptions. We assess ourselves using false dichotomies that force inadequate choices building a world bereft of complexity and nuance. The disinclinations of our systems to cope with the unseen, the unknown, difference, and change limit possibilities for everyone.  

Through intelligent technologies --the ones that look like us, the ones that serve us, and the ones that do neither -- we have the ability to understand and organize human activity with complexity and broadly principled care.  So, why aren’t these the goals of our algorithmic doppelgangers, assistants, and technological ecosystems more generally?   

Often envisioned outside the realm of what is technologically possible within artificial intelligence, care is an essential aspect of human information and resource-sharing networks that aid our survival.  Recognition of this idea raises questions such as how can we infuse -- cooperatively, adversarially, or fugitively—ecosystems we depend on as well as the people and institutions that currently hold power with ways of being, values, ethics, and knowledges they are blind to or don't understand? 

About the Speaker

Stephanie Dinkins is a transmedia artist and Kusama Endowed Professor in Art at Stony Brook University. Dinkins creates platforms for dialog about race, gender, aging, and our future histories, employing emerging technologies, documentary practices, and social collaboration toward equity and community sovereignty.

New Research Groups

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,

HRC Funding Opportunities

Residential Fellowship 2022-23

We expect to have a call for applications for the HRC Residential Fellowship soon. Next year's theme will be Environmental Humanities, and submissions will be open until late April.
5x5 HRC Collaborative Grants
5x5 HRC Collaborative Grants

The Humanities Research Center is offering a number of 5×5 Collaborative Grants to 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.

Find out more here.
One VCU Research
Strategic Priorities Plan Funds, 2021-2022 

The One VCU Research Strategic Priorities Plan funds 2021-2022 are accepting proposals for VCU Breakthroughs Fund (full proposal due March 1), an expanded VCU Quest Fund (due April 1), and the VCU Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Fund (due April 15).

Find out more here.

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.

Community Learning Opportunities
and News

Virginia Festival of the Book will take place March 16-20, 2022
Virginia Festival of the Book
March 16-20, 2022

Hybrid in-person and virtual festival with over 80 events/workshops for authors, writers, poets, and illustrators.
Katy Clune  recording audio in Luang Prabang, Laos, in 2018 – photo by Vansana Nolintha
(Photo: Vansana Nolintha)
New Virginia State Folklorist Announced

Katy Clune will be the new State Folklorist and director of the Virginia Folklife Program. Her thesis research explored how a family of first-generation Laotian-Americans sustained and shared their cultural identity through traditional foodways in the rural community of Morganton, NC... [Read more]
28th Annual French Film Festival
March 24–27

For 28 years, the French Film Festival has earned acclaim, in the U.S. and in France, for introducing more than 800 French and francophone films to American audiences. Get your pass.
Detours Through the Past: Traversing Paradigms in Octavia Butler’s Kindred
March 22, 2022 at 2:00pm.

Michael Hall, Assistant Professor of English and current Residential Fellow at the Humanities Research Center, will be presenting his research on Octavia Butler’s Kindred, exploring travel as a literary device in the works of African American writers. VCU English Faculty Forum. Register here.

Other Humanities Events in Richmond  

February 5 – April 1 | Histories and Stories: A Special Province, A Black American Artists’ Alliance of Richmond Art Exhibition. More info.

February 18 – March 4 | Richmond Environmental Film Festival. More info.

March 11 | "Luis Camnitzer: A Museum is a School" opening at the ICA. More info.

March 15 | WAVELENGTH (ICA Seres): Lauren Lee McCarthy, an LA-based artist examining social relationships in the midst of surveillance, automation, and algorithmic living. Register here.

March 16 | Advance Your Research: Applying for a Grant at VCU for Graduate Students, VCU Libraries. Register here.

March 19 | Virginia Black Dance Festival: classes, workshops, panel discussions and performances with Black and Indigenous dance professionals rooted in Virginia. More info.

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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