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Volume 2, issue 6, April 2022

Welcome to HRC Monthly!

A preview of our April newsletter:
  • Faculty Spotlight: Dr. B. Ethan Coston, GSWS
  • March–April 2022 Events at the HRC
  • Events Co-sponsored by the HRC
    • The VA Humanities Conference
    • History & Health: Scoffing & Coughing
    • Badiou Film Screening at the ICA
  • New Research Groups
    • Creation, Technology and Language in the Arts and Humanities
    • The Second Book Writing Group
  • Funding Opportunities
    • 5x5 HRC Collaborative Grants: Recipients Announced
    • Call for HRC Residential Fellowship Applications
    • HRC Travel Grants
  • Community Learning Event

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. B. Ethan Coston, Assistant Professor, GSWS

Written by Dr. Kathleen Ingram, Associate Professor of Psychology and Chair, Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies
Dr. B. Ethan Coston

Dr. B. Ethan Coston is an activist scholar whose work focuses on health inequalities and health justice, and on critical sexuality studies. While pursuing their PhD in sociology at Stony Brook University, Dr. Coston served as a pre-doctoral fellow at the Center for Population Research in LGBT Health at The Fenway Institute... [Read more]

Upcoming Events at the HRC

Click image to view event page.
MARCH 28 at 4:00PM: Meet VCU Author Dr. Patricia Cummins for "Desert Passions" and Tales of Timbuktu. Register here.
APRIL 11 at 4:00pm: Meet VCU Author Dr. Catherine Ingrassia, "Domestic Captivity and the British Subject, 1660-1750" Register here.
APRIL 21 at 6:00pm: "Combating Racism Through a Public Humanities Perspective" with Dr. Jennifer Ho, Director of the Center for Humanities and the Arts at the University of Colorado Boulder. Register here.
APRIL 25 at 4:00pm: Meet VCU Author Dr. David Weinfeld, "An American Friendship: Horace Kallen, Alain Locke, and the Development of Cultural Pluralism." Register here.
Click here to view all events on our website

Co-sponsored Events

Virginia Humanities Conference

VA Humanities Conference Website

Coughing & Scoffing: Inequities in the Time of COVID-19

April 8, 2022 at 12:00pm, discussion at 12:45pm

History and Health: Racial Equity will host a virtual panel that explores how the COVID-19 pandemic reflects and exacerbates longstanding structural, systematic racial inequities that determine individual and communities’ health and access to healthcare. Join moderator Chris Cynn, Associate Professor, Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, as she leads a conversation with panelists Michelle Viray, Director of Richmond and Henrico Health Districts, John Powers, Chair of the Department of History, Regina Boone, Richmond Free Press photojournalist, and Luise "Cheezi" Farmer, Chair of Diversity Richmond.
Register Here

Badiou Film Screening at the ICA

Watch the award-winning documentary film 'Badiou' (2018) followed by discussion with the filmmakers and Alain Badiou himself! Register here.

Hosted by ICA at VCU; co-sponsored by the School of World Studies and the Humanities Research Center at VCU, and the University of Richmond.

HRC Research Groups

"Creation, Technology and Language in the Arts and Humanities" will meet over Zoom on Tuesday, April 12 from 3-4pm to discuss the introduction to Sianne Ngai's Theory of the Gimmick: Aesthetic Judgment and Capitalist Form (Harvard University Press, 2020; a copy of the reading will be circulated in advance.)

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,

HRC Funding Opportunities

Congrats to our 5x5 Collaborative Grant Recipients: The Memory and Monument Groups

The HRC is delighted to support two interdisciplinary collectives of VCU scholars studying Memory and Monuments through our 5x5 Grants initiative.

The Memory Group, including Katie Logan, Department of Focused Inquiry, Amy L. Rector, School of World Studies, Gabriel A. Reich, Department of Teaching and Learning, and Jessica Trisko Darden, Political Science, will explore memory studies.

The Monument Group, including Hillary Levinson, Department of Focused Inquiry, Daniel Morales, Department of History, Ryan Smith, Department of History, and David Weinfeld, visiting assistant professor of Religious Studies at VCU, will meet to discuss issues surrounding memorialization and historical monuments.

Both groups will converge in supporting each other's scholarly work and organizing a symposium for the VCU community on a memory issue of public interest.
5x5 Application Guidelines

Call for HRC Residential Fellowship Applications 2022-2023

With support from the OVPRI and the Dean's office in CHS, we are delighted to invite applications for the 2022-2023 residential fellowships. Our theme at the HRC next year will be Environmental Humanities. Please reach out with any questions and let us know how we can support you at any stage of preparing the application. The submission deadline is April 25. 
Application Guidelines

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.
Application Guidelines

Community Event Highlights

Will Robots Feel Pain?
April 7, 2022 | 7:00 PM
Cabell Library Lecture Hall

The annual Blake Lecture in the History of Christianity is pleased to present the 2022 lecture, "Will Robots Feel Pain?", presented by Professor Sylvester A. Johnson of Virginia Tech. This event will be in person (masks required) and also via Zoom webinar.

"Navajo Math Circles" Film Screening
April 8, 2022 | 3:00 PM
Cabell Library Lecture Hall

The Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics presents a screening of the award winning film "Navajo Math Circles" followed by an engaging Q&A with George Paul Csicsery, Hungarian-German writer and independent filmmaker. [More about the film]
Wavelength: Jenn Nkiru
April 19, 2022 | 12:00 P.M.

Jenn Nkiru is a Nigerian-British artist and director. She was featured as the second unit director of Ricky Saiz’s video for Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Apeshit which was released in 2018. In 2019, she was selected to participate in the 2019 Whitney Biennial. Her recent video work OUT / SIDE OF TIME is on view now as a part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room. [Read more]

More Community Learning Events

April 5 | 5:30 - 7:00PM | The Valentine
Controversy/History at The Valentine: Richmond’s Monuments Now, a community conversation forum exploring the challenges that face our region from the perspectives of speakers and guests. Learn more.

April 7 | 6:00 - 7:00PM | ICA (Virtual)
Join the VPM + ICA Community Media Center for a free, virtual lecture from the creator and host of the podcast Death, Sex & Money, Anna Sale. Register here.

April 8 | 12:00 - 1:00PM | The Library of Virginia
Book Break with Kris Spisak, author of "The Baba Yaga Mask" at the Library of Virginia. In this multigenerational story of endurance and survival, a supermom and her free-spirited sister are swept into a quest across eastern Europe when their Ukrainian grandmother is lost on a trans-Atlantic flight. Register here.
April 13 | 4:00 PM | Temple Building Rm. 1165
Transtopia in the Sinophone Pacific: Howard Chiang, associate professor of History at the University of California, Davis, will present a new paradigm for conducting and understanding transgender history against the backdrop of the SInophone Pacific. Learn more.

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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