Center for Humanities

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The Center for Humanities advances research based on humanistic methods of scholarship among faculty and students in arts, human-centered social sciences, and humanities fields working in their disciplines and collaborating with faculty across Virginia Tech. Supporting scholarship this way is essential to realizing the center’s objective of foregrounding the overarching relevance of the humanities that will be broadly impactful both within and beyond the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

Beyond this, the center will collaborate with Virginia Tech’s legislative liaisons, the Department of Political Science, and the Policy Strategic Growth Area to focus on engaging legislators on matters of public policy related to the center’s major initiatives. The center will partner with the University’s Link office to engage corporate entities on matters of ethics and the impact of technology on humans. The center will also engage civic institutions pertaining to issues that bear directly on such areas as local residential life, health, security, and employment.

Call for Applications – Humanities Summer Stipends

The Center for Humanities at VT invites applications for 2 funding opportunities.

Upcoming Events

  • Thomas Gardner Research Talk Lunch is provided Title: Sundays: Lyric Essays Abstract: I will be reading from the manuscript of a new book of prose poems or lyric essays, due out from Tupelo Press in 2019/2020. Building on my 2014 book Poverty Creek Journal, these 52 short meditations, written on consecutive Sundays from August 2017-August 2018, move out from particulars of the day (weather, landscape, friends and family) to the various shapes desire takes as it reaches toward the world and beyond it and then comes undone. What do we find in such spaces, these short pieces ask. How does the mind move there> What comes alive in brokenness? Along with reading selections from my book, I'll speak briefly about the connections between this creative project and a more formal academic book I'm completing examining the way such artists as Terrence Malikc, Annie Dillard, Czeslaw Milosz, and Marilynne Robinson use lyri modes of thinking to open up and explore a series of theological issues. Bio: Thomas Gardner is Alumni Distinguished Professor of English at Virginia Tech. He has published five books of literary criticism, the most recent being A Door Ajar: Contemporary Writers and Emily Dickinson (Oxford, 2006) and John in the Company of Poets: The Gospel in Literary Imagination (Baylor, 2011). His creative work includes two plays, Ear, and I, and Silence (2004) and Eurydice (2006); a book of poems, The Mime, Speaking (1992); and most recently a collection of lyric essays or spiritual improvisations entitled Poverty Creek Journal. The entries in this year-long running journal, mostly focused on morning runs in the nearby Jefferson National Forest, reflect on the boday, poetry, theology, family and grief. He has held Guggenheim, Fulbright, and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. 01/25/2019 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM Room 005 (ground floor) of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Building 200 Stanger St.
  • Faculty Research Talk with Kelly Pender Lunch is provided Title: Toward a Rhetoric of Care for the At Risk Abstract: In this talk, I report on a study of the critical and biosocial discourses surrounding BRCA risk, showing how constructivist understandings of risk in those discourses reinforce the rhetorics of choice that have dominated our thinking about genetic medicine for decades. In contrast to this rhetoric of choice, I advocate for a rhetoric of care, identifying in those same biosocial discourses a set of rhetorical topics that shift our attention from how or if women at genetic risk choose freely to how or if they receive good medical care. Bio: Kelly Pender is an associate professor in the English department, where she teaches courses in critical theory, medical rhetoric, and the history of rhetoric. She is the author of two books, Techne, From Neoclassicism to Postmodernism (Parlor Press 2011) and Being at Genetic Risk: Toward a Rhetoric of Care (Penn State Press 2018). 02/05/2019 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM Room 005 (ground floor) of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Building 200 Stanger St.