2015 Conference: “The Humanities in/and the Public Sphere”

We are very pleased to announce that the 2015 Virginia Humanities Conference, which will be hosted at Marymount University just outside of Washington, DC, will be organized around the timely theme of “The Humanities and/in the Public Sphere.” The conference will take place April 10-11, and you can submit your proposals here!

The Virginia Humanities Conference invites proposals for papers, panel sessions, performances, and other presentation modes that explore the role of the humanities in the public sphere. Informed by current and ongoing discussions about the “crisis” in the humanities, this theme seeks to generate discussion around the public significance–ethical, moral, political, cultural, even economic–of humanistic study and creativity. Dr. Steven Lubar, Director of the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage at Brown University, will give a keynote lecture on museum history and American culture, and the conference will be framed by group excursions to related events in the Washington, DC, area.

Possible topics for presentations include, but are not limited to:

  • policy, politics and the humanities
  • funding the humanities
  • museum culture and tourism
  • digital humanities and/or digital history
  • education and the humanities
  • debating the “crisis” in the humanities
  • literature in the public sphere
  • making sense of history
  • technology and the humanities
  • ethics and/in public humanities
  • public art and humanities initiatives
  • telling and/or collecting stories in public
  • public performance and public art
  • public humanities versus private humanities
  • artistic performances that explore publicity in some dimension

Please submit a 250-word proposal for individual presentations, with working title(s), to Tonya Howe using the proposal form at http://vahumanitiesconference.org/?page_id=68. Proposals for panel sessions should identify all participants and include both an overview and a brief abstract of each presentation. Deadline for receipt of panels: December 15, 2014. Deadline for receipt of individual presentations: January 15, 2015. For more information, please visit vahumanitiesconference.org.

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Thanks to all the participants at the Longwood 2014 VHC!

Thanks to the participants and the organizers of the 2014 VHC, we enjoyed two rich, engaging conference days in Farmville, VA. With over 50 student and faculty presenters, a pre-conference event with Karen Salyer McElmurray–an AWP Award Winner for Creative Nonfiction–and a staged reading of the plays of Brett Hursey, we were busy indeed! On Saturday, Dr. N. Katherine Hayles of Duke University gave an insightful, challenging keynote on the costs of understanding cognition and interpretation from the conceptual framework of human subjectivity. Many thanks to Dr. David Magill of Longwood for organizing and hosting this event.

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