Global South Initiative
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the University of Virginia $3.47 million to launch a major
humanities initiative dedicated to the study of the Global South. The College and Graduate School of Arts &
Sciences has matched the grant, making the initial five-year investment to launch the initiative about $7 million.
Consortium of Humanities Centers & Institutes 2018 Annual Meeting | June 13-17, 2018
A conference on Humanities Informatics that showcased the power of the humanities
to address the urgent questions about the ‘human’ in our information age.
A new IHGC lab on Asian Cosmopolitanisms aiming to reconceptualize the study of Asia
across the disciplines of the humanities and interpretive social sciences.
Achille Mbembe Lecture
"Negative Messianism in the Age of Animism" | September 18, 2017
Burning the Library of Life: Species Extinction and the Humanities
A Symposium | September 26-27, 2019
The Institute of the Humanities & Global Cultures (IHGC) offers a vision at
once local and global, and a mission both academic and socially engaged.
IHGC Fall 2019 Distinguished Visitor
October 4, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm | Bryan Hall Faculty Lounge
UVa's Puzzle Poetry working group was launched in the fall of 2017 by Neal Curtis and
Brad Pasanek as an experimental and collaborative endeavor. The group seeks to treat
poems as puzzles, isolate the substance of prosody, and apprehend shape as a medium.
They are makers, coders, and subformalists.
News & Announcements
Coastal Futures Conservatory Fall Festival, September 19-25
Thu Sep 19
The Coastal Futures Festival is an environmental arts festival created by UVA’s Coastal Futures Conservatory (http://www.coastalconservatory.org), a collaboration between artists, humanities scholars, and scientists with the Virginia Coastal Reserve, a long-term ecological research site supported by the National Science Foundation. Through various forms of listening, the Conservatory integrates arts and humanities into the scientific investigation of coastal change in order to deepen understanding and stimulate imaginations. The Coastal Futures Festival is presented in collaboration with UVA’s Resilience Institute, the Virginia Coast Reserve long-term ecological research station, the Department of Music, and the Institute for the Humanities and Global Cultures. The Festival opens on September 19th with an arts exhibit that responds to Caribbean coasts in crisis. On September 21, it moves to the Eastern Shore for the opening of a sound art exhibition at the Barrier Islands Center in Machipongo, VA. The Festival returns to UVA for talks and performances on Monday, September 23, culminating in a concert featuring Grammy and MacArthur Award-winning ensemble Eighth Blackbird, and a keynote address by ecoacoustic sound artist Leah Barclay on September 25th. Featured residents include environmental philosopher Michael Nelson, Leah Barclay, UVA alumnus and composer Erik DeLuca, Arctic scientist Christina Bonsell, and Eighth Blackbird. In addition to bringing these distinguished guests to UVA, the festival showcases work by UVA faculty, students and alumni whose interdisciplinary research focuses on sound and coastal environments. Through a series of performances, talks, installations, and collaborative work sessions, the Coastal Futures Festival brings together art, film, and multimedia music that represents global issues such as coastal erosion, sea level rise, and melting ice along with the attendant impacts on human and non-human habitats.
Thursday, September 19th
Coasts in Crisis: Art and Conversation After Recent Hurricanes
Hurricane María and the Puerto Rican Art Museum
12:00-1:30 Hotel A, Global Grounds
Sandra Cintrón, Chief Registrar and Collections Manager of the Fralin Museum will speak about her experience during Hurricane Maria as a staff member at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. This event is free and open to all, but RSVP is required.
4:00 pm Brooks Hall Commons
Why do the arts matter after a hurricane? In a time of rising sea levels and global climate change, the answer to this question has never been more important. This kick-off event of the Coastal Futures Fall Festival will offer creative ways of addressing environmental disaster by bringing together live music, poetry, photography, painting, and installation art about recent hurricanes from the U.S. South and the Caribbean. The participating artists will perform, display and discuss their work forged out of the experiences common to climate refugees and hurricane survivors: homelessness, forced migration, family separation, food insecurity, and living without electricity or running water. Works by artists from the U.S. South and Greater Caribbean including David Berg (St. Croix, Virgin Islands), Sally Binard (Florida/ Haiti), Jo Cosme (Puerto Rico/ Seattle), Nicole Delgado (Puerto Rico), Alfonso Fuentes (Puerto Rico), and Sarabel Santos Negrón (Puerto Rico).
Friday, September 20th
“ShoreLine” Interactive Documentary Opening, with filmmaker Liz Miller
10:00 am Clark Hall Mural Room
The Shore Line, a collaborative interactive documentary project, is a collection of dynamic maps, visualizations, soundscape and over 40 videos featuring individuals who are confronting the threats of unsustainable development and extreme weather with persistence and ingenuity. Described as “a storybook for the future,” The Shore Line conveys ways that 43 people, living in the urban cities and remote islands of nine countries, have confronted the climate impacts of rising seas and violent storms. By navigating films, interactive maps, databases, and chapters, The Shore Line users learn about the innovative ways that people have managed the effects of climate change. They can navigate by tags, including strategy toolkits, country, threat, and language. Users can also navigate by occupation — activist, architect, artist, biologist, communication, and so forth — this feature allows The Shore Line to locate ways that they might contribute to their own communities based on their own particular skills and talents.
Elizabeth (Liz ) Miller is a documentary maker and professorwho uses collaboration and interactivity as a way to connect personal stories to larger timely social issues. Liz is the co-founder of the Concordia Documentary Centre and has served on the board of the International Association of Women in Television and Radio. She has directed award-winning documentaries including – The Shore Line (2017), En la casa (2013), Hands-on (2014) and The Water Front (2008). She is the co-author of has published several articles and book chapters on collaborative and interactive documentaries. http://redlizardmedia.com
Saturday, September 21st
Listening for Coastal Futures: Sounding Science Opening Reception
4:00-6:00 pm Barrier Islands Center (Machipongo, VA)
This event features sound-art from musicians working with scientists to understand coastal change. Through individual listening stations, the exhibit features field recordings, data sonifications, and eco-acoustic compositions. Listeners can hear the Eastern Shore anew, and also experience the sounds of coastal change in Australia and the Arctic. Exhibit remains open through December.
Monday, September 23rd
“Land, Coasts, Oceans” talks and presentations on the Arctic
8:30 Coffee and introductory remarks
09:00-12:00 Arctic Bridges Session I: Land, Coasts, and Oceans
Coastal Futures Conservatory Presentations and Performances
2:00-4:00 pm Pan-University Institute (1400 University Ave)
The Coastal Futures Conservatory integrates arts and humanities into the investigation of coastal change. Conservatory researchers work with scientists at the Virginia Coast Reserve and with scientists working in other parts of the world. The Conservatory brings the arts and humanities into conversation with the sciences in order to open new ways to listen to and experience the dynamics reshaping coasts. In doing so, we hope to stimulate imagination and deepen public understanding. This lab session features keynotes by Michael Nelson and Erik DeLuca.
Coastal Futures Concert
8:00 pm, Old Cabell Hall
Eighth Blackbird with Rivanna String Quartet
Music by Leah Barclay, Lemon Guo, Matthew Burtner, Peter Swendsen, Fjiola Evans, John Cage, Christopher Luna-Mega, Jonathan Holland
Wednesday, September 25th
Leah Barclay Keynote Presentation on Underwater Ecoacoustics
2:00 pm, VCCM B11, Old Cabell Hall
Dr. Leah Barclay is an Australian sound artist, composer and researcher working at the intersection of art, science and technology. She specialises in electroacoustic music, acoustic ecology and emerging fields of biology exploring environmental patterns and changes through sound. Her sonic environments draw attention to changing climates and fragile ecosystems; the works are realised through live performances, interactive installations and site-specific interventions, and often draw on environmental field recordings, data sonification, live streams and immersive sound diffusion. Her work has been commissioned, performed and exhibited to wide acclaim across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Peru, Colombia, Europe, India, South Africa, China and Korea by organisations including UNESCO, Ear to the Earth, Streaming Museum, Al Gore’s Climate Reality and the IUCN. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and has directed and curated interdisciplinary projects across the Asia-Pacific and USA.
Coasts in Crisis: Art & Conversation After Recent Hurricanes
Thu Sep 19
Thursday, September 19th at 4:00 pm
Brooks Hall Commons
Why do the arts matter after a hurricane? In a time of rising sea levels and global climate change, the answer to this question has never been more important. This kick-off event for the Coastal Conservatory Festival will offer creative ways of addressing environmental disaster by bringing together live music, poetry, photography, painting, and installation art about recent hurricanes from the U.S. South and the Caribbean. The participating artists will perform, display and discuss their work forged out of the experiences common to hurricane survivors: homelessness, forced migration, family separation, food insecurity, and living without electricity or running water.
Works by artists from the U.S. South and Greater Caribbean, including: David Berg, Sally Binard, Jo Cosme, Nicole Delgado, Alfonso Fuentes, and Sarabel Santos-Negrón.
Manners and Civility in Practice with Amy Olberding (University of Oklahoma)
Mon Sep 23
An event in the Asian Cosmopolitanisms Lecture Series
What does it mean to be civil or well-mannered? The early Confucians suggest that it involves both patterns of conduct and patterns of mind. The account the Confucians offer is different from the usual accounts of civility we most often hear, suggesting a far more robust connection between civility and personal well being and thriving social relations. This talk will canvass those parts of Confucian ethics most promising in our own age, looking at what it might mean to cultivate more robust forms of civility, both what we would need to do and how this would influence how we think.
Bridging Science, Art, and Community in the New Arctic: A Multi-Day Symposium
Mon Sep 23
The Bridging Science, Art, and Community in the New Arctic will bring together researchers, students, community representatives, and policymakers from Alaska to facilitate knowledge exchange and catalyze a common interest in the future of the Arctic, in a setting that emphasizes creative collaborations and co-production of knowledge among scientists, designers, artists, and residents.
This three-day event starts with a Symposium on 9/23 with invited speakers presenting their recent Arctic research, thematically organized into three sessions: “Land, Coasts, and Ocean,” “Infrastructure,” and “Community.”
On 9/24, four themes (Land, Coasts/Ocean, Infrastructure, and Community) will be revisited in the format of interactive panel discussions, with each session topic facilitating exchange between Arctic scholars and stakeholders. There will also be a lunchtime poster session.
On 9/25, there will be an eco-acoustics workshop. A final synthesis discussion will seek to develop a set of guidelines for community-oriented research, and identify new forms of multidisciplinary collaborations in the Arctic.
The presentations and discussions will be complemented in the evenings of 9/23 and 9/24 with an eco-acoustics performance, and an art exhibition and reception, respectively.
Burning the Library of Life: Species Extinction and the Humanities
Thu Sep 26
Many scientists conclude the current precipitous decline in global biodiversity and the thousand-fold increase in the rate of species extinction needs to be understood as marking the planet’s sixth era of mass extinction, but the first such event in which humans have played the primary role. This urgent, global and contemporary crisis is often described not only as the destruction of animals and plants but also as the destruction of knowledge, as “burning the library of life.”
This two-day symposium on Species Extinction and the Humanities will feature interdisciplinary humanities scholarship and public-facing research addressing this emerging issue from the perspectives of environmental humanities, literary and cultural studies, the history of science, native studies, conservation, sound ecology, archival studies, and the visual arts and media. Its theme is the challenge manmade extinction poses to knowledge: what we do and don’t know about the biodiversity crisis, the forms, genres and media that produce knowledge and their potential limits to document the biological violence wrought by imperialisms, globalization and development, as well as questions of the preservation of knowledge about the forms of life we are losing – the technological and material formats that preserve and record biodiversity, and their fragility.
Keynote by Ursula K. Heise, English Department and Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, UCLA (Sept 26 at 4:30pm)
Mellon Global South Initiative
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the University of Virginia $3.47 million to launch a major humanities initiative dedicated to the study of the Global South. The College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences will match the grant, making the initial five-year investment to launch the initiative about $7 million.
Clay Endowments & Grants
The Institute of the Humanities and Global Cultures (IHGC) invites proposals for funding from the Buckner W. Clay Endowment to support innovative work in the global humanities at the University of Virginia. The Endowment provides an ambitious basis of support for faculty and student research and teaching to be conducted under the auspices of the IHGC. Faculty and students from across all schools and disciplines at the university are welcome and encouraged to apply.
The Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory is a new research entity jointly promoted by the University of Virginia, Duke University and the University of Bologna. It is conceived as an intellectual space for scholars coming from different research fields and geographical regions to work together on the redefinition of the humanities in a global age.