2021-2022 Repair & Recovery

Repair and Recovery Events

Our humanities theme for the 2021-2022 academic year was Repair and Recovery, a focus that includes questions about what it means to recover from the pandemic (and other disasters), questions about repairing historical and ongoing injury, and questions about how scholarship attends to lost, forgotten, or neglected texts and histories. These events — all free and open to the public — offered us the opportunity to gather in the newly opened Humanities Commons spaces in order to consider how humanistic practices of thinking and interpretation are vital to how we imagine and enact different futures.

University Dancers 37th Anniversary Concert

Move! "Through It All"

February 25-27 | Modlin Center for the Arts

Directed by Anne Van Gelder
Costume Design by Johann Stegmeir
Light Design by Maja E. White

University Dancers celebrates 37 years of engaging dance with our annual concert that brings to the University of Richmond the work of innovative guest choreographers Juel D. Lane and Peter Pucci. Juel D. Lane¿s choreography fuses West African, contemporary modern, hip-hop, and ballet, resulting in a unique movement vocabulary.  Mr. Lane pushes the boundaries of contemporary dance through choreography that, in his own words, ¿strips labels and shows humanity.¿ Whether he examines political concepts, gender roles, or his own intimate experiences, Lane stays unapologetically true to his singular perspective. Peter Pucci will create his first work for the University Dancers during a week-long residency. Former performer and rehearsal director for Pilobolus Dance Theater, Pucci has received numerous awards for his work that combines athleticism, humor, and integration of music and dance. 

The concert will also feature new works choreographed by Angelica Burgos, Eric Rivera (both former dancers with Ballet Hispánico), Starrene Foster (founder/artistic director of Starr Foster Dance), and Department of Theatre & Dance faculty Alicia Díaz, and Anne Van Gelder. Outstanding adjudicated student choreography will be featured and department faculty members Johann Stegmeir and Maja E. White will design costumes and lights, respectively. Do not miss these talented dancers perform in a variety of contemporary works.

Toril Moi and Rita Felski

The Uses of Experience

A set of talks and conversation with Toril Moi and Rita Felski

March 2, 2022, 3-4:30 p.m | Zoom

Hosted by the Department of English and the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.

Rita Felski is the John Stewart Bryan Professor of English at the University of Virginia. Toril Moi is the James B. Duke Professor of Literature and Romance Studies, Professor of English, Philosophy, and Theatre Studies, and director for the center of Philosophy, Arts, and Literature (PAL) at Duke University.

Rita Felski will discuss the relevance of what she calls ¿experiential concepts¿ to her book in progress on contemporary thinkers associated with the Frankfurt School, while questioning the tendency among some literary critics to confuse having an experience with reflecting on experience. Toril Moi will focus on the idea of experience as a fundamental concept for phenomenology and existentialism, and briefly show how the concept helps us to understand the new "autofiction" as exemplified by Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle.

Recommended reading for those who have time: "Describing My Struggle" by Toril Moi, The Point

Kandice Chuh

Teaching Relations, Teaching Asian America, Rehearsing (for) Life.

Kandice Chuh
Professor of English, Asian American Studies, & Critical Social Psychology, CUNY 

March 30, 6:30-8 p.m. | Humanities Commons

What is it we are doing in teaching a subject called "Asian America"? What is the content and pedagogy and purpose of such a course in an era defined by both spectacular violence in the U.S. against people of Asian descent and the accumulation of enormous wealth and soft power in Asia? But also, what is it we are doing in teaching? That is, what are we doing in teaching in an era when criticisms of liberal models of education (rightly) abound, when the impact of the concerted withdrawal of public funding over many decades now expresses as suffocating foreclosures to social mobility for especially the most vulnerable populations? Kandice Chuh uses the occasion of this talk to consider the prospects, possibilities, and politics of teaching, and teaching Asian American studies, in these times.

LLC Symposium Language of Covid

Language of Covid Symposium

Hosted by the Department of Languages, Literatures, & Cultures

April 13 & 14 | Humanities Commons and Brown Alley Room

Daryl Dance and Julietta Singh

Life. Writing.

A conversation between...

Daryl Dance
Professor of English Emerita, University of Richmond  

Julietta Singh
Associate Professor of English, University of Richmond

April 14, 5-6:30 p.m. |  Humanities Courtyard

Please join us for a conversation between two UR faculty, Daryl Dance, Professor Emerita of English, and Julietta Singh, Associate Professor of English and WGSS, who both write about autobiography and write autobiographically. Their work, in different ways, pressures the borders we often posit between truth and fiction, academic and creative, scholarly and personal. They both keep their attention on how senses of place or home are related to histories of colonialist, racist, and heterosexist violence.

This event is a celebration of our new Humanities Commons space and the work Dance and Singh have done, including inside the building (still) called Ryland Hall where the two were colleagues for years. Their careers summon us to think about other histories of this place, to remember as we renew our questions about what it means to repair UR’s historical wrongs that other worlds, other possibilities have always been here too.

Daryl Cumber Dance is Professor of English Emerita at the University of Richmond and the author of Land of the Free… Negros: A Historical Novel (2020, Yore), In Search of Annie Drew (2016, University of Virginia Press), ong Gone: The Mecklenburg Six and the Theme of Escape in Black Folklore (1987, University of Tennessee Press), Shuckin’ and Jivin’: Folklore from Contemporary Black Americans (1978, Indiana University Press), and many others.  

Julietta Singh is Associate Professor of English and WGSS, and author of three books: The Breaks (2021, Coffee House Press), No Archive Will Restore You (2018, Punctum), and Unthinking Mastery: Dehumanism and Decolonial Entanglements (2018, Duke University Press).

loss. nothing. memorial. sounds of the dead but not departed.

Ashon Crawley
Associate Professor of Religious Studies & African American Studies, University of Virginia

April 19, 7-8:30 |  Humanities Commons

"loss. nothing. memorial. sounds of the dead but not departed" is part of Ashon Crawley’s ongoing research regarding the role of music and memory with regard to Black social life, how listening to performance practices of black Hammond organists in churches between 1980 and 2005 can give a way to think about the practice of creativity and imagination in the context of deep uncertainty and unkindness, how to announce and enunciate one’s breath and becoming when surrounded by loss and death. Taking the sounds of Hammond organists in Black churches as exemplary, Crawley will discuss the ways to honor the dead that are not yet departed because their music, their narratives and their spirits, endure and remain and haunt.