Humanities News

Mapping the Fourth of July
For many Americans celebrating the Fourth of July holiday translates to engaging in lighthearted festivities: firing up the grill for a day of barbecuing and revelry, and at dusk settling down to enjoy the twinkling of fireworks in myriad colors against a dark evening sky with neighbors, frien...
Sylvester Johnson
Sylvester Johnson, an award-winning scholar engaged in exploring humanity in the age of intelligent machines, has been named director of Virginia Tech’s Center for the Humanities. He will also serve as the university’s assistant vice provost for the humanities. The newly established Cente...

The Language of Belonging

Rachel Hargrave
Rachel Hargrave studies how language — specifically dialects, such as those in southern Appalachia — connects to one’s sense of home, identity, and culture.
In 1920, members of the Overseas Club — Virginia Polytechnic Institute students who fought in Europe during World War One — gathered around The Rock, a stone memorial the Class of 1919 erected in memory of VPI students and alumni lost during the war.
All was quiet on the Western Front — until about one o’clock in the morning of September 12, 1918, when, infantryman Clifford Hubbard later wrote, an artillery barrage nearly drowned out the sound of his voice. It was on the World War I battlefield of Saint-Mihiel in France that Hubbard, ...
Painting of Stonewall Jackson
When did the end of the Civil War begin? Was it the release of the Emancipation Proclamation, or Stonewall Jackson’s death? A decisive battle, or Abraham Lincoln’s reelection? The 26th annual Civil War Weekend will tackle the intriguing question of when Union victory became certa...

The Art of Teaching

Elizabeth Coleman
Elizabeth Coleman, a visionary educator and former president of Bennington College, will present a talk entitled “Teaching: A Noble Art,” on March 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech. The event, hosted by the Academy of Teaching Excellence in Virginia Tech’s Center for Instru...
School of Performing Arts rendition of the play Waiting for Godot
Performing arts professor Cara Rawlings has used clown techniques to coach an actor in what iconic role? Was it Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Mute in The Fantasticks, or Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream? None of the above — it was the HokieBird in Lane Stadium. That detail is on...
A medieval historian who won a MacArthur “genius” fellowship, the celebrated lead editor of The New Oxford Shakespeare, and an award-winning scholar engaged in exploring the intersection of religion, race, and colonialism have all been named finalists for the position of founding director of t...
Murmuration of starlings
How would science have unfolded differently across the centuries if Galileo had been an ecologist rather than an astronomer? Some researchers believe today’s scientific disciplines would have evolved just as they have; others suspect we might have developed a markedly different view of the world. ...
When the head of NASA visits a university founded in the polytechnic tradition, you might expect him to be addressing aerospace engineers. Instead, Charles Bolden, Jr. visited Virginia Tech in February 2016 to inspire creative writing students. In his remarks, Bolden talked about NASA’s mission, of...