Anthropology Professor Amy Rector Awarded $390,000 Grant to Study Human Evolution
June 17, 2019
It’s a common misconception that human evolution has progressed in a linear fashion starting with our earliest primate ancestors 55 million years ago and culminating with Homo sapiens as we are today. However, the reality is far more complex with human evolution branching into several species not only living simultaneously but even interbreeding. Research by anthropology professor Amy Rector, Ph.D., in Ethiopia’s Afar region has been focused on exploring this evolutionary diversity and has just been awarded a $390,000 collaborative grant by the National Science Foundation. This grant is the largest single grant received by VCU’s Anthropology program!
Oliver Speck to Co-host Q&A session at 2019 EuroAsia Shorts Film Festival
May 28, 2019
The weeklong 2019 EuroAsia Shorts Film Festival kicks off Friday, May 31 at 6:30 PM with a screening of Austrian and Korean movies in DC’s Korean Cultural Center. School of World Studies professor Oliver Speck will co-host a Q&A session after the films with George Mason University professor Jihye Moon.
International Studies Professor Rohan Kalyan Screens Documentary "Badiou" in Festival Circuit
April 25, 2019
French philosopher Alain Badiou was largely unknown in the United States outside leftist circles until several of his books, most notably “Being an Event”, were translated into English a few years ago. International Studies professor Rohan Kalyan, along with his brother Gorav, have helped increase awareness of Badiou through their recent documentary “Badiou” which has been making the festival circuit this year.
Religious Studies Professor Esther Nelson Featured in Kuwaiti Newspaper!
March 29, 2019
It has been nearly a decade since Egyptian author and Qur’anic scholar Nasr Abu Zayd passed away but his intellectual legacy continues to influence VCU Religious Studies professor Esther Nelson. The two became close in the early 2000s when Nelson was living in Saudi Arabia and they collaborated on the book “Voice of an Exile: Reflections on Islam” in 2004. Earlier this month, Kuwaiti news outlet Subahiya News interviewed Nelson about her recollections and reflections on Zayd.
French Film Festival Has Movies for All Majors
March 26, 2019
While the French Film Festival is an obvious draw for students of French and cinema, it will be showing movies of interest to majors from all disciplines across campus.
Film Icon Thierry Lhermitte Headlines French Film Festival... Again!
March 20, 2019
Thierry Lhermitte has been a famous heart throb and comedic actor in France since the 1970s when he made his debut as part of the comedy troupe “Le Splendide.” Here in Virginia, Lhermitte is also a cultural ambassador who was the first actor to personally present a movie at the French Film Festival. He returns to Richmond this year as an honored guest for not only a screening but also a master class and homage.
Social Justice Themes Guide French Film Festival
March 18, 2019
Like VCU as a whole, the French Film Festival is grounded on core values centered on inclusivity and social justice. The four themes guiding the selection of films this year are: human and civil rights; immigration; reconciliation; and environmental engagement. Some movies focus strongly on one specific theme while others deal with multiple issues.
Master Classes Make French Cinema Accessible
March 11, 2019
As part of this year’s French Film Festival, VCU’s Institute for Contemporary Art state-of-the art auditorium will be home to eight free master classes with the Festival’s creative talent. Held on Thursday, March 28 and Friday, March 29, these classes offer insight into the art of filmmaking directly from professionals actors, producers and screenwriters themselves.
SWS Alumna Plays Vital Role in Recent Repatriation
March 4, 2019
Illegally obtained artifacts seized by the FBI in 2014 have just been repatriated to China last week in part due to the efforts of VCU alumna Liz Ale. Currently a Master’s student at Purdue University, Ale is part of a team of collections and repatriation consultants helping the FBI analyze over 7,000 objects from around the world which the FBI found in an Indiana home.
Mar Góngora receives John K. Walsh Award
January 18, 2019
Professor of Spanish Mar Góngora, Ph.D., is the 2019 recipient of the John K. Walsh award for her piece “Sobre héroes y monstruos: la decoración de Vélez Blanco y la literatura de su tiempo.” The award is given by La corónica, a journal dedicated to the study of medieval Iberian literature founded in 1972.
SWS Student Ashley Leahman Awarded Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grant
December 7, 2018
Studying abroad has been integral to VCU student Ashley Leahman’s life; she spent her junior year of high school in Zaragoza, Spain and is currently at University of Leiden in the Netherlands. Earlier this month, the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi recognized Leahman’s commitment to international education by awarding her a $1,000 Study Abroad Grant.
Collection Drive for Richmond-Area Migrant Children to Culminate at Common Book Talk
November 13, 2018
While the crisis facing undocumented children in the United States can seem overwhelming, the VCU community is rallying around this cause through a collection drive called “Solidaridad y Apoyo en Richmond” (Solidarity and Support in Richmond). The drive will culminate Wednesday evening at 6 in the Siegal Center as part of a public lecture by Valeria Luiselli, author of “Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions,” a book about the plight of undocumented children facing deportation from the United States, and Virginia Commonwealth University’s 2018 Common Book.
School of World Studies Society Connects Students
November 7, 2018
Neha Pondicherry, a VCU Junior double majoring in International Studies and biology, decided to start the School of World Studies Society to help students across the school’s four interdisciplinary programs feel more connected to each other and cohesive as a unit. The group met for the first time last week to discuss their goals, upcoming events and leadership opportunities.
2018 Student Research Conference This Week
November 5, 2018
Presented by VCU’s School of World Studies, the 2018 Student Research Conference is only days away and promises to showcase amazing undergraduate scholarship as well as a powerful keynote speaker. The conference will be held on Thursday and Friday, November 8 and 9 in the VCU Student Commons and features over 60 student presentations on topics ranging from the micro-culture of Catalonia, Spain to gentrification in Richmond.
SWS Professor Isabelle Richman Receives Accessibility Award
October 15, 2018
Assistant professor of Religious Studies, Isabelle Richman, Ph.D., J.D., received the faculty award for student support due to her work as adviser to the Association for Students with Disabilities and Chronic Conditions, a newly founded student group with about 40 members.
The Jewish Deli Revival: Buying and Selling American Jewish Nostalgia
October 8, 2018
The Jewish deli holds a special place in the American culinary landscape at large, but is especially important for American Jews interacting with their community and culture. Rachel B. Gross, the John & Marcia Goldman Professor of American Jewish Studies at San Francisco State University, will discuss the evolving role of the traditional deli for Jewish Americans on November 26, 2018 at 6 p.m. in Room 1107 of the Academic Learning Commons.
Demonic Deliverance: Exorcism in Africa and Latin America
October 8, 2018
The Exorcist is an iconic film, but merely a fictional depiction of a dramatic spiritual rite actually performed by real people. Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alberta, Canada, Dr. Kate Kingsbury explores the reality of exorcism as practiced in Africa and Latin America in her upcoming lecture Demonic Deliverance to be held on Monday, November 12 from 4 to 6 p.m. in Hibbs 407.
Deadline Extended for Student Research Conference
October 1, 2018
Due to high demand, the deadline for submissions to the 2018 Student Research Conference has been extended to Friday, October 5, 2018.
Heavenly Bodies Lecture Brings "Haute Macabre" Art to VCU
September 24, 2018
Most people don’t associate death with beauty, but Paul Koudounaris’s work is perhaps best described as “haute macabre” for the ways in which he explores the interplay of artistry and burial. For more than a decade, the art historian and photographer has been capturing the bizarre beauty of human remains used as decorative elements in sacred spaces that would put a haunted house to shame. He will be discussing bejeweled skeletons from the Counter Reformation on Tuesday, Oct. 2 from 4 to 6 p.m. at VCU’s Cabell Library Lecture Hall, Room 303.
Lecture on the Importance of our Urban Catholic Schools
September 5, 2018
Students and their parents have more options than ever when it comes to choosing a school that best reflects their values and priorities. Catholic education remains a popular choice for many American families today. The upcoming VCU lecture "The Importance of our Urban Catholic Schools" on Tuesday, Sept. 18 from 4 to 6 pm in Room 303 of the Cabell Library Lecture Hall will explore the ongoing role of Catholic schools in Richmond and beyond.
VCU School of World Studies professor awarded grant for multidisciplinary research on Zambia’s Bantu Expansion
August 27, 2018
Archeology uses material evidence to uncover the truth about the human past, often undoing long-held assumptions and inaccurate understandings of early human societies. Anthropology professor at VCU’s School of World Studies Matthew Pawlowicz’s work in Zambia hopes to uncover the actual lifestyles and worldview held by those who lived in the central part of the country during the Bantu Expansion from 500 CE to 1500 CE.
Waybright and students celebrate 25 years of archaeological projects in Israel
July 26, 2018
Jonathan Waybright, instructor of religious studies and internship coordinator, has connected VCU students to archaeological projects in Israel for the past 25 years. Since 2009, VCU School of World Studies students have participated in Hebrew University archaeological field schools at Khirbet Qeiyafa, Tell Lachish, and recently, Khirbet Arai, Israel, celebrating a decade of partnership.
Rector publishes articles in RVAMag
June 13, 2018
Amy Rector, Ph.D., assistant professor of anthropology, contributed two recent articles to RVAMag.com - one on her research in South Africa's bone vaults and another offering a critique of a recent RichmondMoms.com article on being a mother in RVA.
Congratulations to SWS faculty members Bernard Means, Tony Brinckwirth and Anita Nadal for being awarded GEO Quest Global Impact awards
March 2, 2015
Dr. Means’ project “Building a Virtual and Real Exhibit of India’s Past.” will formalize a partnership with Dr. Vinod Nautiyal of HNB Garhwal University, India, involving 3D scanning of artifacts recovered from excavations in the Trans-Himalayan region.
The Smithsonian ‘Human Origins’ is coming to Richmond
March 2, 2015
Chesterfield’s central library will host the exhibit that covers many of the same themes that explore the evolution of man over 6 million years. The exhibit itself will include panels, public talks, hands-on displays and videos. Dr. Amy Rector will be conducting some of the panels and public talks. The “Exploring Human Origins” exhibit is a part of the Smithsonian’s Human Origins Initiative.
Italian students get a grant to intern at Milano Expo
January 1, 2015
Out of 1,000+ applicants,two Italian students from VCU were selected to join a group of 60 students to represent the United States as an Ambassador for 'Wave 2' of Expo Milano 2015.
Congratulations to SWS Alumna Mariana Zechini on Her Forthcoming Publication
January 6, 2015
Mariana Zechini forthcoming publication is titled ‘Digital Zooarchaeology: Using 3D Technology on Archaeofaunal Collections’ and will appear in the Quarterly Bulleting of the Archeological Society of Virginia.
SWS Dr. Christopher Stevenson Ground-breaking Research on the Rapa Nui Population
January 2, 2015
Along with a team of some of the best researchers in the world, Dr. Stevenson researched and developed new techniques that changed the debate about human history and the demographical dynamics on Easter Island.
VCU professor Bernard Means to give webinar on 3D printing in education
January 5, 2015
VCU in French Speaking Africa Forum
October 1, 2014
Sponsored by the VCU Institute for Women’s Health, the October 13th VCU in French-Speaking Africa forum focused on joint clinical trials of a probiotic supplement for HIV-positive women in Ségou, Mali.
SWS Graduate Kunal Kapoor to speak at TEDxVCU
October 2, 2014
Kunal Kapoor, Fulbright Scholar and Religious Studies Alumn, to speak at TEDxVCU.
Virtual Curation Laboratory (VCL) at the Archeological Society of Virginia (ASV)
October 10, 2014
This past weekend, October 10-12, the Virtual Curation Laboratory (VCL) presented some of their work at the Archeological Society of Virginia (ASV) annual meeting, which was held in Richmond, Virginia.
SWS Professor Oliver Speck's new book explores Tarantino's 'Django Unchained'
September 4, 2014
Oliver Speck, Ph.D., an associate professor of film studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, is the editor of a newly published collection of scholarly essays exploring Quentin Tarantino's successful and controversial "Django Unchained".
ICAZ 2014: Digital Scanned 3-D Reproduced Elements of Extinct Species; The Future Examines the Past
September 8, 2014
Bruce Manzano presented a poster at the ICAZ 2014 ( International Council of Archaeozoologists meeting in San Rafael, Argentina) featuring research by the Virtual Curation Laboratory and collaborators at the University of Kentucky (Bruce Manzano), the University of West Florida (Mariana Zechini) and Christopher Begley (Transylvania University). He also displayed printed replicas of passenger pigeon bones. You can see the abstract for the poster here.
SWS Wanda Capers is a finalist for the Dorris Budd Douglas Award
September 10, 2014
Congratulations to Wanda Hewlett Capers from the School of World Studies for been nominated as a finalist for the 2014 Dorris Budd Douglas Award.
SWS Professor traces evolution of Grimm fairy tales
September 12, 2014
SWS Students Learning Archaeological Field Methods
June 2, 2014
If you want to follow some VCU students learning archaeological field methods in an experiential setting, Bernard Means has created a Facebook page for just that.
Summer Times Means Busy Times at the Virtual Curation Lab
May 1, 2014
Check out this video produced by Danny Schmidt that highlights one of the cooperative projects done with Jamestown Rediscovery.