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Humanities Center planning stellar Research Week

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The West Virginia University Humanities Center will celebrate WVU’s fifth annual Research Week with several events showcasing humanities and humanities-adjacent scholarship.

“We are excited to share the innovative and literally life-changing research that the Humanities Center has supported over the past year,” Humanities Center Director Renée Nicholson said.

The week begins with a presentation by the inaugural recipients of the James M. Shumway & Lizbeth A. Pyle Health Humanities Fund Monday, March 20, from noon-1 p.m. Health Sciences Center, Room 1905.

Humanities Fund recipients

Canyon Lohnas, Dr. Corinne Layne-Stuart, Dr. Monika Holbein, Dr. Stephanie Pockl and Dr. Aimee Moorewood pose following their presentation.

Dr. Monika Holbein, Penn State Health, Internal Medicine, Palliative Medicine; Dr. Corinne Layne-Stuart, Assistant Professor, WVU School of Medicine, Anesthesiology; Canyon Lohnas, PhD Candidate, College of Applied Human Sciences; Dr. Aimee Moorewood, Professor, College of Applied Human Sciences, and literacy specialist; and Dr. Stephanie Pockl, Fellow, Geriatric Medicine, will present on their work on literacy and opioid agreements. The interdisciplinary group presented at International Pain Week in the Fall of 2022.

The James M. Shumway and Lizbeth A. Pyle Health Humanities Fund supports individuals and groups who use the humanities in clinical practice, research and education as a way to promote healing. The goal is to validate the experience of patients and encourage creativity and self-reflection in medical professionals and those who collaborate with them.

Activities continue with a virtual event with the 2022-2023 Humanities Center Fellows Nancy Caronia, a teaching associate professor of English; Sheena Harris, an associate professor of History and program coordinator for the Africana Studies Program; and Jay Krehbiel, an associate professor of Political Science, presenting their work Tuesday, March 22, at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Caronia continued her work studying women writers of Italian descent who examine labor movements, domestic intimacies and immigration in their fiction and non-fiction, yet often do not receive recognition for their work. Her book, “Permeable Boundaries: Intimacy and Activism in the Work of Women Writers of Italian Descent,” will explore how these writers regularly confront ethnocentrism, xenophobia and misogyny through the biracial and multiethnic communities in which Italian immigrants and their descendants reside.

Harris explored the life of Olivia America Davidson Washington, a woman born free in 1854 in Mercer County, Virginia (later West Virginia) who devoted her life to improving educational access for Blacks and women. Harris also examined how foundational recounts of history at the turn of the 20th century were often told through the lens of her husband, Booker T. Washington, and other prominent males over a woman’s perspective.

Krehbiel embarked on a new public-facing research project to shed light on the complex experiences Native Americans face within the American and tribal legal systems. His research examined Native peoples’ relationship with the law, the courts and the judicial system, as well as the overall inclination to be less trusting of the courts or the laws that they enforce. 

Please pre-register for this event here.

Festivities wrap up with the Center and the Leadership Studies program delving into

“The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing,” the artistic legacy of Melissa Bank, and the climate of literary publishing for women from the time of this book’s publication (1999) to the present. Nicholson and Lisa DeFrank-Cole, an internationally recognized scholar of women and leadership, will facilitate the conversation Thursday, March 23, at 5 p.m. in the Downtown Library, Classroom 104.

Immediately following will be a reception for Dr. DeFrank-Cole, who received  Outstanding Scholarship for Established Scholars Award from the International Leadership Association in 2022.