Why Fish Don’t Exist
Why Fish Don’t Exist: The Dangers of Categorization from Ichthyology to Eugenics “Unfit” was the term used by the US Government to justify the forced eugenic sterilization of tens of thousands of people. A chapter in the upcoming book, Why Fish Don’t Exist, by VFH Fellow Lulu Miller, will explore the very living legacy of […]
Ernest J. Gaines. Photo: ErnestGainesCenter.Blogspot.com
Navigating the Fiction of Ernest J. Gaines
Join VFH Fellow Keith Clark of George Mason University for an exploration of the work of Ernest J. Gaines. Gaines has solidified his place among the pantheon of southern African American fiction writers, his work often inviting comparisons to Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, and Alice Walker. A prolific writer over the past five decades, Gaines […]
Woodland Union Church Cemetery. Photo courtesy Alison Bell
Front Porches of the Dead
VFH Residential Fellow Alison Bell teaches anthropology at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Bell has been studying cemeteries in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and says that in the 1980s a shift started happening in these spaces where the living and the dead come together.
Bell recently sat down with Trey Mitchell, director of web communications at VFH, to discuss her work.
Joseph Smith receiving golden plates from the angel Moroni at the Hill Cumorah - Public Domain, By C. C. A. Christensen
Mormon Polygamy and the Moral Life of the Body
On April 28, 2015, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case for gay marriage. As the keepers of key social conventions, the Justices had charge of the moral life of the body. It wasn’t the first time. During the second half of the 19th century the war against Mormon polygamy had reached […]
Collierstown Presbyterian Church Cemetery - Rockbridge County, VA
The Vital Dead
Making Meaning, Identity, and Community through Cemeteries In the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and well beyond, profound changes are underway in cemeteries: grave markers are still etched with images of bibles and flowers, but motorcycles, monsters, cats, and footballs are also appearing. Inscriptions (“Gone Hunting for the Lord” or “Had a Good Ride”) and objects […]
Front row, from left to right: Kristen Green; Lynn Rainville; Jeanne Siler, Fellowships program director; Lulu Miller; John Deal, LVA Public Services and Outreach; second row, Gregg Kimball, LVA, director, Public Services and Outreach; Don DeBats; Sarah Milov; Earl Swift; third row, Keith Clark, Nicole Maurantonio; Alison Bell
Announcing Fall 2017 Residential Fellowships
And Fellows Talks
Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) announces nine humanities scholars in residence during the fall of 2017. The Fellows, their affiliations, and their projects are as follows; summary descriptions of each project can be found in the attachment. Alison Bell – Anthropology, Washington & Lee University The Vital Dead: Making Meaning, Community and Personhood through […]
The Misunderstood Bible Project
On Writing about the Good Book’s Oddities The Bible is a really weird book, no matter what a person believes or doesn’t, according to biblical scholar Kristin Swenson. Author of Bible Babel: Making Sense of the Most Talked About Book of All Time, Dr. Swenson will discuss the challenges, pitfalls, and promise of writing a forthcoming book […]
Illustration of Joseph F. Smith giving testimony during the Reed Smoot hearings.
The End of Mormon Polygamy
Jane Barnes is an independent scholar in residence at Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. In 2007 she was the writer for the Frontline/American Experience documentary The Mormons and in 2012 she published the book Falling in Love with Joseph Smith – My Search for the Real Prophet. This summer, during her stay at VFH, she’s working […]