Virginia Humanities Conference

The Humanities and/in the Public Sphere

Friday, April 10 - Sunday, April 12, 2015



2014-2015 VHC Executive Delegates

President, Tonya Howe (Marymount University)

Vice President, Eric Osborne (Virginia Military Institute)

Treasurer: Kirk Richardson (Virginia Commonwealth University)

VHC Member Institutions

James Madison University

Mary Baldwin

Marymount University

Roanoke College

Shenandoah University

University of Mary Washington

University of Richmond

Virginia Commonwealth University

Please encourage your institution to join! Visit us at to learn how.

VHC 2016

will be hosted by Virginia Military Institute, Lexington VA

For more information

contact Eric Osborne


About the Virginia Humanities Conference

Originating perhaps as early as the 1940s, the Virginia Humanities Conference (VHC) is held annually, rotating among Virginia college and university campuses each year and bringing together individuals with an interest in the Humanities and a desire to participate in a scholarly exchange of ideas in a very broad, interdisciplinary context. The VHC is particularly interested in promoting student-faculty research. The theme for each year’s conference is chosen by the rising president.

Membership in the VHC is open to any institution of higher learning within the state of Virginia. Annual membership dues are presently $200.00, the payment of which entitles each member institution to appoint one delegate to represent the institution at the Conference. Delegates typically serve at the discretion of their respective Academic Deans. The Conference’s governing body is composed of these Institutional Delegates, and VHC officers are elected from and by the Delegates. Funding to maintain the Conference comes primarily from the annual membership dues and conference registration fees.

Participation in each Conference is open to all those individuals who are interested and qualified and is not restricted only to residents of the state of Virginia. The VHC encourages participation by individuals and scholars from any of the Humanities disciplines, including history, political science, anthropology, literature, modern languages, drama, philosophy, theology, and the arts (visual arts, music, dance, and architecture). The Conference typically welcomes not only submissions from the academic community but from those outside academe as well. Qualified graduate and undergraduate students, under the guidance of a supporting faculty member, are encouraged to participate in the Conference as a means of gaining insight into yet another aspect of academics.

The Virginia Humanities Conference Archives, with coverage maintained since 1988, presently reside with Dr. Kirk Richardson at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. To donate materials to the Archives or to make inquiries, please contact Dr. Richardson via email at or by phone (804) 827-3911.


Conference Schedule

Friday, April 10


12:00 PM

Check-in and Registration Begins

Main House


1:00 - 2:15 Concurrent Sessions

01 - Art and Purpose in the Public Sphere (Main House, Dining)

Marguerite RIPPY, Marymount University (Chair)

Joseph DREISS,  University of Mary Washington,  "Public Art as Reportage and Critique: Leon Golub's 'Interrogations'"

Michelle Dacus CARR, University of Maryland University College, "When Art Becomes an Event: Ephemerality and the Airing of Dirty Laundry at the Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn"

Richard SELDEN, Sand Fiddler Marketing, “Figuratively Speaking: Lady Baltimore, Diana the Huntress, and the Marvelous Sugar Baby”

Roann BARRIS and Erin Webster GARRETT, Radford University, “Frankenstein, Alba and Buddha: Is There an Ethics of Art?: A Discussion"


02 - Composing (in) the Public Sphere (Reinsch Library, Board Room)

Sarah FICKE, Marymount University (Chair)

Brandon BILLER, George Mason University, "The Rhetoric of Power: Public and Private Pieces"

Jen ALMJELD, James Madison University, "Taking Freshman Composition to the Streets and to the Web"

Julie Phillips BROWN, Virginia Military Institute, "Extremely Close and Incredibly Slow: Integrated Approaches to (Digital) Literacy"

Antonio CAUSARANO, University of Mary Washington, "Multimodality and Digital Texts: Digital Storytelling and Reading in the 21st Century"


03 - Behavioral Development, Socialization, and the Humanities (Reinsch Library, Lee Reception)

Linda COTE-REILLY, Marymount University (Chair)

Christian RUIZ, Virginia Commonwealth University, “The Use of DID in Contemporary Film to Illustrate Conflicting Cultural Dictates about Prescribed Gender Roles: A Study of Primal Fear, Fight Club, Black Swan, and Silent House

Anthony JONES, Virginia Commonwealth University, "Re-thinking Childhood Intervention: Positive Behavioral Development through Non-familial Socialization"

Cortney Hughes RINKER, George Mason University, "Anthropology and Cultural Competence: Delivering Religiously Appropriate Care at the End-of-Life for Muslim Patients"


04 - Reform, Revolution, Contradiction: Negotiating the Boundaries of Meaning (Main House, Piano)

Robert OTTEN, Marymount University (Chair)

Xiaofang HUANG,  The Catholic University of America, "Tennessee Williams and Cao Yu: Reforming Modern Drama"

Claire COVINGTON, Waynesboro Public Library, "Revolutionary Change: Lydia Maria Child and Sarah Josepha Hale, Influential and Forgotten"

Mark BENBOW, Marymount University, “Liquid Bread and Cheesecake: The Contradictions of Brewery Advertising 1900-1919”

2:30 - 3:45 Concurrent Sessions


05 - Humanities Data on the Web: The IMLS Museum Universe Data File, Wikipedia, and the US Museums Explorer (Main House, Dining)

Patrick MURRAY-JOHN, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, George Mason University (Chair and Speaker)

Sara SNYDER, Deputy Chief, Media and Technology office at Smithsonian American Art Museum

Dominic MCDEVITT-PARKS, Digital Content Specialist, Wikipedian in Residence, Digital Public Access, Office of Innovation, National Archives and Records Administration

Carlos MAJARREZ, Director of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Institute of Museum and Library Services

Justin GRIMES, Statistician, Institute of Museum and Library Services

06 - Spirit, Empathy, Ethics: Constructing Public Spaces (Main House, Piano)

David JEFFREY, James Madison University (Chair)

William HAWK, James Madison University, "Ethical Reasoning in the Public Sphere: JMU’s Madison Collaborative"

Kip REDICK, Christopher Newport University, "Enshrinement of the Sacred in Public Space"

Moira DENSON, Marymount University, "Accessibility in Interior Design: Learning through Empathy Exercises and 3D Prototyping"


07 - The Open Classroom, the World School (Reinsch Library, Lee Reception)

Kirk RICHARDSON, Virginia Commonwealth University (Chair)

Sarah O'CONNOR, James Madison University, “Narrative and Student Engagement in the Public Sphere”

Claire PETERSON, Salt Lake Community College, "Technology and the Humanities: A Practical Application"

Kirk RICHARDSON,  Virginia Commonwealth University, "Humanities in/to The Public"

John THOMPSON, Christopher Newport University, "Kenji Miyazawa: Life as Public Performance of Dharma"

08 -  Underground Press, Digital Press, Letterpress  (Reinsch Library, Board Room)

Petra SCHWEITZER, Shenandoah University (Chair)

Dale M. BRUMFIELD, Virginia Commonwealth University, “Digital Archaeology and the Washington DC Underground Press of the 1960s: Advocacy Journalism and Media Culture”

Robert GODWIN-JONES, Virginia Commonwealth University, “Bridging Literary Study and Language Learning: A Digital Archive of the Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tales”

Bridget MURPHY, Marymount University, "Free Drinks, Pickles, and Tomatoes: The Integration of Traditional Letterpress Printing and Typographic Letterforms to Create Fine Art”


4:00 PM

Bisson Lecture and Keynote

Reinsch Library Auditorium

Steven LUBAR, Brown University

“The Curator Rules”


6:00 PM

Welcome Reception

Main House Patio


 Saturday, April 11


9:00 AM

Check-in and Registration Begins

9:30 - 10:45 Concurrent Sessions

09 - Teaching Justice Through Storytelling: Uniting the Humanities and the Social Sciences in the Classroom (Roundtable) (Main House, Dining)

Leigh JOHNSON, Marymount University (Chair)

Daisy BRENEMAN, James Madison University

Peggy PLASS, JMU, Justice Studies

Terry BEITZEL, JMU, Justice Studies, Director of Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence


10 - Immigrant Alexandria, New Media, and the Public (Reinsch Library, Board Room)

Elizabeth PITTMAN, Marymount University (Chair)

Krystyn MOON, University of Mary Washington,“Immigrant Alexandria: Northern Virginia’s Immigration History and Bringing it into the Classroom”

Erin HOUSE, University of Mary Washington, “"Chinese Immigrants in Alexandria, Virginia 1890-1940”

Kayla TOUSSANT, University of Mary Washington,  "Racial Tensions for Italian Immigrants in Alexandria, Virginia, 1880s-1920s.”

11 - Art and Literature in the Public Sphere: Spreading Ideas (Reinsch Library, Lee Reception)

Eric NORTON, Marymount University (Chair)

Chesney RHOADES, Marymount University, "Partisans Among Playmates: Death, Dysfunction, and the Civil War in Modern Juvenile Fiction"

Hannah MAUK, Roanoke College, “Framing the Revolution: Public Art During The French Revolution”

Katie L. PEEBLES, Marymount University, "Negotiating Belief: Urban Legends and Cultural Meaning"

12 - The Language of Ideology in Literary Texts (Main House, Piano)

Kirk RICHARDSON, Virginia Commonwealth University (Chair)

Amanda BOURNE, Marymount University, “Sherlock Holmes in Washington: Political Propaganda and ‘Englishness’ in World Wars I and II”

Liz RICKETTS, Marymount University, “Post-Colonial Bard: Troilus and Cressida and the Nine Years War”

Stephanie BARROS, Marymount University, “Elimination and Disruption of Literature: Ray Bradbury’s Vision of a World Without Books in Fahrenheit 451

Richard HENKLE, Marymount University, “‘The Future Years Had Come’: W.B. Yeats and the New Fatherhood Movement”

11:00 - 12:15 Concurrent Sessions


13 - Poetry in the Public Sphere: #Poetry Off the Page (Roundtable) (Main House, Piano)

Kirsten PORTER, Marymount University (Chair)

Susan MOCKLER, Marymount University (Co-Chair and Speaker)

Carolyn SUPINKA, Artist and Writer, American University

Kim ROBERTS, Poet and Editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly


13 - Public Reasoning and the Humanities (Main House, Dining)

Marwood LARSON-HARRIS, Roanoke College (Chair)

Hussam S. TIMANI, Christopher Newport University, "Scriptural Reasoning in the Public Sphere: Reading Scriptures Together"

Matthew William BRAKE, George Mason University, "Uncertain Roots: A Response to Lynn White, Jr."

Andrew ROSE, Christopher Newport University, "(Im)Possible Futures: Environmental Imaginings in the Anthropocene"

14 - Literature, Race, and the Politics of Identity (Reinsch Library, Board Room)

Jason DEMETER, Marymount University (Chair)

Hajung KIM, Marymount University, “The Limits of Racial Law and Shaping of Identity in Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson

Rose BIER, Marymount University, “The Path to Freedom and Liberty in Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

Eric BROOKS, Marymount University, “Biracial Identity in Monoracial Communities: Social Stigma in Their Eyes Were Watching God

Charmanique GOINGS, Marymount University, “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: Colonial Manipulation in Things Fall Apart

12:15-1:30 PM


Location TBA

12:15-1:30 PM

Delegate’s Meeting

Location TBA


1:30 - 2:45 Concurrent Sessions


15 - Public Policy, Public Thought, and the Public Humanities (Main House, Dining)

Eric NORTON, Marymount University (Chair)

Aaron R. HANLON, Georgetown University, "Epistemology and the Public Humanities"

Bryan G. SALMONS, Lincoln University, "Do Pomo Metaconstructs Dream of Hamlet’s Sleep?: Humanity, the Humanities, and the Poststructural Hangover"

Qrescent Mali MASON, Drexel University, "Philosophy in the Public Sphere: Examining The New York Times's 'The Stone'”

Nicole FALGIANO, James Madison University,  "Humanities and Washington: A Different Approach to Reaching Political Leaders"


16 - Memorialization and Trauma (Reinsch Library, Board Room)

Katherine TURNER, Mary Baldwin College (Chair)

Dominique Nicole SWANN, George Mason University, "Roots Tourism: Commodifying Transatlantic Slavery"

Dana MIRANDA, The University of Connecticut, "'Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes': The Loss on Bunker Hill"

Meg MCGUIRE, University of Delaware, "This Is How I Remember the War: A Vernacular Construction of Public Memory"


17 - Human Communication: A Socio-Linguistic Approach (Roundtable) (Reinsch Library, Lee Reception)

Raja NASR, Marymount University (Chair)

Catherine SCHLICHTING, Marymount University

Rick NARCISSE, Marymount University

Umar SHEHZAD, Marymount University

Hanna DEL SIGNORE, Marymount University

18 - Learning through Making: Site-Specific Public Sculpture (Roundtable) (Reinsch Library, Piano)

Bess FOX, Marymount University (Chair)

Joe HICKS, Marymount University, “Public Sculpture: Developing Student Collaboration

Student Ceramists, Marymount University


3:00 - 4:15 Concurrent Sessions


19 - American Memory at Twenty: Assessing an Online Public Humanities Legacy (Roundtable) (Main House, Dining)

Susan GARFINKEL, Digital Reference Section, Library of Congress (Chair)

Elizabeth BROWN, Digital Reference Section, Library of Congress

Juretta Jordan HECKSCHER, Digital Reference Section, Library of Congress

Christine PRUZIN, Digital Reference Section, Library of Congress

20 - Challenging Public (Mis)perceptions: Diverse Lessons from Humanities Students (Main House, Piano)

John THOMPSON, Christopher Newport University (Chair)

Stephen PLOTZ, Christopher Newport University

Samuel ATKINSON, Christopher Newport University

Erin CLANCY, Christopher Newport University


21 - Digital Spaces, Popular Places: Engaging Vernacular Media (Reinsch Library, Board Room)

Diana RISK, Virginia Wesleyan College (Chair)

Cassidy SHEEHAN, Virginia Commonwealth University, “Queer-baiting on the BBC’s Sherlock: Addressing the Invalidation of Queer Experience through Online Fan Fiction Communities”

George BREEDEN, George Mason University, "Defending the Study of Religion in Digital Games"

Angela HART, Georgetown University, "The Vampire Phenomenon: Buffy Summers Becomes A Martyr to Prevent Vampire Mayhem"

4:30 - 5:45 Concurrent Sessions

22 - (Crossing) Spaces of Crossing (Main House, Dining)

Brian FLANAGAN, Marymount University (Chair)

Caitlin RIZZO, University of Maryland, College Park, "The Lyric Poem as Queer Space"

Diana RISK, Virginia Wesleyan College, "Humboldt’s Latin American Adventure and the Reinvention of a New World"

Adam KOVACH, Marymount University, "Can there Be a Philosophy of Tourism?"

23 - Inhabiting the Spaces of Learning (Reinsch Library, Lee Reception)

Bess FOX, Marymount University (Chair)

Morgan SENTER, Virginia Commonwealth University Honors College, "Dancing to Win: The Transition of Irish Step Dance from Cultural Art Form to Aesthetic Sport"

Joe MAURELLI, Marymount University, "'Who Would You Save in a Life or Death Situation?': Role Playing in the Classroom"

Lynda KACHUREK, University of Richmond, "Freeing Rapunzel: Rescuing a (Somewhat) Forgotten Collection from the Tower, or The Historian’s Workshop in Action"

24 - Human Rights (Reinsch Library, Board Room)

Marwood LARSON-HARRIS, Roanoke College (Chair)

Melanie GRAHAM, Radford University, "Transformation of Understanding in Bernhard Schlink's The Reader: Making Sense of History through Literature"

Michael BOYLAN, Marymount University, "Natural Human Rights"

Vincent NICOSIA, Marymount University, "The Roots of Genocide"

6:00 PM

Presenter Banquet

Gerard Dining Hall

 Sunday, April 12

10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Museum Outing

American History Museum

Leave Main Campus at 10:30am. Shuttle will pick up outside the Main House.


Restaurants in the Ballston Area

Rustico Restaurant & Bar


55 reviews

$$ · American · Wilson Blvd

Small-batch & rare beers plus wood-fired pizza fill the menu at this refined American tavern.

Bars with Craft Beer in Washington, D.C.

Willow Restaurant


66 reviews

$$$ · American · N Fairfax Dr

American seasonal fare served in a refined setting with a patio, plus a bar offering small plates.

Grand Cru Wine Bar & Bistro


39 reviews

$$ · French · Wilson Blvd

Wine bar serving French-American fare in a space decked with vintage-style posters & outdoor tables.

Best Wine Bars in Washington, D.C.

A-Town Bar & Grill


24 reviews

$$ · Grill · N Fairfax Dr

Lively grill & lounge serving up global fare & cocktails, plus a sushi menu & a buffet brunch.

El Pollo Rico


123 reviews

$ · Peruvian · N Kenmore St

Spit-roasted Peruvian chicken plus sides like coleslaw served in a casual, counter-service space.

Best Chicken Roaster Deals in Washington, D.C.

Rus Uz


11 reviews

$ · Russian · N Randolph St

Traditional, hearty savory & sweet specialties from Russia & Uzbekistan in simple surrounds.



66 reviews

$$ · Italian · Wilson Blvd

Euro-chic chain for pastas, pizzas & more, ordered cafeteria-style in modern environs with a bar.

Il Forno


5 reviews

Italian · N Glebe Rd

Floor-to-ceiling windows dominate this chic trattoria serving refined Italian cooking & pizzas.

Big Buns


73 reviews

$ · American · Wilson Blvd

Modern space serving made-to-order signature burgers, plus sides like sweet potato fries.

Tara Temple Restaurant


40 reviews

$$ · Thai · Fairfax Dr

A DJ, extensive drink list & swanky decor give this Pan-Asian restaurant a nightclub vibe.

Sichuan Wok


41 reviews

$ · Chinese · N Quincy St

Casual restaurant serving Chinese standards for eat-in, takeout or delivery.



11 reviews

$$ · Italian · N Glebe Rd

Farm-to-table, Italian-inspired eats & outdoor seating are offered at a relaxed spot in the Westin.

Bangkok Bistro at Ballston


24 reviews

$$ · Thai · N Glebe Rd

Casual joint with contemporary decor offering a large menu of Thai eats for dine-in or delivery.

Uncle Julio's Arlington/Ballston


90 reviews

$$ · Mexican · Fairfax Dr

Tex-Mex chain serving mesquite-grilled fare & margarita-sangria swirls in a hacienda-style space.

Best Southwestern Restaurants in Washington, D.C.

Rock Bottom


88 reviews

$$ · American · Wilson Blvd

Brewpub chain serving house beers & upscale pub food & American fare in lively environs.

Ravi Kabob House


75 reviews

$$ · Pakistani · N Glebe Rd

No-frills restaurant offering kebabs & other Pakistani staples at super-cheap prices.

Best Quick Bites in Washington, D.C.

Shiki Sushi


29 reviews

$$ · Japanese · N Glebe Rd

Lively strip-mall spot with patio seating, a large selection of sushi & some hot Japanese entrees.

Dan and Brad's

No reviews

$$ · American · N Stafford St

American cuisine with regional & global flavors served in a sophisticated dining room at the Hilton.

Restaurants in the Clarendon Area

Ray's The Steaks


127 reviews

$$$ · Steak · Wilson Blvd

Steaks served with family-style sides of mashed potatoes & creamed spinach in a minimalist space.

Popular Restaurants in Washington, D.C.

Fire Works Pizza - Courthouse


56 reviews

$$ · Pizza · Clarendon Blvd

Lively American pizzeria & bar with outdoor seating known for wood-oven pies & lots of beers on tap.

Green Pig Bistro


33 reviews

$$ · American · N Fillmore St

Scot Harlan's nose-to-tail ethos turns out American-French dishes in a modern, kitschy spot.

Fuego Cocina y Tequileria


14 reviews

$$ · Mexican · Clarendon Blvd

Contemporary Mexican kitchen & lounge spread out over 2 levels & offering more than 100 tequilas.

Best Margaritas in D.C.

CIRCA at Clarendon


16 reviews

$$ · American · Clarendon Blvd

New American bistro with creative fare, an active bar scene & outdoor seating.

Lyon Hall


64 reviews

$$ · French · Washington Blvd

Trendy French-German brasserie offering a meat-heavy menu & a unique beer selection.

Bars with Craft Beer in Washington, D.C.

Bayou Bakery


44 reviews

$$ · Southern Restaurant (US) · N Courthouse Rd

Counter-service bakery & cafe with a New Orleans bent (muffaletta, beignets) & funky setting.

Best Restaurants for Breakfast in Washington, D.C.

The Liberty Tavern


134 reviews

$$ · American · Wilson Blvd

Tavern with upstairs space serving changing New American fare & lively downstairs bar with pub grub.

Best Pub Food in Washington, D.C.

Boulevard WoodGrill


39 reviews

$$ · American · Wilson Blvd

The signature wood-burning grill produces grilled meats & Modern American fare with a global twist.

Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill


26 reviews

$$ · Grill · Wilson Blvd

Sprawling bar & grill with an upscale pub menu, signature cocktails, TV sports & live music.

Endo Sushi


27 reviews

$$ · Sushi · Washington Blvd

Casual Japanese restaurant offering an extensive lineup of sushi, plus some cooked dishes.

Cava Mezze


17 reviews

$ · Greek · Clarendon Blvd

Mini-chain branch for tapas-style Greek dining, serving up classic eats in an industrial setting.

Best Restaurants for Group Birthday Dinners in Washington, D.C.

Zaika DC


13 reviews

Indian · Clarendon Blvd

Curtains & vibrant murals lend a hip vibe to this creative Indian kitchen with patio seating.

Pete's New Haven Style Pizza


33 reviews

$$ · Pizza · Clarendon Blvd

Kid-friendly, gourmet pizzeria with salads, antipasti, pastas & brews in an airy space.

Best Child-Friendly Restaurants in Washington, D.C.



30 reviews

$$ · Grill · N Courthouse Rd

Casual spot with a covered patio serving up drinks, bar bites & occasional live acoustic music.

Delhi Club


31 reviews

$$ · Indian · N Highland St

Relaxed Indian restaurant known for its lamb rogan josh & butter chicken, plus a lunch buffet.

Best Restaurants in Clarendon, Virginia

Special Thanks


Dr. Matthew Shank, President, Marymount University

Dr. Sheri Hughes, Provost, Marymount University

Dr. George Cheatham, Dean, School of Arts & Sciences, Marymount University

Soo Kim, Conference Center, Marymount University

Jey Marks, Development, Marymount University

Rob Cox, Catering Director,  Marymount University

Dr. Sarah Ficke, Assistant Professor, Literature & Languages, Marymount University

Dr. Bess Fox, Associate Professor, Literature & Languages, Marymount University

Dr. Kirk Richardson, VHC Treasurer, Virginia Humanities Conference

The Marymount faculty who helped chair panels and generally offered their support: Sarah Ficke, Bess Fox, Leigh Johnson, Marguerite Rippy, Jason Demeter, Linda Cote-Reilly, Amy Scott-Douglass, Elizabeth Pittman, Robert Otten, Eric Norton, and Brian Flanagan.

And certainly not least--many, many thanks to the graduate and undergraduate student assistants who helped make this year’s conference a success.