Writer-in-Residence Ann Pancake was a fall presenter during the WVU Humanities Center Quality of Life Speaker Series.

WVU Humanities Center awarded major grant to enhance ‘Quality of Life’ speaker series

The WVU Humanities Center has been awarded a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council to support its 2018-2019 Quality of Life Speaker Series.

“We are fortunate to have an active Humanities Council dedicated to supporting the humanities practitioners in our communities,” said Provost Joyce McConnell. “I’m delighted that the Council has recognized the important contribution that our Humanities Center is making to improving the quality of life in the state and moving West Virginia forward.”

The Center’s 2018-2019 theme of “Quality of Life” explores how humanistic investigation into thought, history and culture improves the way we live our lives day to day. The series connects scholarly voices to public audiences, unpacking how thoughtful reflection, cultural practice and human narratives can impact economic indicators, technological developments and medical innovations – all of which have tangible and lasting effects on our world and our ways of living in it.

Fall 2018 lectures in the series have included Campus Read author Emily St. John Mandel and writer-in-residence Ann Pancake, as well as other nationally recognized scholars from across the country. Upcoming talks for the spring 2019 semester will address the effects of storytelling in palliative medical care, the changing shape of rural Appalachian identities and accessing the human experience of place within our global context.

The WVHC’s Major Grant program supports larger humanities projects such as lectures, symposia, panel discussions, exhibits, reenactments and conferences. Previously funded projects include the Ohio River Festival of Books, events at the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown and archeology digs in Wood and Greenbrier counties.

“The West Virginia Humanities Council has supported public access to humanities work for more than four decades and we are thrilled that from the outset of our Center’s work, we are able to link in directly into that mission,” said Humanities Center Director Ryan Claycomb.

The WVU Humanities Center was created in August 2017 by the Office of the Provost to foster a rich humanities community on campus and promote better modes for scholars to communicate with one another and our broader community.

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