The HRC's practica program enables Rice undergraduates to conduct humanities research in local cultural and medical institutions, and to couple this research with hands-on work that materially benefits the sponsoring institution. In our pilot semester, Spring 2016, two students worked at the Woodson Research Center, at Rice's Fondren Library, to explore projects in cultural heritage and the medical humanities.
As part of our Mellon-funded Public Humanities initiative at Rice, the HRC promotes alt-ac programming and development for advanced graduate students. The HRC competitively funds two sixth-year Ph. D. students annually, (applications due soon!) to work with local institutions as they complete their degree. This helps graduate students make professional connections in the area while developing their scholarship in a publicly-oriented direction.
The HRC's practica program just completed its second semester, with students working at the Institute for Spirituality and Health, the Texas Medical Center Library's McGovern Historical Research Center, Archway Gallery, and the Menil Collection. This semester was particularly exciting because our two cultural heritage practica students created experimental installation pieces for their final projects, based on their semester's research (we will be writing in January about our medical humanities practica students, when some of their work is made public).
The Civic Humanist Program kicked off its 2016 Cultural Heritage fall initiative, which proved to be an exciting semester of learning and insights for everyone involved. Fellow Mark DeYoung, a PhD student in the Department of Religion, teamed up with local Houston artist Robert Hodge to give a series of five events for Houston high school student groups, including: three dynamic field trips at Rice University campus and two lectures at Yates High School and the High School for Performing & Visual Arts (PVA) respectively.
Melissa Bailar, Associate Director of the HRC, presents a paper on Georges Perec's La Disparition (1969). Perec's lipogramatic novel, famously written without the use of the letter "e," provides the formal inspiration for Dr. Bailar's experimental paper, which constrains itself in the same way.