Humanities Week: How Our Playdates Can Benefit the Humanities

Humanities Week: How Our Playdates Can Benefit the Humanities
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At Virginia Tech, this week is Humanities Week! As an interdisciplinary research institute, ICAT is celebrating by hosting Poe’s Shadows this Friday, a project that reimagines Edgar Allen Poe’s most famous poems. You can find Poe’s Shadows now in the Sandbox and Perform studio of the Moss Arts Center.  If you did not know, Playdates are our weekly events that show off all the fun projects and exhibitions that happen with funding or space that is supplied by ICAT.

We have a weekly newsletter that will let you know ahead of time what the Playdate will be for that week. Because ICAT projects are interdisciplinary in nature, there will scarcely be two weeks where there will not be something related to the humanities in one of our Playdates!

Therefore, there are many other reasons why the Humanities should come to ICAT’s Playdates. Below, find our top 3 reasons:

1. Take advantage of interdisciplinary perspectives

Part of working in the humanities is coming with a different perspective. One of the biggest advantages of being in humanities at an institution like Virginia Tech is the proximity to so many different points of view. With this in mind, some of the most transformative conversations professionally come from seemingly unalike minds putting their heads together to create something that’s better than either of them could have created alone.

That is the kind of thinking we cultivate at ICAT. Every team is made up of researchers from at least two different academic backgrounds on campus. You might be surprised about what you learn from a totally new way of looking at your own work. This leads us to our next point:

2. Get inspired!

Everyone knows that inspiration often comes from unlikely sources. ICAT is the perfect place to cultivate your new idea for a project. Sitting in the CID with a donut and some coffee, listening to an engaging presentation on something you didn’t even know could happen on campus, you might just get struck with your next big idea. Whether that be a creative project or a research question, a Playdate is the perfect disruption that might just give you the moment you need to let the ideas flow in.

3. Meet new researchers on campus

A large part of our Playdates is that they are a place to network with presenters and any researchers in attendance. The presenters are always open to questions after the event and often are open to new connections. The intersections of ideas are where some of the most creative concepts have sprung from. Using the techniques and way of viewing the world from the humanities perspective often compliments nicely with how researchers think in scientific fields. Humanities offer a humanist view on certain topics and can be an asset to a team that may be lacking in that specific regard.

After coming to a playdate, you may be inspired to start your next project ICAT has SEAD grants that we can give out to interdisciplinary research teams for topics that align with our research goals. SEAD grant calls usually go out in the beginning of semesters, so be sure to refine your ideas now so you'll be ready for our next round in January.

Happy Humanities Week! We will see you Friday.