Reading Groups and Working Groups

The Center fosters, supports, and provides space for topical and thematic Working Groups and Reading groups for faculty, graduate students and staff. Read on to learn more about groups meeting this semester.

CHR Queer Studies Reading Group

We are a group of George Mason scholars with broad interests in queer studies, queer theory, and related methodologies. Under the umbrella of the Center for Humanities Research, we gather three times a semester to discuss selected works of queer scholarship. The meetings are meant to be open forums for discussion, debate, and exposure to new ideas and methodologies. A calendar of upcoming meetings is listed below. If you’d like more information about the group, please contact one of the co-coordinators, Jessica Hurley (jhurle@gmu.edu) or Samuel Huneke (shuneke@gmu.edu). If you’d like to join the group and be added to our listserv, please fill out this form. To access our calendar of events, please click here

CHR Technology and Society Reading Group

We are a monthly discussion composed of George Mason faculty and students. We are open to anyone interested in participating in an eclectic and serious discussion of contemporary problems under the broad rubric of political economy. All events for the 2020-21 academic year will be held by Zoom. Matt Scherer, Steve Pearlstein, and Bassam Haddad are the principal organizers of the southside group. Our emails are on our respective George Mason faculty pages. Email Matt Scherer (mschere2@gmu.edu) to be added to the mailing list for further details and meeting links. For dates, readings, and details, click here.

CHR Space and Place Reading Group

We are a group of scholars at George Mason interested in theories of space and place and how they impinge on studies of race, class, caste, power, gender, sexuality, cities, globalization, transnationalism, and more. We are reading across disciplines under the wide umbrella of the humanities. We will be meeting once a month, starting in January 2021, in what will be an open forum to discuss, debate, and learn from each other and what we’re reading. If you’d like more information about the group or want to be added to the listserv, contact the group coordinator, Rashmi Sadana (rsadana@gmu.edu).

CHR Memory and Difficult Pasts Reading Group

This reading group on memory and difficult pasts will take up the theoretical, methodological, historical and narratological challenges of remembering, commemorating, and attending to in the present, historical atrocity. Under the umbrella of the Center for Humanities Research, we will gather three times a semester to discuss selected readings. This will be a forum to discuss both published works, and also the work-in-progress of members of the reading group. The meetings are meant to be open forums for discussion, debate, and exposure to new ideas and methodologies. If you’d like more information about the group, please contact one of the co-coordinators, Mark Peterson (mpeter7@masonlive.gmu.edu) or Alison Landsberg (alandsb1@gmu.edu). If you’d like to join the group and be added to our listserv, please email Mark Peterson (mpeter7@masonlive.gmu.edu). Spring 2021 meeting dates and times will be posted here—please check back!

Environmental Justice Reading Group

We are an interdisciplinary group of GMU scholars that meets monthly to discuss readings that fit under the umbrella of environmental justice. We interpret the field broadly, including not only scholarship that self-identifies as environmental justice but also that which is more generally concerned with nature and power. The group is open to all regardless of their existing level of familiarity. We facilitate challenging and, most importantly, constructive conversation. For more information, please email Levi Van Sant (cvansan@gmu.edu) or Todd Stafford (rstaffo2@gmu.edu). For details, click here.

CHR Capitalism Reading Group

We meet once a month to discuss a time-honored or recent work on capitalism. Our interests range from political economy, history and theory, micro-foundations, money, commodity, and modernity to colonial, cultural, environmental, and racial capitalism. Our geographical attractions vary from the Plantation South and the Caribbean to East Africa. We want to read some exciting works and have an engaged discussion.   If you would like more information about the group, please contact one of the co-coordinators, Manjusha Nair (mnair4@gmu.edu) or Deepika Hooda (dhooda@masonlive.gmu.edu). For details, click here.

Early Americas Workshop

We are a group of George Mason faculty and graduate students who work on Early America, which we generally define as pre-1800 and hemispheric, including North, Central, and South America, although we are happy to define the field more broadly to include more participants. We meet 2-3 times a semester to present our research projects in a casual lunchtime setting that promotes friendly feedback and discussion. These presentations can, but do not have to, include pre-circulated work. We are especially interested in encouraging graduate students to attend and present at the workshop. For more information contact Joan Bristol (jbristol@gmu.edu).

CHR Postcolonial/Decolonization Reading Group

The Postcolonial/Decolonization Reading Group sees itself as a community of scholars interested in engaging in conversation on topics pertaining to the history of colonialism, the work of decolonization, forms of empire, imperialism, and neo-colonial experiences. We hope to look at the theoretical, political, economic, and cultural intersections within postcolonial theory and decolonization movements found in texts, media, and the arts and how to apply that knowledge to teaching, scholarship and activism. If you’d like more information about the group, want to be added to our online forum, or attend a meeting, contact Shauna Rigaud (srigaud2@gmu.edu). For dates and details, click here.

CHR Critical Race Theory Group

The CHR Critical Race Theory Group welcomes students, faculty, administrators, and staff from across the university for meaningful, interdisciplinary exchanges on Critical Race Theory and related topics that our members suggest, including racial capitalism, Black Studies, Black radicalism, linguistic racism, race, gender, and labor, and more. Our monthly meetings are a space for learning, sharing, critiquing, and thinking out loud about our interconnected histories and the world around us. If you would like to join the group or receive more information about its activities, please contact the coordinator, Christy Pichichero (cpichich@gmu.edu).