Dr. Eaton Launches Humanities Research Lab as Steinbrucker Endowed Chair

By Caitlin Burns | September 11, 2018

Dr. Kalenda Eaton, associate professor of English, is hoping the new Humanities Research Lab (HRL) can be a place where students, faculty, and staff can work collaboratively. The HRL opens on Sept. 12 with a kickoff event from 12:15 to 1 p.m. The HRL is located at 2035 Church Road.

Dedicated to furthering Humanities disciplines—music, religion, philosophy, languages, literature, art, history, etc.—the HRL provides a location where students and faculty in these disciplines can go and further their studies. While it encourages collaborative work between Humanities disciplines, all members of the Arcadia community are welcomed at the lab and the events hosted there.

“Often, you find students in the arts and humanities sitting on the floor or wherever they can find a space,” said Dr. Eaton. “At Arcadia, a lot of them go to the library or Commons, but there’s no dedicated space for them. I see this space being a home for those who want a creative and social experience—a collaborative location for students and faculty.”

The HRL includes multiple areas for visitors to use, including an adaptable conference room for events, a “think tank” research library and computer lab, workspaces, and an outdoor patio for meetings or performances. Dr. Eaton hopes to one day to have additional tools to assist students and faculty in their research, such as a 3D printer.

“I want this to be a model for other collaborative work space,” said Dr. Eaton. “I want this to be very different, always something happening. I want to take on an effort that gets students to cross the street and make it an integrated part of the academic experience.”

Dr. Eaton has developed the “Think Tank” proposal project for faculty and student collaborative projects. From Oct. 12 to Nov. 20, groups of faculty and students can submit proposals for their regional Humanities research projects, which can receive all or part of the $1,500 grant available. Up to two projects will be selected for the grant.

The development of the HRL is part of Dr. Eaton’s overarching project “Beyond the Meridians: Practicing Womanist Ideology in the New Humanities,” which aims to join together multiple Humanities programs at the University. The project is supported by the Frank and Evelyn Steinbrucker Endowed Chair.

Events at the HRL this semester include:

Sept. 19: “Work in Progress” series with Dr. Aroline Hanson, from 12:15 to 1:05 p.m.
“How do we wake up a sleeping language?” focuses on Dr. Hanson’s work with members of the Brunca tribe to revitalize the use of their native language.

Sept. 27: Adaptations film series: The Shawshank Redemption, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Oct. 11: Adaptation film series: The Joy Luck Club, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Oct. 17: “Work in Progress” series with Dr. Jill Pederson, from 12:15 to 1:05 p.m.
“How do we define creative genius?” focuses on Dr. Pederson’s research and work on Leonardo Da Vinci, including how art historians authenticate the artist’s work.

Oct. 18: Pages and Conversations book club: Maeve in America: Essays by A Girl from Somewhere Else, from 12:15 to 1:05 p.m.

Nov. 6: “Work in Progress” series with Dr. Eaton, from 12:15 to 1:05 p.m.
“How do we commemorate freedom?” explores Dr. Eaton’s research into Emancipation Day in Belize, and what it means to commemorate freedom.

Nov. 15: Grant Writing Workshop with Rachel Collins, from 3 to 4 p.m.

Nov. 20: Adaptations Film Series: The Color Purple, from 7 to 10 p.m.

Dec. 11: Pages and Conversations book club: When the Emperor Was Divine, from 12:15 to 1:05 p.m.