The Center was formed in 2006 in the Department of English. With a mission to investigate language use through rhetorical and narrative analysis to understand significant social problems, the Center serves as an incubator for individual and collaborative research projects, events, and community outreach programs. We ask how language inspires people to action and how writing changes society and why. We search for answers by studying everything from the communication strategies of national social change movements to everyday rhetorics that often go unnoticed and unexamined.
Refugee, Migrant, and Displaced Populations. Faculty and students are involved in several research projects and outreach activities with recently resettled families in the Blacksburg and New River Valley areas. Collaborating with faculty, staff, and students from across the University including History, Science and Technology in Society, the School of Public and International Affairs, the Moss Arts Center, the School of Architecture and Urban Studies, the School of Visual Arts, the Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience, and the Office of International Research, Education, & Development, the Center also works with several service agencies and volunteers from the Blacksburg Refugee Partnership, the Roanoke Refugee Partnership, the regional Office of Refugee Resettlement, Blue Ridge Literacy, and others to engage in community activities and reciprocal research. This research has received seed funding from ISCE and from the Voice of Witness Foundation.
The Healthstorian is a vintage style camper that has been retrofitted as an audio booth. This mobile “storycorps” camper will go a long way in documenting the history of healthcare and of the health in our community and neighborhoods.
The project is a result of collaboration between partners VTC School of Medicine and Research Institute, Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Carilion Clinic, City of Roanoke Libraries, and several departments at Virginia Tech; especially VT Library System and VT Stories.
The Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences combines the wide-ranging intellectual exploration of the liberal arts with the technological advantages of a leading university and the civic engagement of a land-grant institution. Recognizing that technology alone is never a solution and that innovation is fundamentally a human achievement, the college brings the perspectives of the arts, humanities, and social sciences to achieve meaningful solutions to complex human problems.
Together, the college’s 12 academic departments and two schools offer 31 majors, 60 minors, 39 master’s programs, and 32 doctoral programs. The college proudly claims nearly 600 faculty members, more than 4,000 students, and more than 60,000 living graduates.
In the Department of English, we teach students how to think critically and creatively, and we conduct research to advance knowledge about culture, language, and the written word. Our graduate and undergraduate curricula emphasize deep research skills and unbounded creativity, preparing students for successful careers in academia, business, law, and other professions, as well as nonprofit work, teaching, writing, publishing, and the arts. Courses refine students’ oral and written communication skills, teaching them to be precise, clear, and inventive stylists.