Working Groups

RPC Working Groups are teams of faculty from two or more disciplines who meet regularly to explore new ways of addressing any area of research that could contribute to the research goals of RPC. A given Working Group might, but need not, address all three concerns of RPC—religion and politics and conflict—instead, it might address some research method or interpretative tool that enables RPC to integrate these three areas of concern. One illustration is the study of “Poetics and Affect:” efforts to identify features of oral or written discourse that illicit various kinds of emotive response. The findings of such a group might have significant implications for how other scholars examine, for example, political consequence of scriptural teachings or why certain negotiating strategies fail.

The only obligation of a working group is to meet regularly, often monthly, to sustain the intellectual interest of the groups’ organizers. Working Group directors periodically report to the RPC faculty about their discoveries. Some working groups complete their goals simply by deepening their member’s interest in a critical area of research. Some Working Groups generate new courses and co-curricular lectures for the UVA community as a whole. And some Working Groups give rise to RPC Research Teams. In many cases working groups include graduate student participants. RPC invites UVA faculty from all university departments and schools to discuss working groups with the RPC Staff. RPC supports working groups by covering costs of meetings, offering or locating new members, and arranging for student assistant. For information, please contact Associate Director Jonathan Teubner: jdt3f@virginia.edu