Kathleen Fitzpatrick, author of "Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University" and director of digital humanities at Michigan State University, will visit multiple Virginia Tech locations Oct. 8-10 as part of the Beyond Boundaries lecture series.

During her three-day visit, she will give a lecture and participate in several discussions tailored to the locations and audience.

At 10:15 a.m. on Oct. 8, Fitzpatrick will be in Roanoke at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine for a discussion on “generous thinking” in the context of fostering cultures of diversity and inclusion, and a faculty discussion on empathy in collaboration.

At 11 a.m. on Oct. 9 in the Smithfield room at the Inn at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, she will be part of a roundtable discussion on the future of tenure. The discussion will be facilitated by Sylvester Johnson, director of the Center for Humanities and assistant vice provost for the humanities.

The headline lecture, hosted by President Tim Sands, will be held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 9, in Assembly Hall at the Holtzman Alumni Center. Fitzpatrick will examine critical thinking and the role scholars play in negating, refusing, and rejecting new ideas, and share ways to transform universities through generous thinking.

From 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Oct. 10, Fitzpatrick will be in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area to lead a discussion, hosted by Vice President Steve McKnight, on external partnerships in the context of generous thinking. The discussion will be held at Virginia Tech Research Center - Arlington.

“As a university, Virginia Tech is at an incredible moment where we are thinking about our future in a big way," said Anne Khademian, Presidential Fellow. "We are getting ready to celebrate our 150th anniversary, building a new campus, implementing Beyond Boundaries through our new strategic plan, growing enrollments, so we are at a really transformative moment. All of higher education is facing lots of pressures, challenges, but also opportunities to rethink some things."

Fitzpatrick’s talks offer a way to think about the future of Virginia Tech through the lens of Beyond Boundaries, “not only in the context of what we do externally, but what we need to do internally, to be the land-grant university of the future,” Khademian said.

Fitzpatrick is a scholar of digital humanities and media studies. She is director of digital humanities and professor of English at Michigan State University. Previously, she served as associate executive director and director of scholarly communication of the Modern Language Association. She has also held appointments as visiting research professor of English at NYU, visiting professor of media at Coventry University, and professor of media studies at Pomona College.

Fitzpatrick is project director of Humanities Commons, an open-access, open-source network serving more than 17,000 scholars and practitioners in the humanities. She is also co-founder of the digital scholarly network MediaCommons, where she led a number of experiments in open peer review and other innovations in scholarly publishing.


Fitzpatrick’s visit to Virginia Tech is sponsored by the Center for Humanities, the Institute for Society Culture and Environment, the Policy Destination Area, University Libraries, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, Fralin Life Sciences Institute, and the Office of the Provost.

Members of the university community are invited to join the talks in person or via Zoom. Additional information, including how to RSVP or join on Zoom, can be found at ncr.vt.edu/generousthinking.html.