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The Humanities Lab is very pleased to welcome Juliann Vitullo as its new Humanities Lab co-director. Vitullo is a faculty member with the School of International Letters and Cultures where her publications and teaching span many facets of Italian culture, ranging from medieval to contemporary times with a concentration on relationships between textual traditions and the material world as well as economics, food and gender studies.
Vitullo has previously taught a Humanities Lab course titled “Re-envisioning Food Systems” and is scheduled to co-teach another lab in fall 2020 on the economics of food. Her latest research focuses on the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle in Italy by way of its connection to history and culture; she is exploring strategies used to maintain these aspects of life in Italian communities, as well as potential pathways to incorporate such concepts into local food systems.
Sally Kitch, the lab’s director and founder, expressed her pleasure that Vitullo is joining the lab: “Juliann is the perfect person to co-direct the Humanities Lab at this time of our continuing growth and expansion. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the position, including her proficiency with course and curriculum development, passionate commitment to interdisciplinary approaches to the humanities and direct experience team-teaching a Humanities Lab. The staff and I are very grateful and delighted to have her on board.”
The Humanities Lab is the latest unit to join the School of Social Transformation. The Humanities Lab offers problem-focused, humanities-based but interdisciplinary courses designed to produce a collaborative, exploratory learning experience. Labs are team-taught by faculty from different disciplines and include students of varying levels and disciplinary backgrounds. Students and faculty collaborate to connect the dots between ideas, events, beliefs, images and data to address grand social challenges in a holistic way from diverse perspectives.
“I jumped at the opportunity to make this interdisciplinary, inquiry-based and community-focused experience available to more students,” said Vitullo when asked what about her experience teaching the Re-envisioning Food Systems Lab in fall 2018 led her to continue with the lab in this more in-depth role.
“The Humanities Lab emphasizes the importance of considering the histories, practices, narratives and values of communities as we seek solutions to social challenges such as re-envisioning food systems,” said Vitullo about the lab’s presence at ASU. Vitullo is most enthusiastic about “...working with faculty, staff and students from across ASU and extending the opportunity to participate in a Humanities Lab to a larger number of people.”