Project Showcase: Humanities for All

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In recent years, humanities practitioners at institutions of higher education have become increasingly engaged in public life. The National Humanities Alliance Foundation is currently leading a national study called “Humanities for All” to investigate and document this important work. Across the full range of humanities disciplines, these efforts have inspired curricular innovations, stimulated new areas of scholarship, and enriched community life. Public historians have played leading roles in this shift, theorizing and practicing the humanities at work.

The National Humanities Alliance Foundation advances the humanities by conducting and supporting research on the humanities and communicating the value of the humanities to a range of audiences including elected officials and the general public.

Along these lines, the Humanities for All national study surveys the range of ways that higher ed faculty, students, and administrators have connected with diverse communities through the humanities in the last decade. We are especially interested in initiatives that have involved collaboration with the wide range of organizations committed to public humanities—as public historians do every day in communities all around the country.

Our objective is to offer a cross section of the field, showcasing the breadth and impact of the publicly engaged humanities through a born-digital report featuring representative profiles and a series of synthetic essays assessing the state of the field. It is our hope that this systematic survey will serve at least two important purposes. First, it will support the efforts of historians and other humanists who are interested in embarking on or deepening their own publicly engaged work. Second, it will serve as a resource for advocates illustrating the relevance of the humanities in addressing society’s pressing concerns.

As we collect examples of publicly engaged humanities initiatives, we are asking for your assistance to ensure that we are able to represent public history’s critical role in advancing the field.

If you have been involved with or know of any projects that fit this description, we would be very grateful if you could please send the project title, a short description, and any auxiliary materials that might be helpful to Daniel Fisher, project director, by September 30th.

Learn more about the National Humanities Alliance on Twitter or Facebook.

This project has received generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

~ Daniel Fisher is a project director at the National Humanities Alliance Foundation and currently leads Humanities for All—A National Study of Public Engagement in the Humanities in Higher Education.

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