From the outset, the Center has encouraged collaboration between scholars, community groups, and public school teachers. Two key initiatives are flourishing under this principle:
Great World Texts in Wisconsin connects UW faculty with high-school teachers across the state through the shared goal of encouraging high school and university students to read the classic world texts, both ancient and modern. Faculty/teacher workshops throughout the year encourage high school teachers to come to campus, meet faculty, and delve deeply into close readings and critical analysis of the year's text. For faculty, it's a chance to share teaching insights and learn more about the challenges high school teachers face (and overcome) as they seek to inspire their students with great literature.
Since 2004, the Center has supported a select number of graduate student projects convened outside the boundaries of academia. Each graduate student-led project features collaboration with a community partner. Now known as the Public Humanities Exchange, the program goes beyond volunteerism and the pure research model, to offer graduate students and partners the chance to form mutually rewarding relationships. Partners are as diverse as the community itself, including Oakhill Correctional Institute, Veterans for Peace, Madison’s public high schools, Madison Public Library, the Aids Network, community gardens, hospitals, nursing homes, and many more.