Public Humanities

Public Humanities

From its founding, the Center has championed collaboration between scholars and the community. For nearly a decade, two Center programs have flourished under this commitment: Great World Texts, an annual state-wide partnership linking UW humanities faculty and students with high school teachers, and the Public Humanities Exchange (HEX), which supports community-focused projects run by humanities graduate students. In fall 2013, the Center launched a new initiative, the Public Humanities Fellowship program, a multiyear project generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will create professional opportunities outside of academia for UW graduate students in the humanities. Included in this initiative is the Public Works Incubator, an award program open to faculty seeking to reach audiences outside of academia, and our Public Works Seminars, where faculty from UW-Madison and beyond talk about how their scholarship engages with the public.

Graduate Certificate

Spring 2015 finds the Center embarking on an ambitious plan to expand the public humanities, propelling UW-Madison to the forefront of the nationwide movement to extend scholarship and teaching beyond the boundaries of the university. The certificate adds a curricular component to the robust public projects already supported through the Center's Public Humanities Exchange.
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Graduate Fellowships

Our new fellowship program focuses on providing graduate students in the humanities with professional experience outside of academia. The Public Humanities Fellows are part of Engaging the Humanities, a multiyear project generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that will create opportunities for UW graduate students and faculty to broaden the impact of their research and will include workshops, seminars, programs, and visiting scholars, in addition to the fellowships.
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Public Humanities Exchange Program (HEX)

In 2005, the Center began supporting a select number of graduate student projects, convened outside the boundaries of academia. Each one features a collaboration with a community partner. Formerly known as Humanities Exposed (HEX), and now called the Public Humanities Exchange, this 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.
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Public Works Seminars

The Center's Public Works Seminars examine the skills, practices, and questions that have long been essential to scholarship in the humanities, discuss their expansion into the public sphere, and support new thinking, projects, and research to enrich both higher education and the broader community. Seminar meetings are open to all. Visit our public humanities program calendar for a list of upcoming programs and seminars.
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Public Works Incubator

A new program for tenured or tenure-track faculty in the humanities and interpretive social sciences at UW-Madison. PUBLIC WORKS INCUBATOR supports the production of scholarship that will reach audiences outside of academia. The program is designed to provide crucial support for faculty who wish to find new outlets, venues, or media for their scholarship. In 2015-16 we will offer one PUBLIC WORKS INCUBATOR AWARD for activity to be undertaken in the spring/summer terms of 2016.
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Great World Texts

This state-wide initiative, begun in 2005, connects UW faculty with high school teachers through the reading of a classic world text over the course of an academic year. Cervantes' Don Quixote, Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, and Dante's Inferno are just a few of the great literary works taken up by the Great World Texts program. Faculty/teacher workshops throughout the year encourage interaction, on the UW-Madison campus, between high school teachers, their students, and the university community.
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Past Initiatives


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