UW-Madison's Center for the Humanities annual Public Humanities Conference demonstrates that the humanities have never been strictly confined to classrooms. The conference gathers scholars, community partners, and students at and around UW-Madison for a day that is dedicated to discussing the importance of literary, visual, and cultural engagement to the practice of public life.
How can scholars in the humanities contribute to contemporary public debate about issues of cultural, political, social, and economic significance? On December 16-17, 2014, the Center for the Humanities hosted representatives of the OpEd Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the range of voices and quality of ideas that circulate in public discourse. Twenty-two UW-Madison faculty members in the humanities and related fields were selected to participate in a two-day workshop devoted to the art and craft of writing powerful, convincing opinion pieces for online, broadcast, and print media.