Public Projects

Public Projects

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, culminating in the annual Public Humanities Conference each spring. 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.

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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Public Humanities Fellows

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

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 Humanities Conference

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.
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Public Humanities and Graduate Studies

2013 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 minor adds a curricular component to the robust public projects already supported through the Center's Public Humanities Exchange.
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Humanities NOW Blog

The blog project arm of Humanities NOW, a public humanities program, expands the Wisconsin Idea—“the boundaries of the university are the boundaries of the state”—to explore issues of local and global interest through the lens of history, literature, philosophy, culture, and art. Contributors to the blog are public thinkers, including faculty, students, and community members in Madison and beyond.
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