Call for Proposals: The Routledge Companion to Publicly Engaged Humanities Scholarship

Humanities for All project director Michelle May-Curry is working alongside Daniel Fisher-Livne, assistant professor at Hebrew Union College and research affiliate with the National Humanities Alliance, to find contributors for a new edited volume on theories and practices of the publicly engaged humanities. The volume will be published in 2023 by Routledge.

While the field of publicly engaged humanities scholarship has been growing for some time, there have been few volumes that have attempted to define and represent its scope. With this in mind, May-Curry and Fisher-Livne’s volume will collect case studies, predominantly from the United States, exploring the history, concepts, and possible futures of publicly engaged humanities methodology and practice. Following an introduction to the field and its history and methods, the case studies will be organized around the five impact areas originally laid out by Humanities for All’s essay “Goals of the Publicly Engaged Humanities'”: 

  1. Informing contemporary debates: By building up public programming and establishing research collaborations, faculty and students bring together community stakeholders and organizations, and use the humanities to productively reorient conversations on issues ranging from mass incarceration to environmental change, and center notions of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability.
  2. Amplifying community voices and histories: Highlighting stories that are under-represented in a community’s understanding of its past and present, these projects depend on robust collaborations with community members to surface narratives and aim to shift understandings of the wider community itself.
  3. Helping individuals and communities navigate difficult experiences: Drawing on intercultural and language expertise, publicly engaged initiatives can connect with populations such as immigrants, refugees, or veterans to offer support in a variety of ways. 
  4. Preserving culture in times of crisis and change: Working to enhance preservation efforts, (re)build trust and resources, and create channels for ongoing engagement with cultural heritage, humanities faculty and students have partnered with community members to undertake mutually beneficial scholarship that is both integral to their disciplines and preserves culture in the U.S. and around the world. 
  5. Expanding educational access: Recognizing that the study of the humanities engenders lifelong benefits but is inaccessible to many, a number of public humanities projects work to broaden access to college-level humanities pedagogy. 

Complementing these core case studies, the companion will conclude with a glossary of roughly 25 key terms, sourced from the case study authors, introducing the conceptual vocabulary of publicly engaged humanities scholarship. The entries in this section will draw on the case studies to explore critical concepts and methods, such as anti-colonial praxis, gallery walk, and partnership. 

May-Curry and Fisher-Livne welcome chapter proposals through December 1, 2021. To read more about the volume and its timeline (including submission guidelines and other key information), click here.

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