This past month saw the launch of a helpful new resource for articulating the practical value of undergraduate humanities education and addressing student concerns about career prospects: Arts and Humanities: Don’t Leave College Without Them. The image-rich, 350-page e-book is chock full of essays from students, recent graduates, and mid-career professionals that articulate opportunities for applying humanities knowledge and skills in today’s workforce.
With the new year we are pleased to announce the launch of Humanities for All’s Public Humanities Newsletter. Since 2018, Humanities for All has been working to connect scholars and practitioners interested in the publicly engaged humanities to create a national community of practice dedicated to advancing community partnership through the humanities.
On November 9, the National Humanities Alliance produced a virtual briefing on how NEH funding for public humanities discussions enriches our communities. The briefing focused specifically on the International Storytelling Center (ISC) in Jonesborough, Tennessee, with whom NHA had partnered to document the impact of their program, “Freedom Stories: Unearthing the Black Heritage of Appalachia.” Cecily Hill, director of community initiatives, was joined in discussion by Kiran Singh Sirah, the president of the International Storytelling Center; Alicestyne Turley, the Freedom Stories project director; and Adam Dickson, the Supervisor of the Langston Centre in Johnson City, Tennessee, and current Town Alderman of Jonesborough. The event was an opportunity for congressional staff and others to hear about the data we’ve collected on this program attesting to its tremendous value. Those involved in the project spoke about how it built space for dialogue and learning, and about how the discussions offered participants the chance to explore our rich histories and come together across differences.
As part of our efforts to document the impact of public humanities initiatives across higher education, we partnered with the East Asia National Resource Center (EANRC) at The George Washington University (GW) to conduct a focus group with undergraduate students participating in its professional development program. Acting on its mandate as a Title VI Center to expand accessibility of East Asian Studies resources to wider audiences, the EANRC has partnered with Spelman College to offer the program to their students. Through the annual program, Spelman students participate in professional development and learning opportunities about East Asia in Washington, D.C. In a typical year, the program involves bringing Spelman undergraduate students and a faculty member to GW for onsite and offsite visits with East Asian studies experts, scholars, and policymakers. Last year, the program was held virtually and consisted of a series of online lectures, workshops, and events throughout fall 2020 and spring 2021.
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.
Press Review: Articulating the Value of Undergraduate Humanities Education for Confronting the Crises of the Moment
Our Study the Humanities toolkit includes collections of compelling articles published in popular publications on the value of the humanities, offering humanities advocates a set of ready-made, accessible arguments to share with prospective students and those who influence their decision-making. We update these article collections periodically, taking stock of trends in coverage of undergraduate humanities education in the popular press.