Publishing Public Engagement

Through our Humanities for All initiative, we have been working to support publicly engaged scholarship, cognizant of all the ways their work enriches academic and community life. While publicly engaged scholarship has proliferated, there remains concern among scholars about how this work is credited to them in the context of the three traditional expectations for faculty promotion and tenure in the humanities: research, teaching, and service. With this in mind, we want to support scholars in publishing on their work and have been working to showcase how publicly engaged work and scholarship can go hand in hand. To that end, we are delighted to partner with Routledge, Taylor & Francis to release Publishing and the Publicly Engaged Humanities: a free-access collection of recent articles featuring publicly engaged humanities work.

Publicly engaged humanities scholarship holds the potential to lead to—and indeed to enhance—academic publication, a core requirement for tenure and promotion in U.S. higher education. In a recent issue of Rethinking History, for example, Barry M. Goldenberg discusses a collaborative public history project that brought faculty, graduate students, and public high school students together to make new discoveries about the history of education. Consider also Shelbi Nahwilet Meissner’s recent piece in the Journal of Global Ethics, exploring the practices and ethics of publicly engaged indigenous language reclamation work.

Publishing and the Publicly Engaged Humanities serves two key goals in support of publicly engaged humanities scholarship. First, it shows a range of ways that publicly engaged scholarship can lead to publication. Second, it testifies to how publishing can raise the profile of the processes, outcomes, and overall impact of publicly engaged humanities initiatives. The spread of publicly engaged work benefits all, across diverse communities and humanities disciplines. 

Published publicly engaged humanities scholarship comes from across humanities disciplines and appears in a variety of Routledge, Taylor & Francis journals—ranging from primary disciplinary journals to journals devoted to engagement with social issues, pedagogy, and community development. This diversity complements the range of dedicated outlets for public engagement, such as Imagining America’s journal Public, the National Council on Public History’s journal The Public Historian, or the University of Iowa Press’ Humanities and Public Life Book Series. There also exists a range of journals dedicated to public engagement writ large. The breadth in format and venue available is encouraging, suggesting that scholars consider different approaches to publishing both in their disciplines and in connection with their work’s areas of impact.

In light of both the academic and public value of this work, Humanities for All and Routledge, Taylor & Francis are proud to help raise the profile of publicly engaged scholarship in higher education with this article collection. To learn more about publishing and publicly engaged humanities scholarship, explore the collection and the Humanities for All website

Read more: humanities for all