Humanities for All

Across the United States, faculty and students at higher education institutions are engaging communities in humanities research, teaching, preservation, and a wide variety of public programming. Humanities for All showcases the full range of these higher ed-based publicly engaged humanities initiatives, presenting a cross-section of over 1,800 undertaken over the past decade. This collection includes a wide range of humanities projects that engage with diverse publics as audiences and as partners, all searchable, sortable, and illustrated with case studies and essays exploring the state of the field.


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The cataloged publicly engaged humanities initiatives fall into one or more of the following categories:

  1. Outreach: scholarly programming and media for a general audience, including public lectures, op-eds, and podcasts;
  2. Engaged research: research initiatives in which higher education faculty and students partner with community members, including community-based research;
  3. Engaged teaching: higher education coursework involving community engagement, including service learning and project-based learning beyond the university;
  4. Engaged public programming: public programming in which the primary objective is not the transfer of knowledge but the creation of an experience, such as community conversation programming; and
  5. The infrastructure of engagement: institutional structures that support engaged scholarship, including degree programs, centers, funding opportunities, digital technologies, and curriculum reorientation initiatives.

When viewed together, these 1,800 initiatives illustrate the possibilities of the humanities for everyone involved: building and strengthening communities; creating innovative and practical learning experiences for undergraduate students, graduate students, and people of all ages and backgrounds; offering forums for meaningful dialogue; and advancing humanities scholarship that broadens our understanding of ourselves, our nation, and our world.




Humanities for All presents the results of a survey of the state of the publicly engaged humanities over the last 10 years conducted in 2017-2018 with the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The survey utilized multiple modalities of broad scope data collection, including searches of multiple databases that feature publicly engaged work (including grants databases, conference proceedings, and publications), interviews with leaders in the field, and active calls for participation issued through NHA member institutions across the U.S.

Contribute to Humanities for All

In an effort to represent the ongoing development of the field, Humanities for All continues to collect examples of publicly engaged humanities work in U.S. higher education.

If you have been involved with a publicly engaged humanities project that is not yet listed in Humanities for All, we would be very grateful for your contribution. You can submit unlisted engaged humanities projects to Humanities for All by clicking here.

If you have any suggestions regarding the refinement of existing entries in the Humanities for All database, please let us know here.

Humanities for All is an initiative of the National Humanities Alliance Foundation and is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

For more information, please contact Younger Oliver at