Summer Institutes in Public Humanities

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Funded by the Mellon Foundation, the week-long institutes in public humanities were convened in the summers of 2019, 2021 (virtually), and 2022, with a small retreat for past participants in 2023. 

Summer institutes were designed to ground humanities faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students in the intellectual rationale, history, foundational skills, and prospects for doing engaged work in the humanities.  The New England Humanities Consortium co-sponsored the programs. 

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Visiting scholars and practitioners who have deep engagement in public humanities served as instructors and presenters. The program encompassed thoughtful considerations of what we mean by “the public good" and how to communicate and collaborate beyond the academy.

Programming and conversations addressed:

  • establishing an intellectual context for public work in the humanities
  • developing skills such as communicating with the public, understanding how to build sustainable collaborations with community organizations and colleagues, and fund-raising
  • creating scholarly projects that help advance the work of public partners while also contributing to the scholar’s career
  • examining case studies of successful public humanities projects
  • considering "grand challenges" and cultural diversity program opportunities
  • integrating engagement and public work in teaching and academic programs, as well as developing strategies for connecting engaged work with promotion and tenure standards


A faculty member from the 2019 cohort does her final presentation

You can read about the projects
of our past participants here:




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