Moving Forward (But Not Alone)

Blog Home    |     05.31.2017 by     |    


As I move from discussing and theorizing my specific project and community-engaged scholarship, I expect to keep learning. I anticipate discovering a lot about the type of research I’m going to do (techniques for gathering data, strategies for finding difficult-to-find organizations, skills for using map and database tools) as well as knowledge about working in a scholarly context and organization that is different from my day-to-day work as an instructor. Alongside learning about the people who I will collaborate with at California Humanities and the publics that they engage with, I look forward to finding out more about the landscape of humanities projects in our state.

To this project, I will bring with me the background I have gained in our seminar and in the other preparation activities and conversations I have had to gear up for this project. Through a wide variety of articles and speakers, I’ve developed a better understanding of what public humanities can look like and the controversies and movements that gave shape (and are still continuing to give shape) to them.

I will carry a sense of camaraderie and a sense of my place in a community of others doing public scholarship—whether they call it by that name or not. Bolstered by the support of my faculty mentor, other individuals at UC Davis and Davis Humanities Institute, other Mellon Public Scholars (past and present), and my developing relationship with my community partner, this project already feels like a collaborative undertaking.

Also coming along with me is a developing sense of clarity: clarity about my goals and methodology for this project and clarity about how this project relates to my own research and interests. After being asked to describe my project at almost every seminar meeting, I’ve also got a pretty clear elevator pitch that I can carry among my other take-aways from this experience!