Emphasizing critical perspective and imaginative response, the humanities...foster creativity, appreciation of our commonalities and our differences, and knowledge of all kinds.

-- American Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Heart of the Matter



Maggie Bell

What can I do over a summer?

What can I do over the summer? As I’ve progressed through graduate school I have become increasingly aware of the fleetingness of those precious months between May and September, which always begin with grand plans of productivity that end up being significantly scaled down. My Public Scholar project will be no different, I imagine, and in [Read More]

05.19.2016    
Stephanie Maroney

Summer’s not long enough

I had not secured a community partner before embarking on the Mellon Public Scholars program, so I put a lot of thought into selecting and making connections with the Center for Genetics and Society in just a few weeks. After much research and several conversations, I’m now thrilled to have a diverse and robust list [Read More]

05.19.2016    
Lily Hodges

What I Can Do Over a Summer

This summer I hope to get approval from Solano Community College (SCC) and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), either through the Voluntary Education Program or the Office of Community Partnerships, to administer study hall and writing and math workshops for students in California State Prison, Solano. Both SCC and the CDCR have [Read More]

05.19.2016    
Jennifer Sedell

Summer of … What Am I Doing Again?

Once upon a time, I used to guide the development of workplans for AmeriCorps members. The plans needed to be clear lists of discrete and do-able tasks with outcomes that were measurable in some way. For many projects, the workplan provided a meaningful guide to an otherwise fuzzy three- or ten-month project. Over the years, [Read More]

05.19.2016    
Jonathan Favero

For Once the Quarter System Exhibits Some Value: Or, Making the Most Out of Precious Little Time

What can we do in a summer? Well, as graduate students in this university we’re conditioned to accomplish quite a lot in very short flurries of activity. This conditioning, or training rather, is graciously given to us by the quarter system that UC Davis uses as its academic calendar. Within this framework we manage to [Read More]

05.19.2016    
Kendra Dority

What I Can Do Over a Summer

During the past few months, my expectations for the summer Educators’ Workshop with Santa Cruz Shakespeare have been in constant flux, ranging from grand visions of what the project could be and do (i.e., lay the groundwork for a more robust arts education program at SCS and build lasting partnerships with local teachers and schools) [Read More]

05.19.2016    
Simon Abramowitsch

Schooooool’s Out… For Summer!

School’s out for summer School’s out forever School’s been blown to pieces -Alice Cooper The question of what can be accomplished in a project of public scholarship over a summer is like asking what can be accomplished in a project of public scholarship, period. By that I mean that the answer can be and should [Read More]

05.19.2016    
Trisha Barua

What I can do over the Summer: A Month of Full-Time Work

We’re expected to work with our community partner for 20 hours per week over two months, which is equivalent to one month of full-time employment. Based on my previous full-time experiences, after I start a new job, it takes a month for me to find my bearings. While I would like to have high expectations [Read More]

05.19.2016    
Michele Brewster

Communication is key!

I have been learning a lot by interacting with my community partner organization over the past few weeks. The most important lessons have been to communicate as much as possible, to be generous with as much knowledge as I can possibly share, and to cultivate trust as the basis for the working partnership. My work [Read More]

05.19.2016    
Emma Silverman

What Can I Do Over a Summer: Surrendering Expertise

Many of my peers in this program are tackling summer projects that are an extension of their academic research, or of long-term passions volunteering in prisons or running educational programs in schools. My project dropped in my lap when my initial proposal for the Public Scholars program fell through—I had never even heard of Pond [Read More]

05.19.2016    
Bridget Clark

Mind the Gap!

“A toaster only becomes a toaster when a person plugs it in and pops a piece bread in it” joked one of my community partners in expressing their frustration at the lack of consideration of human and social behavior in many existing evaluations and planning of energy systems and climate adaption strategies. My partners at [Read More]

05.17.2016    
Loren Michael Mortimer

Planning for a Season; Building for a Lifetime

Among academics, May brings a sense of optimism and excitement about the summer research season ahead. Summer break brings a welcome respite from bluebook exams and offers a chance to do some broken-field running on critical projects. Summer, we tell ourselves, will be the chance to atone for all of the things we did not [Read More]

05.17.2016    
Chelsea Escalante

What can be accomplished in one summer: The growing to-do list

When I first began envisioning this project, I imagined being able to interview dozens of people—both former volunteers and local Ecuadorians—of hearing about their fascinating experiences and all of the ways in which volunteerism has affected the way that they relate to the world around them. I envisioned pouring over the results, piecing together some [Read More]

05.17.2016    
Yessica Garcia

Public Scholar Rule #1 “It’s not about you”

For this public scholar project, I am returning to the public library that I attended growing up. I selected this place because I feel that I have a commitment to stay local and work with community members that I grew up with. As Professor Natallia Deeb-Sossa stated at the Public Scholars launch event that took place Winter [Read More]

05.12.2016    
Cinthya Ammerman

“How to not let corporate university steal your heart”

Last week I attended a two-day symposium that I helped organize for Native American Studies graduate students. Our keynote speaker, Dr. Dian Million, had advice for us: “you have to get strong and fight” she said, “this fight is about how to not let corporate university steal your heart.” Her advice was well timed. In our Mellon [Read More]

05.11.2016    
Lily Hodges

Some Thoughts on Fiction

We live in a world full of fiction. That is, at least, according to a reporter named Walter Lippmann writing in the 1920s. He coined the term “pseudo-environment” to describe a kind of fiction that people use every day to navigate the nuances of life. The reduced version I’m going with: The stories we tell [Read More]

05.10.2016    
Jonathan Favero

Exponential Possibilities in Public Engagement

As an artist I am regularly concerned with the audience, or my public. I compose what most would call “classical music,” so it probably goes without saying that my public in that realm is, unfortunately, pretty small, and often not too diverse (i.e., sometimes it’s only other composers).  All of us in the public scholars [Read More]

05.09.2016    
Jared Katz

Situating the Public: Putting Them First

The goal of this post is to discuss the community with which I will be working in terms of the topics that we have been analyzing in our Public Scholars meetings.I have been looking forward to running this community outreach program for some time (I discuss the overall structure of the program in my first [Read More]

05.05.2016    
Trisha Barua

Cultivating Transformative Relationships Alongside the Academic Industrial Complex

The academy is designed to fail women of color and domesticate the decolonial politics of ethnic studies. As a woman of color and critical ethnic studies scholar, I’m in a vexed position. Before I can situate my “public” in relation to the academy, I need to explore two ontological questions: Who am I in relation [Read More]

05.05.2016    
Simon Abramowitsch

The Dream/Nightmare of the Public

Is the declaration “public scholar” a statement of ambition? Is it a dream? A statement of contradiction that either cannot or should not be resolved? For anyone working in the legacy or shadow of ethnic and women’s studies movements–what Roderick Ferguson discusses in The Reorder of Things as the “interdisciplines”—the answer is probably all of [Read More]

05.05.2016    
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