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



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    
Michele Brewster

Part of my own “public” sphere

The public I will address are those whom I can predict such as K-12 instructors and visitors to the Laguna Art Museum. The public I work with also includes those whom I cannot predict or know about at this time. I hope that my future work will do that which Walter Lippman describes as “an [Read More]

05.05.2016    
Emma Silverman

Amongst the Redwoods: Digital History for Multiple Publics

At Armstrong Redwoods State Park in Guerneville California, tourists crowd a well-marked interpretive nature trail, eagerly marveling at the aged, massive trees. Most are unaware that on the steep hill above them stands a small complex of weathered, wood-paneled buildings. This is Pond Farm, and though it is not as immediately awe-inspiring as the towering [Read More]

05.05.2016    
Jennifer Sedell

Bending Cal Ag Toward Justice: Audiences, Publics, and Community

“So who is your audience?” asks the newest addition to the advisory committee, a free-lance historian with over twenty years of experience. A small group of us are gathered around farmer’s market nectarines and cherries in a bright dining room in Walnut Creek, discussing the projects for Cal Ag Roots, a program of the California [Read More]

05.05.2016    
Chelsea Escalante

International volunteerism and the exchange of psuedoenvironments

During the past two decades, there has been an unprecedented expansion of international volunteering and service, both in numbers of volunteers and sponsoring organizations1. Despite the popularity and growth of international volunteerism, scholarship on the long-term impacts of such service has been scarce. Proponents of such service suggest volunteer opportunities inspire ordinary people to get [Read More]

05.05.2016    
Kendra Dority

Situating a Public of Humanities Educators

The primary “public” that my project—a collaboration between the non-profit performing arts organization Santa Cruz Shakespeare and the UC Santa Cruz research center Shakespeare Workshop—addresses is middle and high school educators. Secondary school educators have the great task of navigating not only their own goals for teaching and their students’ goals for learning, but also [Read More]

05.04.2016    
Maggie Bell

Finding My Experts in Isla Vista

Across the readings that we have been doing over the last five weeks for the Public Scholars seminar, my marginal notes have been full of questions, which, I believe, indicates that these texts and our resulting discussions have offered fertile ground for the development of my project. My questions are different from those that I encounter [Read More]

05.04.2016    
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