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

Trisha Barua

Why I Am Here: Grappling with Public Humanities Praxis

I’m in Mellon Public Scholars because of an unrelenting curiosity on the possibilities of connecting humanistic research with the initiatives of community organizations. I’ve attempted to negotiate the boundaries between academic and public life since I entered the university, and this program is an opportunity to meet colleagues who share similar goals. In college, academic [Read More]

Loren Michael Mortimer

Why I Am Here: Alliance, Engagement, and Scholarship

Despite my boisterous persona, I recoil when people describe me as “passionate” about history. As a scholar of the eighteenth century, the word “passion” carries negative connotations in a historical context. Its twenty-first century meanings are no less problematic, evoking the image of an overwrought reality show contestant spouting clichés about his or her “passion” to [Read More]

Lily Hodges

Why I Am Here: Education Behind Bars

The word “criminal” holds a lot of moral judgment. Only “bad” people get arrested and go to prison, right? Wrong. Statements like these fail to explain why people of color and poor people are disproportionately represented in prisons in the United States. Those without the privileges of claiming whiteness aren’t disproportionately immoral. Nor are those without the means to hire [Read More]

Cinthya Ammerman

Why Am I Here: Aspiring to our Collective Well-being

Beneath the daily sensationalist headlines of the political spectacle there are also news of communities struggling against environmental degradation, inequality and oppression. Occasionally, trending articles pop up on our newsfeeds: “Teens Sue U.S. Government Over Climate Change,” “Indigenous Leaders Are Being Killed Because They Want the Right to Live.” Before we allow the information to [Read More]

Kendra Dority

Why I Am Here: Creating Community around Humanities Teaching

In the first scene of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labor’s Lost, a character deliberates whether to join his colleagues in their pursuit of learning. When he asks, “What is the end of study?” his question addresses, in part, the circumstances required to learn. His friends have decided to seal themselves off from their communities for three years [Read More]

Stephanie Maroney

Why I Am Here: Thinking and Practicing the Public Humanities

I applied to be a Mellon Public Scholar in the hope that the program would provide an institutional space, a cohort, and the financial resources to both think and practice the public humanities. My interest in the public humanities developed from my experiences as an interdisciplinary humanist in a Cultural Studies PhD program with its [Read More]

Rachel Reeves

Introducing the UC Davis Mellon Public Scholars Program

Across the country, humanities institutes are offering graduate students an opportunity to speak to the relationship between universities and their communities through public scholarship. Now’s the time for UC Davis to join the conversation. We at the UC Davis Humanities Institute are excited to be launching the Mellon Public Scholars Program to address two related [Read More]

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