Public Humanities
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Public Humanities

Public humanities is the work of engaging diverse publics in reflecting on heritage, traditions, and history, and the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of civic and cultural life. Public humanities is often practiced within federal, state, nonprofit and community-based cultural organizations that engage people in conversations, facilitate and present lectures, exhibitions, performances and other programs for the general public on topics such as history, philosophy, popular culture and the arts.

Workers within the public humanities endeavor to create physical and virtual spaces where the public can engage in conversation, learning and reflection about issues and ideas. Public humanities projects include exhibitions and programming related to historic preservation, oral history, archives, material culture, public art, cultural heritage, and cultural policy. The National Endowment for the Humanities notes that public humanities projects it has supported in the past include "interpretation at historic sites, television and radio productions, museum exhibitions, podcasts, short videos, digital games, websites, mobile apps, and other digital media."[1] Many practitioners of public humanities are invested in ensuring the accessibility and relevance of the humanities to the general public or community groups.

The American Council of Learned Societies' National Task Force on Scholarship and the Public Humanities suggests that the nature of public humanities work is to teach the public the findings of academic scholarship: it sees "scholarship and the public humanities not as two distinct spheres but as parts of a single process, the process of taking private insight, testing it, and turning it into public knowledge."[2] Others suggest a more balanced understanding of the ways in which history, heritage and culture are shared between the academy and the public, drawing on the notion of shared historical authority.

Subfields of the public humanities include public history, public sociology, public folklore, public anthropology, public philosophy, historic preservation, museum studies, museum education, cultural heritage management, community archaeology, public art, and public science.

Programs in Public Humanities

Several universities have established programs in the public humanities (or have otherwise expressed commitments to public humanities via the creation of centers, degrees, or certificate programs with investments in various forms of "public" work), including:

References

  1. ^ "Division of Public Programs". National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Retrieved .
  2. ^ Quay, James; Veninga, James (October 5-7, 1989). Making Connections: The Humanities, Culture and Community. National Task Force on Scholarship and the Public Humanities. Racine, Wisconsin: American Council of Learned Societies. Retrieved 2016. We think it more useful and more accurate to consider scholarship and the public humanities not as two distinct spheres but as parts of a single process, the process of taking private insight, testing it, and turning it into public knowledge.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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