What we mean by Public Humanities

Public Humanities connect academic research, community-based knowledge, and audiences through the creation and sharing of resonant humanistic projects. Public humanities projects live and breathe, by nature, outside of the walls of academia, though they may be led by scholars and academics working with a range of methods, including the production of artistic and creative works, cultural programming, public presentations, and oral history projects.

Newspaper with the word

The Next Generation of Amherst Public Intellectuals

A group of Amherst professors talked about why they have decided to not just publish academic papers in academic journals, but also to contribute to the public discourse as op-ed writers and commentators for an impressive range of media outlets.

Public Humanities projects in the classroom

Public Humanities in the classroom engage students, faculty, staff and outside partners in authentic projects that will encourage students to apply critical thinking in new contexts. Course assignments may scaffold to a culminating project designed for a broad audience, such as a podcast, exhibition, illustrated timeline, school curriculum, or walking tour. Public Humanities projects value: 1) accessibility (ensuring multiple entry points); 2) polyvocality (ensuring multiple perspectives and voices); and 3) collaboration (a process that is unique to the cohort of students and partners).

Public Humanities Scholarship and Creative Activity

Are you aware of a public humanities project at Amherst that should be featured on this page? Please let us know. Write us at chi@amherst.edu.