The Axinn Center for the Humanities is excited to announce its pilot program in Public Humanities, beginning spring 2021.
The Public Humanities Labs Initiative is a scholarly and pedagogical project that aims to integrate Humanities skills and expertise into public facing and/or community curated projects addressing topics of cultural, social, and intellectual importance. These projects may involve storytelling, oral history, historical analysis, public writing, digital humanities, ethical inquiry, medical humanities, archival work, and many other areas of knowledge.
As practitioners of public humanities, students will experiment with different forms of public scholarship designed to translate their intellectual output to a broader community beyond the classroom. In doing so, they will learn to combine serious intellectual rigor with commitment to civic awareness and responsibility. Some Labs classes may include the opportunity to develop students’ Humanities coursework into projects co-created with community interlocutors.
Students enrolled in classes with Public Humanities Laboratory sections will see firsthand how skills they are developing in the class can be mobilized and tested in productive new ways outside the classroom. Whether the project involves mining Library Special Collections to create an exhibit or workshop about local history; collecting oral histories about immigration to Vermont; working with local museums to explore unexamined archives, or to create new archives; or learning from journalists how to craft op-eds on issues of local and national importance, students will engage in work of tangible importance to their own intellectual development.
From 2021 to 2024, the Public Humanities Labs Initiative at Middlebury College will operate with the help of a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis’s retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc.
If you’re interested in teaching a Public Humanities Lab course, or simply learning more about this program, please contact us here.
Public Humanities Labs Courses
- Dima Ayoub: ARBC 241 Blackness and the Arab Imaginary
- Justin Doran: RELI 271 Death in Latin America
- Heidi Grasswick: PHIL 214 Science and Society
- Will Nash: AMST/ENAM/BLST 358 Reading Slavery and Abolition
- Sarah Rogers: HARC 243 Art and Protest
- Erin Sassin: HARC 339 Home: The Why Behind the Way We Live
- Shawna Shapiro: FYSE 1405 Language and Social Justice
- Genie Giaimo: WRPR 1008 The Art and Science of the Interview
- Lana Povitz: HIST 1028 Practicing Oral History
Previously offered Public Humanities Labs Courses
- James Davis: RELI 293 Health Care Ethics
- Ellery Foutch: AMST 314 Vermont Collaborations: Public Humanities Lab
- Eliza Garrison: HARC 257 The Bayeux Tapestry: Models, Contexts, and Afterlives
- Genie Giaimo: WRPR 212 Issues and Methods in Tutoring Writing
- Hemangini Gupta: GSFS 308 Gender, Technology and the Future
- Jamie McCallum: SOCI 405 Pandemic Sociology
- Will Nash: AMST 259 Re-Presenting Slavery
- Marybeth Nevins: ANTH 395 Environmental Communication: Conflicts over Renewable Energy in Vermont
- Rebecca Tiger: SOCI 288 Deviance and Social Control
- Hector Vila: WRPR/ENVS 210 Social Class and the Environment
Axinn Center for the Humanities
Axinn Center at Starr Library
Middlebury, VT 05753