Humanities & Public Life

The 21st century is proving to be an exciting era of imaginative, interdisciplinary collaborations among academic, local, and global partners. This series spotlights the work of artists, scholars, and activists immersed in publicly-engaged projects in which the humanities, arts, and culture inspire community building and civic change.

Part exhibition, part documentary, part advice, and part reflection on failures, successes, and possible futures, this series honors innovative forms of humanities scholarship in all their many-layered, capacious complexity. Our books capture significant publicly-engaged arts and humanities collaborations from the perspectives of faculty, students, community members, and organizational partners. Humanities and Public Life meets a pressing need of current and future publicly-engaged scholars and partners to document projects that model rigorous work, critical thinking about best practices, and strategies for assessing the value and impact of public art, design, and scholarship.

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Co-Editors: Teresa Mangum, University of Iowa, and Anne Valk, Williams College, in collaboration with Ranjit Arab, Senior Acquisitions Editor, University of Iowa Press

Advisory Board: Myrna Breitbart, Professor of Geography and Urban Studies, Hampshire College; founding member of the Holyoke Planning Network
Jan Cohen-Cruz, Director of Imagining America and Professor of Theatre, Syracuse University… Continue reading →


This series aims to create a collection of excellent books that document the exciting publicly engaged projects in which artists and humanities scholars, especially in college and university settings, are working with community partners and cultural institutions to produce new knowledge while also contributing to the public good. Series books describe various forms of the humanities in practice and help illuminate how a project or projects challenge and potentially expand both public and academic audiences’ assumptions about the humanities. … Continue reading →

Advice for Authors

We welcome (5-10 page) proposals from scholars and practitioners involved with publicly engaged humanities projects. Strong proposals strike a fine balance between reflection and analysis of the project’s significance and impact, on one hand, and the “story” of the project as it unfolded, on the other hand. … Continue reading →

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