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. Books in the series address this issue very directly—reflecting on what “the humanities” does and could mean for the twenty-first century and returning to this question at appropriate moments throughout the text. The tension between academic and public humanities offers one powerful lens through which to examine publicly engaged projects. Below, we outline objectives for our series and offer advice to authors interested in submitting proposals. We look forward to learning more about the many exciting projects underway.

Goals for the Series

  • Share projects that demonstrate innovative expressions of the humanities in public life or show the impact of the humanities within communities.
  • Advance thinking about ways that publicly-engaged projects are influencing humanities disciplines, scholarship, and practices.
  • Present a range of reflective and/or theoretical frames that can contextualize publicly engaged projects—moving from documentation to “big picture” reflection on and analysis of engaged projects and their implications for the humanities.
  • Provide full, complex, unfolding accounts of public humanities initiatives in order to describe the many dimensions of public scholarship.
  • Offer thoughtful assessments of engaged projects that can help establish best practices for collaboration; develop measures for evaluating the impact of such work; and assist students, practitioners, and other colleagues who are developing their own publicly engaged research and teaching projects.

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