Feb. 2, 2021

Public Humanities Pilot Project Launched at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities

The CIH is very excited to be embarking on a new programme in the Public Humanities this year. We have set out to partner organisations with highly skilled doctoral students in the Humanities to collaborate on an organisation-specified project over the course of 12 weeks in summer 2021.
Students working in newspaper office
Ewan Nicholson. © University of Calgary, 2015

The Public Humanities in general refer to a broad range of creative, scholarly, and/or social justice activities, usually undertaken collaboratively between university researchers and members of different non-academic communities for the public good. These activities draw upon the knowledge and skills of humanities disciplines (history, literary studies, languages, philosophy, classics, religion, etc.) and have clearly definied outcomes that benefit the public.

The aims are to help the students to acquire new kinds of learning and experience in a non-academic setting, to help community organisations understand how they can benefit from the skills offered by Humanities graduates, and to cultivate strong collaborative networks for supporting arts, culture and social justice in our communities.

We are delighted to report that we will have three placements happening in summer 2021.

  • Monica Di Rosa, a doctoral student in Classics and Religion, will be working with the Centre for Sexuality on a project entitled "Bringing 50 Years of the Centre for Sexuality to Life".
  • Kaitlyn Purcell, a doctoral student in English, will be working with the Esker Foundation on a project entitled "Youth Engagement and Decolonizing Gallery Space".
  • Rebecca Geleyn, also a doctoral student in English, will be working with the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society on a project entitled "Representation of Cultural Safety in Physical Space".

We are especially grateful to our Advisory Council and the above organisations for their enthusiastic embracing of this project and the support they have already provided, and in particular to Amanda Koyama, for generously sharing her time and expertise as we sought to get this project off the ground. Also invaluable have been the advice and help of experts in experiential learning throughout the University, in particular Natalie Wilkinson-Houghton who runs the Transformative Talent Internships programme.

Watch for the CIH Fall newsletter to see how first cohort of Public Humanities Fellows fared in their projects!

The CIH Public Humanities Committee (Jim Ellis, Stefania Forlini, Noreen Humble)

More information about the Public Humanities Fellowship Programme can be found on the Calgary Institute for the Humanities website.