Introduction to Public Humanities

We 12:00PM - 2:25PM / 402E Cathedral of Learning / CRN 28342

This course has two goals: 1.) to explore what the term “public humanities” means; and 2.) to help graduate students in the humanities connect their academic work to public spaces and organizations. With regard to the first goal, our readings and discussions will focus on questions such as: What are the humanities? Are they publicly valuable? If so, are they publicly valuable in ways that differ from other academic disciplines? With regard to the second goal, the course will involve frequent guests and site visits to cultural institutions (including the Carnegie Library, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, City of Asylum, and the Kelly Strayhorn Theater) that will allow students to see the humanities at work in local spaces.

Students will also be responsible for designing and executing a public humanities project during the term. The projects will require that students engage with public spaces in developing their work, but will depend on students’ prior experience with public humanities for their specific content. Students with a significant degree of public humanities experience may wish to create and implement a collaborative humanities- or arts-based project with a local cultural institution. Those just beginning to think about the relationship between their academic work and non-academic spaces may wish to explore opportunities for public engagement that fit their research interests and methods. Whatever the case, students will work to better formulate the relationship between their academic work and public spaces, and design and/or execute projects based on these formulations.

Number of Credits


Daniel Kubis

Course Term


Course Category

Category D: Designated Courses

Course Year