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Efforts to connect humanities research and teaching with projects to advance democracy, social justice, and the public good might take advantage of the latest episode of crisis, and even argue that they represent a strong new direction for revival. After a brief review of how definitions of the humanities have changed since the 1960s, the essay contends that the future of the humanities depends upon two interrelated innovations: A number of examples of engaged humanities practice are examined, their institutional obstacles analyzed, and the principles common to them enumerated.

A Short History of Change Will public scholarship and community engagement become central to revitalizing the humanities in the 21st century? Artists and Scholars in Public Life [http: Its Curriculum Project Report provides an in-depth study of arts-based projects that link campuses and communities in common efforts to advance social justice Goldbard, 2008.

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George Sanchez, for example, has documented powerful models for combining humanities scholarship and community engagement 2002; 2004. But it may be difficult to see how humanities scholarship can advance community cultural development in quite the concrete ways demonstrated by projects in art, theater, and music. Within higher education, debates over critical methods deconstruction, feminism, postmodernism, et al. One index is indicative: Given the drastic budget cutbacks, grim hiring forecasts, mounting student debt, and challenges presented by the digital revolution, such arguments face a stiff wind.

This essay will contend that the future of the humanities depends upon two interrelated innovations: The issue of accountability in turn intersects with the need to assess the outcomes of our practices, both in terms of student learning and public good which is traditionally a mission mandate for publicly- funded institutions.

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Humanities faculty have found the institutional pressure to increase assessment difficult to manage, beyond pointing toward such artifacts as the quiz, test, or student paper.

Assessments of public good or community benefit may be just as perfunctory, as in post- event surveys and reports of attendance. The kinds of projects made possible by community engagement, service learning, participatory action research, and multimedia production can enhance the possibilities for demonstrating achievements in learning and community development, bringing along other skills such as collaboration, intercultural communication, and digital literacy.

To understand the current debates over public scholarship and evaluate its new practices, however, we need to look back in admittedly reductive fashion at the last few decades of controversy in the humanities. Since the 1960s, a critique of the humanities has grown along two fronts.

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First, the sociopolitical movements on behalf of oppressed or exploited identity groups challenged the presumptive universalism of the academic humanities curricula, exposing the degree to which previous dominant views of what it reengineering college student financial aid essays in public to be human restricted that image to whites and males and the rich and powerful.

Beginning in the 1960s, expansion of what and whom we studied in the humanities coincided with an expansion of who was allowed to study the humanities, as college education was opened more broadly to women and people of color though for the latter, this opening remains narrow and perhaps once more is closing. In terms of scholarly interest, curriculum development, and student enrollment, this opening of the canon and the classroom shifted the future of the humanities decisively, though the preponderance of humanities enrollments remains tilted toward women and whites, while students of color, often being first generation college students, look to majors with more sure vocational and financial benefits.

Second, the importation and elaboration of Continental critical theory from the 1960s through the 1990s brought paradoxical changes in the relation of humanities work to the public. On the one hand, structuralist and post-structuralist analysis injected socio-political concerns into humanities scholarship reengineering college student financial aid essays in public challenged the dominant models of aesthetic formalism and historical objectivity. Though often accused of creating a brand of abstruse philosophizing that alienated the intellectual reading public, the European- influenced academics were actually trying to offer a rejuvenated and reengineered school of ideological critique grounded in the traditions of Marxism and existentialism.

This theory revolution was concentrated in departments of English and comparative literature, but also had an impact among historians, religious studies scholars, students of art and music, and even some philosophers. But the publics spoken to by poststructuralists such as Paul de Man or Michel Foucault or Helene Cixous differed radically from those at the base of the cultural studies paradigm advocated by Raymond Williams and Terry Eagleton and in the educational field by Paolo Freire, in theatre by Augusto Boal, and in feminism by Adrienne Rich.

Though often in contentious debate with other wings of the theory movement, cultural studies scholars joined them in advocating approaches that departed radically from the aesthetic formalism of previous modernist critics, and they extended these approaches across a broad spectrum of mass and popular culture.

But neither the poststructuralists nor the cultural studies scholars wrote in ways accessible to a large common reading public, nor did they spend much time in active collaboration with schools, museums, social agencies, or community organizations, despite the claim of their scholarship to be working on behalf of a libratory politics.

The Imagining America Curriculum Project documents many fine examples of such projects, but these stand out precisely because they are exceptions to normative campus goals, structures, and reward systems. Priorities of the Professoriate.

Boyer attempted to replace the triumvirate with a quadruped: This proposal had the advantage of trying to separate engagement from service. In reflecting on the move from public humanities to public scholarship and engagement, the arts provide useful comparisons. As the Curriculum Project Report shows, arts faculty and practitioners have successfully created hundreds of outstanding projects that go beyond public performance to public engagement: The arts have historically been more comfortable with collaborative production and community engagement than the humanities, though many art schools and departments do not support community engagement because of their concentration on studio teaching of future artists.

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The humanities have tended toward solitary work whose results may be presented publicly but are not designed to be, and which often make the transition awkwardly or in static, almost ceremonial presentations. While a large body of collaborative art projects testifies to how students, faculty, and community can join together on the creation and execution of work that advances the public good, there is less precedent when it comes to collaborative knowledge-making in the humanities.

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Humanities research has tended toward the museum and library and now the online database rather than toward knowledge produced through community engagement. Some humanities disciplines, however, have included participatory and community based action research in various areas, public history and oral history projects, literacy campaigns, and some kinds of documentation initiatives and event commemorations, though these, too, are often asymmetrical in terms of university-community relations.

Despite the obstacles, service learning and engaged curriculum projects in the humanities have become a major avenue for public scholarship in the last ten years, helping to create collaborations in which university and community partners share in the design, execution, and analysis of intellectual projects that have real-life impact. Civic Engagement at Research Universities, 1999-2010; see also Reengineering college student financial aid essays in public, [2008]. Many faculty and students have testified to the excitement of such collaborative projects and the prospect they offer for rejuvenating humanities education and salvaging the reputation of the humanities with the public.

In promising moves, some humanities institutes have leveraged their resources and readjusted their missions to create successful, innovative programs of community-university collaboration, such as those at the University of Texas and the University of Washington. These and similar efforts at other campuses discussed by Woodward demonstrate how strategic reorientation of traditional humanities programs—following the principles of reciprocity and collaboration and guided by concerns for social justice and community cultural development—can produce concrete, replicable results.

It coordinates a rich array of opportunities for students, faculty, and community organizations, with a focus on leadership training and careers in public service. Humanities departments are scarcely represented in its course list, however, except for some sections of Writing and Rhetoric.

AOC stood out early on for the collaborative process it followed with community organizations in the Detroit and Ann Arbor areas, partnering to create projects, for example, on the Underground Railroad and with youth theater for minorities, that helped bridge the chasm between Detroit communities and the ivory towers of the University of Michigan.

At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee we studied the AOC model and fashioned the Cultures and Communities Program quite differently from a humanities or arts institute. We adapted the AOC mini-grant model, and have now awarded more than 30 grants over nine years to fund an array of collaborations.

Reciprocity begins with the application, which must be a collaborative project proposed together by a community partner and a university entity. The CC staff mentors applicants, nurtures new relationships among partners, and oversees the receipt of the reports from grantees that become the basis for assessing outcomes.

The requirement of public partnership puts the community at the table from the start as an equal member of the team designing the research, learning, and product. For example, an oral history project led by Associate Director Dr.

Cheryl Ajirotutu in the African-American community began with meetings between the professor and a community board to review the idea, refine the syllabus, choose interviewees, and outline protocols.

The Engaged Humanities: Principles and Practices for Public Scholarship and Teaching

Students went into the community not only to gather the narratives, but also to work in the neighborhood, at the community garden, in youth tutoring, and in other development initiatives. To prepare, the class also studied the problematic of cross-cultural interviewing in select films and literary works as well as in anthropology this model has now been extended to courses sited in post-Katrina New Orleans.

Vicki Callahan and Dr. Shelleen Greene, these classes have promoted skills in multimedia authorship and critical visual studies through service-learning projects designed in collaborations with these partners, who otherwise lack the technical staff or facilities to complete such projects.

Students are producing public scholarship in internet-based formats that serve to document the history, mission, current activities, and planned events of our partners.

Another CC wing sponsors an undergraduate minor in multicultural studies, which includes a service-learning requirement. I am not going to prophesy that education through public scholarship represents the immediate future of the humanities, at least in the practical sense. Undergraduates can be more efficiently processed and credentialed through huge lecture courses largely managed by teaching assistants, whereas engaged classes typically require small cohorts working closely with a faculty member.

It is probably also the case that public-minded scholars are pushed out of the profession early on by its biases. Despite these challenges, opportunities abound, but we need to reflect carefully on a few key points that summarize lessons learned so far. Community Engagement versus the Political Economy of Higher Education As general support revenues fall, campuses rely more on outside grants and tuition revenue.

Activities that do not bring in outside revenue are marginalized and defunded. Activities not integrated with curriculum and enrollments are de-prioritized, since they do not produce tuition dollars. The public support for a campus generated by such engagement is impossible to capitalize on immediately as increased revenue; if directed at less economically prosperous parts of the community, such engagement also does not create an alumni capable of giving back in the form of foundation donations.

Service or project-based learning usually limits class size and is thus expensive. Institutional Barriers to Engagement and Public Scholarship Academic structures, policies, and reward systems work against community engagement practices in multiple, often intentional, ways.

Engagement and publicly-oriented humanities work are forms of research and of the production of new knowledge.

Why Aren't Students Showing Up For College?

Do not argue that engagement should be valued equally with research reengineering college student financial aid essays in public scholarship: Show that engagement IS research and scholarship, though it is also so much more. For one example, see the Research Service Learning: Most campuses have one or more offices supporting various kinds of engagement or public scholarship, but these are rarely affiliated with an academic department, which is the unit that holds the real power on campus.

Engagement gets outsourced and marginalized, and is not seen as part of the essential or required work done by the core institutional players. Bringing engagement into the structures sponsored by departments requirements for courses and the major, scholarships, tenure and promotion criteria, etc. In lieu of that, work to connect all the units sponsoring engagement to form a campus office or network that can advocate on behalf of public scholarship, new media, and the engaged arts.

What Comes First, the Discipline or the Community? Going local is not always respected or valued by our disciplinary structures of assessment. Faculty are trained to have a primary affiliation with and loyalty to their discipline: Thus connections between campuses and communities weaken, and financial support declines.

As government support for higher education withers, campuses can strengthen their support base by infusing engagement into the humanities curricula, rather than restricting themselves to ivory-tower practices that disconnect campus and community. They can also use new media to structure that engagement and disseminate it to a wider, even global, public. Educating the Students and Practitioners Whatever their disciplinary home, students and practitioners including staff and faculty will need a common core of education in issues related to community engagement: This may not be the kind of knowledge emphasized in, or even covered by, the usual training or normative scholarship in the discipline.

Students from a wealthy university need to reflect upon their own class position and cultural identity before going to work as tutors in local schools or assistants at a food pantry or as English as a second language instructors Jay, 2008. Successful community engagement requires critical reflection on gender, sexuality, diversity, and multiculturalism.

Reflection activities journals, essays, performance, online reengineering college student financial aid essays in public, social networking technologies, etc. Assessment of outcomes should include measuring the impact of engagement on the attitudes and knowledge of students and faculty in the area of diversity; specific projects might also be assessed for their contribution to addressing community conflicts around race or gender or nationality or religion.

The Necessity for Asset Mapping of Community and Participants The community is a set of assets, not an amalgam of deficits. Humanities expertise resides in the community as well as on campus.

Preparation for engagement should include a collaborative mapping of community assets beneficial to the project. All the participants bring a variety of skills and knowledge to the collaboration. These need to be mapped early on and the project in part shaped by what people bring to it, with recognition that not all authority need be academic. Participants should feel empowered to use their skills and to experiment in order to grow. This may be particularly true when it comes to local knowledge of art and culture in the communities around campus.

Students should assess the skills and talents they bring to the partnership and offer ways that these can be put to use. Partners and faculty should likewise see students as bringing resources, not empty heads or bleeding hearts.