PUBLIC HUMANITIES COURSES
PUBHM-GA 1001 Theorizing Public Humanities: Who Gets to be Human? Geographies, Temporalities, Epistemologies
Instructors: Jay Garcia and Diana Taylor
Mondays: 3:30pm to 6:15pm
Black Studies and Decolonial Studies enter academic and wider public arenas in myriad ways today – via theoretical interventions, poetries, performance art, and more. As dynamic factors within contemporary critical thought, they influence projects of different kinds, supplying ideas that present fresh starting points for contemporary inquiry. This seminar centers on the contributions of these two domains of thought, with special attention to questions about what happens to conceptualizations of the “human” and related discourses, such as that of human rights, when investigated through the lenses of Black Studies and Decolonial Studies. Evaluating the terms, epistemological commitments, and the imaginative dimensions of each area throughout the seminar, we will also consider where Black Studies and Decolonial Studies converge and diverge, how these forms of knowledge production have been and can be activated, and what they may tell us about the public humanities in its current and future iterations.
PUBHM-GA 1101 Practicing Public Humanities: Bridging the Public and the Humanities
Instructors: Brigid Cohen and Hasia Diner
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This course asks humanities graduate students to consider how we understand and define the concepts "humanities" and "public." With an emphasis on “practice,” it questions how these two concepts relate to particular ways of doing things in the world. Because the course seeks to bridge academic definitions with more popular ones, it will ask students to take seriously problems inherent with the use of the pronoun "we" as it examines a number of projects undertaken in a variety of places and times where non-academicians shaped the humanities, working with scholars or independently to achieve a number of political and cultural goals. How have the humanities functioned in public spaces? How have specific techniques of the humanities—e.g., archiving, interpreting, criticizing, recording, translating—acquired new value beyond strictly academic settings? What work have the humanities done to advance many different purposes and how have scholars and a larger public worked together or sparred over the role of the humanities? In addition to delving into specific episodes in the history of public humanities, this course will benefit from the contributions of special guests who have powerfully applied their humanities training in professional fields outside of academia. The seminar is open to doctoral students in the Public Humanities program as well as students who are not but want for academic or professional reasons to gain exposure to this growing field.