Public Humanities Graduate Fellows Program

Read The Current‘s coverage of the Public Humanities Graduate Fellows Program here.

Preparing students for careers as dynamic, socially-engaged humanists both within and beyond the academy

The public humanities are collaborations between scholars and communities that generate new knowledge and creative work to strengthen civic agency and cultural life. Through seminars, practical experience, and a capstone project, Public Humanities Graduate Fellows become conversant with the history, theories, and methods of public humanities. They gain insight into the social reach and relevance of their scholarship and learn how to be publicly-engaged academics. Graduate Fellows will also have the opportunity to use their skills in a variety of social and professional environments, including museums and other cultural institutions, government, education administration, and non-profit organizations.

The program consists of three components: two seminars, a practicum, and a capstone project.

Seminars: “History and Theory of Public Humanities” and “Skills for the Public Sphere” address the history, theories, methods, and practice associated with public humanities.

Practicum: Either an internship or a fellow-designed community project that enables students to work with a community partner to address an identified organizational need. Community partners include cultural organizations and foundations, community centers, governmental offices, community colleges, and K-12 schools.  Students applying for a 2019 internship or fellow-designed community project should plan to enroll in INT 201SP in Spring 2019 and should have applied for acceptance into the Public Humanities Graduate Fellows program.

To learn more about internships and fellow-designed community projects, visit here.

Capstone Project: Presentation of fellow’s work as a publicly-engaged humanist in a forum that reaches a broad audience

Ph.D. students in good standing from the Divisions of Humanities and Fine Arts and Social Sciences are eligible to participate at any stage of their graduate studies.

For questions, contact Erin Nerstad: nerstad@ihc.ucsb.edu or 805-893-3137.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.  To be eligible for 2019 fellow-designed community projects, apply to the program by May 31, 2019.

Program Requirements

Seminars:

INT 201HT “History and Theory of Public Humanities” (Winter 2019, Winter 2020): The course addresses the history, theories, and methodologies associated with public humanities. Students will also study the role of the public university in advancing democratic values and equipping citizens with the tools necessary to be full participants in society. (4 units)

INT 201SP “Skills for the Public Sphere” (Spring 2019, Spring 2020): Students hone academic research tools for uses outside of the academy; learn to communicate skillfully with diverse groups and communities; address how to build and sustain relationships with community partners; develop basic digital skills such as website design and maintenance; study grant writing and budget creation; gain an understanding of project management. (4 units)

Practicum:

The Practicum requirement is fulfilled through an internship or a fellow-designed community project. Internships are established by the IHC with local cultural, governmental, and non-profit organizations and enable graduate students to apply and to expand their academic skills. Interns are chosen through a selection process that includes a written application and interviews by participating partner organizations. Fellows completing an internship receive a stipend of $5,000 for 200 hours of work (ten weeks at 20 hours/week or 20 weeks at ten hours/week) and two to four units of academic credit per quarter, depending on the length of the internship.

Fellow-designed community projects enable graduate students to collaborate with a community partner in the design and execution of a project that draws upon the fellow’s academic skills (e.g., research methods, languages, and content expertise) to address a need identified by the organization. Project proposals are evaluated and approved by both the IHC and the partner organization. Oversight will be provided by a mentor at the host organization and a UCSB faculty member or the IHC Director.  Fellows completing a fellow-designed community project receive a stipend of $3,000 for 120 hours of work and two to three units of academic credit per quarter, depending on the length of the project.

Students applying for a 2019 internship or fellow-designed community project should plan to enroll in INT 201SP in Spring 2019 and should have applied for acceptance into the Public Humanities Graduate Fellows program. 

To learn more about internships and fellow-designed community projects, visit here.

Capstone Project:

The capstone project enables Fellows to present their work in a public forum. Fellows can meet this requirement in a number of ways, including through a social media campaign, the publication of an op-ed piece, the creation of a public exhibit, or the staging of a public dialogue. In addition to the public-facing presentation, students will create a portfolio that includes a discussion of the relationship between their academic training and practicum. (2 units)

Program Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to do the following upon completion of the Public Humanities Graduate Fellows Program:

Core Knowledge

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the historical background, theories, and methods of public humanities
  • Demonstrate specialized knowledge in one or more areas of public humanities, such as administration, digital humanities, cultural programming, curriculum development, and curation
  • Situate their primary academic field of study within broader research and social contexts

Core Skills

  • Demonstrate the ability to use academic training in areas such as critical thinking and analysis, digital literacy, written and spoken communication, foreign languages, and research methods in community settings
  • Write and speak to diverse publics and institutional and civic stakeholders
  • Present compelling and legible accounts of public humanities issues, contexts, and experiences to academic audiences
  • Utilize the interactive social skills necessary for successful community collaboration
  • Demonstrate proficiency in skills valuable to public-facing projects, such as working with budgets, project management, website and database design and maintenance, grant writing, and audio-visual production skills

Professionalism

  • Analyze and reflect upon publicly-engaged experiences
  • Integrate public humanities training into their graduate experience and professional trajectory
  • Achieve increased awareness of and confidence in pursuing multiple career paths
  • Achieve an increased awareness of and confidence in pursuing publicly-engaged academic teaching and research opportunities
  • Develop strategies for trouble-shooting challenges that arise when doing publicly-engaged work
  • Expand their network of professional contacts
  • Understand and advocate for the value of the humanities in the public sphere