The degree to which students engage with the broader communities surrounding their academic institutions varies hugely. At campus universities, particularly those more physically separate from towns/cities, it can be common for students to remain ignorant of the current issues and past histories unique to their surroundings. Public humanities initiatives are increasingly offering an antidote to these divisions. At the same time, the open access nature of many digital projects and the growing number of accessible digital tools provide educators with a wide range of opportunities to collaborate with students on this type of work. By engaging in community education, students develop valuable skills such as writing for diverse audiences. Furthermore, breaking down some of the boundaries between their lives on- and off-campus helps show them the ways in which humanities scholarship might remain relevant to their lives after graduation.
This session will be focused on issues specific to Public Humanities projects with a digital pedagogy element, discussion of best practices, and the value of alternative modes of writing. A similar workshop is taking place at MLA16 (session #461, “Public Humanities Pedagogy Workshop,” Sat 8.30am). We can configure our session to serve as a complement to this workshop if there a number of THATCamp participants interested in attending both. If there is sufficient interest, we will also use the session to begin organizing a proposal for a Public Humanities workshop at the Digital Humanities 2016 conference in Krakow in June (proposals due 2/17).