This will house the materials for the MLA 2022 working group, “Public Humanities in Practice” and act as a resource for interested attendees and participants.
Ursuline College: Summary
Summary of the project
Ursuline College: Writeup of Project for Humanities for All Blog
Ursuline College: Information for Students
A description of our Rust Belt Pathway for students including requirements.
Ursuline College: Community-Based Journalism Course
In conjunction with practitioners in the field, Ursuline has developed modular units on the theme of local and hyper-local journalism, demonstrating how students can utilize and activate their voices for positive change in their communities. The organization and content of the course is aimed at addressing the changing landscape of journalism and the precarious nature of our media ecosystem in the 21st-century in which traditional forms of reporting are constantly challenged and underfunded. The class encourages students to understand that local journalism is vital to a healthy community, a vibrant democracy, and for cultivating engaged citizenry. Therefore, the course emphasizes that students, regardless of major, can use the skills of regional storytelling to fight for positive change.
Trostel spent the spring in collaboration with and outreach to three new and existing community partners in order to think through the possibility of a modular, community-based journalism course. The partners have worked together to develop modular units on the theme of local and hyper-local journalism, demonstrating how students can utilize and activate their voices for positive change in their communities. The organization and content of the course is aimed at addressing the changing landscape of journalism and the precarious nature of our media ecosystem in the 21st-century in which traditional forms of reporting are constantly challenged and underfunded. The class encourages students to understand that journalism is vital to a healthy community, a vibrant democracy, and for cultivating engaged citizenry. Therefore, the course emphasizes that students, regardless of major, can use the skills of regional storytelling to fight for positive change.
The first modular unit of the course will be taught by Christopher Johnson of Literary Cleveland (https://www.litcleveland.org/). He will review not only the basics of journalism, but touch upon the genre of solutions journalism, defined as: “rigorous reporting on responses to social problems.” Students will be encouraged to think through identifiable and concrete issues that they see in their own communities and how they might use their voices and the power of narrative to shed light on potential paths forward.
The next module will be taught by Raechel Anne Jolie of Belt Magazine (https://beltmag.com/). As their mission statement suggests, Belt aims to tell the story of the Rust Belt region, recognizing the power of cultivating meaningful stories about place: “Belt Magazine is a digital publication by and for the Rust Belt and greater Midwest. Founded in 2013 as an antidote to shallow, distorted representations of the region, we challenge simplistic national narratives by paying local journalists, writers, photographers, and poets to cover their communities with depth, context, and the kind of rich insight that can only come from a deep relationship with a place.” Using Belt Magazine articles, alongside other scholarly work to contextualize the readings, Dr. Jolie will lead students through coursework to help them build skills as regional thinkers, writers, and citizens. Possible theme ideas might include housing, environmental justice, race, labor, etc. Jolie will lead students through discussion and activities that allow them to learn about their region through journalism that is committed to history and context. The final portion of the module will be devoted to building skills for students to write their own nuanced, context-driven regional story, with the end result of being published in (or in relation to) the magazine.
The final unit of the course will be facilitated by the non-profit, locally-owned newsroom, The Land (https://www.thelandcle.org/): “The Land is a local news startup that reports on Cleveland’s neighborhoods and inner ring suburbs. We deliver in-depth stories that foster accountability, inform the community, and inspire people to take action.” In 2021, they have outlined the following goals:
• Using our voices to tell our community’s stories and examine our greatest challenges;
• Reporting on efforts to address job creation, development and social equity in the city of Cleveland;
• Building a newsroom and publication that look like the community we serve.
In this portion of the course, students will focus on community news reporting. As their proposal states, “This four-week course module will engage student participants in learning the basics of hyperlocal news reporting. Together we will examine the fundamentals of local reporting, read sample news stories and talk about how they work, practice the skills of research, developing questions, and conducting interviews, and work in small groups on writing news stories. Participants have an opportunity for their stories to get published in The Land, a startup local news organization that reports on Cleveland's neighborhoods.”
We hope that through these direct engagements with models of 21st-century newsrooms and journalism organizations that students will:
1) Have the chance to use their voice to affect social change in their communities;
2) Have the opportunity to publish their work and gain hands-on experience in the field of journalism;
3) Learn transferrable writing skills that are important regardless of major;
4) Recognize the important role of journalism and engaged citizens in cultivating healthy regional ecosystems.
Ursuline College: Rust Belt Pathway Through the Core
The Rust Belt region is known as a place of poverty, discrimination, neglect, and population decline. Cleveland – a prototypical Rust Belt city – and its inner-ring suburbs include an array of distinct neighborhoods that are historically divided by ethnicity, race, and socioeconomic status. But, Cleveland’s story is far from finished. As an Ursuline student, you are the citizens who will help write the next chapter of Rust Belt revival. Utilizing NEH funding, Ursuline has created a pathway through the core curriculum – one that focuses on the Rust Belt, social solutions, and reimagining the humanities. The courses emphasize digital skills, mapping, and storytelling to analyze the history of the region. The course pathway gives you the intellectual framework to engage locally with the community as problem-solvers and critical thinkers in Cleveland’s specific cultural context.
"Public Humanities and Publication: A Working Paper"
Courtesy of Prof. Daniel Fisher-Livne, ( @dfisher ), I wanted to pass along this paper, which Daniel and a team of folks created following their own Public Humanities working group (held in Feb. 2020 with the National Humanities Alliance). Here's the HC link: https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:37487/ . It specifically concerns issues of publication, but I thought it might make for a good model of what could come out of our own group.
GeoPrax One-Page Business Plan
This has been an idea I've been kicking around for a while, regarding the use of the humanities in cultural resource management for developers and other organizations that seek Federal and/or State funding. There are a few national firms that do some of this work--I'm thinking of Historical Research Associates, Inc. and Gray & Pape. But they are mostly operating in the American West and D.C., and Pennsylvania (and presumably other states) has its own state funding guidelines, which might open a space for humanities-based work.
Public Humanities Project Summary_Tawnya Azar
I briefly describe the community-engaged work that I do with undergraduates on the issue of the Digital Divide. Some of my questions tackle the challenges of bringing community partners together with academia and the sustainability of such work.
Pittsburgh Humanities Festival - Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
This is a primer on the Pittsburgh Humanities Festival, a collaboration between Carnegie Mellon University and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
Remember Ernest Gaines
This is a brief description of a project to promote the Ernest J. Gaines Center manuscript collections through public programming and digital exhibits. The PDF includes links to the projects. I'm especially interested to think about generating public interest in what we normally think of as scholarly tools and methods: archival materials, research guides, interpretive analysis.
Jane Austen & Co.
Here is a quick summary of my virtual lecture series "Jane Austen & Co." along with some successes and challenges that we have faced. I have also included a full list of all of our talks in the past.
RAD’s Impact Presentation 9-30-21
This is the slide deck for the presentation I gave to the RAD Board and members of the public over Zoom in September 2021.
The Humanities in Public Life at RAD
This document is a brief overview of a project I'm working on and includes some guiding questions for discussing the role of the humanities in public life.
The USC Aiken Student-Veteran Oral History Project: From Campus to YouTube?
I am particularly interested in suggestions for housing a digital oral history project in a scholarly yet accessible/public-facing manner.
PAH & LGIRA
Here are a couple of public humanities in practice projects that I'd like your help with: the Department of Public & Applied Humanities (PAH) and the Learning Games Initiative Research Archive (LGIRA).