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Public Humanities

The public humanities encompass a range of activities from public scholarship and interdisciplinary collaboration to civic engagement and service-learning. The resources below, both at UF and beyond, can support faculty in pursuing engaged teaching, research, and service on levels ranging from local to national.

The University of Florida is proud to be a member-institution of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life  (IA), a consortium of colleges and universities committed to strengthening public scholarship and practice in the arts, humanities, and design. All UF faculty and graduate students are invited to participate in Imagining America, e.g., by attending or presenting work at the annual conference, participating in funded research collaboratories, contributing to the Public: A Journal of Imagining America, or participating in the PAGE program (Publicly Active Graduate Education).

**Please join the UF Imagining America listserv at to be alerted to updates.

We invite you to view the UF Imagining America blog, showcasing work in these areas.

Please highlight your own activities here by following these brief instructions for submission.

UF Projects in the Public Humanities

  • In July 2016, the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere sent a team of UF faculty (Jeff Pufahl, Arts in Medicine; Mike Spranger, UF IFAS Extension) and Reichert House Executive Director John Alexander Jr. to Performing Our Future, a workshop on arts and economic development in rural communities.
  • In Spring 2016 , the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere collaborated with partners at the Alachua County Library District, George A. Smathers Libraries, the Matheson History Museum, and Santa Fe College to offer a community-curated Spring Series, Imagining Florida: The Place We Call Home.
  • In December 2015, the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere collaborated with Dr. Sean Trainor to host “Writing for the Public,” an introduction to op ed-style writing in the humanities. See the information-packed website here for tips on writing and pitching proposals to public-facing outlets.
  • In November 2015, the Center for the Humanities and UF IFAS Extension conducted a campus-wide assessment of the state of publicly-engaged scholarship in the arts, humanities, and design at UF through two days of meetings with IA’s Faculty Co-Directors. The report is available here.
  • As part of IA’s Extension Reconsidered project, in 2014 UF fielded an intercollegiate team to map our communities’ assets and barriers in promoting publicly-engaged scholarship at the faculty and student levels. Read the final report here.
  • The Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere has co-sponsored a project of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program (SPOHP), which conducts research in the Mississippi Delta on the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi by interviewing veteran civil rights activists and leading scholars of the movement. View more information on this project.

Funding Opportunities in the Public Humanities

The Center has developed an annual grant opportunity titled  “Programs in the Public Humanities”.

We maintain a list of faculty and graduate student funding opportunities for supporting public programs, library resources, and engaged scholarly research and teaching in the humanities.

UF Resources for Publicly-Engaged Humanities Work and Teaching

Multidisciplinary Working Groups and Programs at UF

To seek collaborators, faculty and students can create searchable records in the UF Research Expertise DatabaseUF VIVO Community, and UF Global Gators. The established groups below also welcome new participants across disciplines to tackle major policy-related questions:

Peer Review and Publication in the Public Humanities

The following book series publish manuscripts for scholars and community audiences:

  • Humanities and Public Life Series at the University of Iowa Press seeks manuscripts that examine projects using the arts and humanities to promote community building and civic change.

The following refereed journal outlets feature publicly-engaged scholarship:

Digital, open-access, and other publishing opportunities enable wide dissemination of humanities scholarship:

  • The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) allows authors to locate refereed journals in a discipline that make articles freely available to readers.
  • UF Institutional Repository (IR) – In order to disseminate work to a wider audience, anyone can deposit approved copies of published and other work into the UF digital archive. Information on Open Access at UF is maintained by the UF Libraries.
  • Humanities Research Network (HRN) – Created by the Social Science Research Network, this worldwide online community promotes the sharing of abstracts and working papers in Classics, English & American Literature, Music Research & Compositionk, Philosophy, and Rhetoric & Communication Research.
  • Orange Grove Texts Plus – Faculty can work with the University Press of Florida and the Orange Grove, Florida’s institutional repository, to create freely-accessible textbooks in their discipline.
  • The Academic Minute – The Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) features faculty and researchers from colleges and universities around the world discussing what’s new in the academy and the ways in which academic research contributes to serving the public good. In addition to being broadcast widely on radio stations around the country, each segment is posted daily on Inside Higher Ed and across The Academic Minute’s and AAC&U’s social media portals. Please send submissions to David Hopper at

A growing number of organizations are developing guidelines to assess public humanities work in tenure and promotion:

UF also recognizes publicy-engaged scholarship with annual awards:

National Organizations in the Public Humanities

  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences: Initiative for the Humanities and Culture (“provides a framework for examining the significance of the humanities to our national culture and for developing resources and policies to ensure the health of the humanities in the 21st century”)
  •  National Council on Public History (“a membership association dedicated to making the past useful in the present and to encouraging collaboration between historians and their public”)
  •  National Endowment for the Humanities (“serves and strengthens our Republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans”)
  •  National Humanities Alliance (“a non-profit organization to advance national humanities policy in the areas of research, education, preservation and public programs”)
    • The NHA publishes the Humanities for All blog featuring profiles of publicly-engaged humanities projects. Please submit a 100-word pitch of your project here.
  •  National Humanities Center (“seeks to insure the continuing strength of the liberal arts and to affirm the importance of the humanities in American life”)
  •  National Humanities Institute (“promotes research, publishing, and teaching in the humanities, with emphasis on the ethical preconditions and purposes of culture and society, the centrality of personal freedom and creativity, and the historical nature of human existence”)
  • President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (“using the power of the arts and humanities to contribute to the vibrancy of our society, the education of our children, the creativity of our citizens and the strength of our democracy”)
  •  Resource Guide for Public Humanities (Brown University Library)

The Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere would be grateful for any information regarding additional links we should add to this section. Please email us with updates.