The Public Humanities Graduate Research Workshop is a year-long program supporting graduate students interested in the public humanities. Through this workshop, we explore what constitutes publicly-engaged scholarship while developing more grounded communication, translational, and professional skills that can help participants pursue a diverse set of careers in and beyond the university.
Following an application process, student participants meet twice a quarter in workshop and are also given support and training to produce their own public humanities projects. `
2021-2022 Participants & Projects
Emiliano Aguilar • History
Teaching the Calumet Region: A Public Syllabus Project
This project seeks to develop a public history syllabus for grades 6-12 and college educators teaching the history and culture of the Calumet Region of Illinois. The project hopes to balance a variety of information with resources and scholarship that is both engaging and accessible for various classrooms and student communities.
Daniela Raillard Arias • Anthropology
Narratives of Andean Archaeology Through Online Platforms
Daniela will organize a photo-story contest through her project social media @MAPAchachapoya to engage local Peruvian community members in co-creating narratives of Chachapoya archaeology and heritage, and compensating local artisans for prizes. She is also creating short video content to educate English-speaking publics on the diverse histories of the pre-colonial Andes and respectful travel to South American archaeological sites (@andes_archaeology on TikTok).
Marissa Croft • Rhetoric and Public Culture
Stitches in Time: Sewing Like a Turn-of-the-Century Chicagoan
Recent interest in the history of fashion and our historical relationship to clothing presents an opportune moment to introduce the public to introductory sewing techniques and the basics of garment construction through the lens of local history. This workshop is designed to teach participants how to responsibly study and make clothes using a pattern-drafting system developed in Chicago in the 1890s. Participants will select a recycled textile to work with, and then assemble a garment using a sewing machine, all while learning about the history of fashion and garment manufacturing in Chicago around the time of the World’s Fair of 1893. Participants will come away with a simple self-made wearable garment, general sewing machine basics they can apply to their own wardrobes, and knowledge about the history of fashion in Chicago at the turn of the century.
Deisi Cuate • Spanish and Portuguese
Mexican Voices in New York City: A Community and Networking Event
This community event will celebrate the lived experiences of Mexican and Mexican Americans in New York City, a population that has grown tremendously in the last three decades but continues to be underrepresented in NYC creative worlds, government, higher education, and other areas. This event will bring awareness and visibility to these narratives orally and materially via spoken word, poetry, music, artwork, and photography so that scholars and community members may engage with each other.
Holly Dayton • History
Making History: A Podcast About How Historians Do Their Job, and How They Can Disagree
This podcast series asks the hard but obvious question — How do we write history? — and tries to answer it. Through interviews and narration, Holly explores how historians find sources, how they analyze them, and why two people looking at the same chart may draw very different conclusions. Part pedagogy, part nerdy romp, Holly hopes to engage people in the field and their generally-uninterested network of friends and family.
Alexandra De Leon • History
Long Journey Home: Reconciliation and The Return of War Trophies from the Pacific
This exhibit explains the history and emotional journey of WWII souvenirs as they traveled from the Pacific, to the United States, and then back to the families of Japanese soldiers in Japan. Many of these objects were Japanese flags, signed by the soldier's family and friends before they departed to the front — precious reminders of home that they carried on their bodies as protective charms. The exhibit collaborates with Obon Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to reuniting these objects with families in Japan. The exhibit will be paired with a public discussion of war memory and the potential for reconciliation between families of former enemy nations.
Alexandra Gonzalez • Rhetoric and Public Culture
Black Evanston: An Interactive Oral History
This digital storytelling project builds on oral histories collected by Northwestern students and Shorefront Legacy Center. The project will combine digital tools, photographs, and excerpts from recorded oral history interviews to create an interactive storyworld where readers can learn about Evanston history via the lived experience of the city's Black residents.
Heloisa Imada • Spanish and Portuguese
Machado de Gêmeos: A Podcast
Co-hosted with Eduardo Bello, this is a podcast on Latin American literature and astrology. The name itself is a play on words with the last name of one of Brazil's most famous writers and the Gemini zodiac sign. In each episode, the podcast focuses on two or more Latin American writers and seeks to find affinities among them based on their astral chart, but also on their life, careers, and cultural environments.
Seyma Kabaoglu • Anthropology
Talking Anthropology Podcast
Talking Anthropology is a community-building podcast project that moves anthropology graduate life experiences to a podcasting format to make anthropology more accessible. For the first season, co-hosts Seyma Kabaoglu and Esma Güney Aksoy explore the question, “Who is an anthropologist?” by incorporating perspectives across the world from academia, industry, and beyond.
Alexandrea Keith • History
Chicago's Mural: Public Art Activism
This project will be a walking tour of murals in Chicago, focusing on those created by and for people of color. The tour will be made available online to help make more accessible the histories of murals as a form of public art and political activism.
Sarah Lee • Learning Sciences
Supporting Refugee Youth Toward A Sustained Community of Learning and Leadership
As part of the Technological Innovations for Inclusive Learning and Teaching (tiilt) lab, Sarah and her colleagues are building on five years of collaboration with World Relief Chicagoland (WRC), a local refugee and immigrant services organization, and drawing upon learnings from Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) to center immigrant and refugee youth perspectives, meet their self-identified needs, and provide immigrant and refugee youth with opportunities to shape activities through WRC’s Children & Youth program. This project addresses gaps in the following areas: 1) providing support for educators through hands-on training to develop pedagogical practices that center care and move toward just, equitable, and inclusive teaching and learning, 2) building sustained and networked communities by and for educators and youth through YPAR and Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) methodologies, and 3) supporting youth identity development and wellbeing toward critical consciousness and belonging. This project recognizes and centers youth as program designers, validating the importance of their experience, cultural knowledge, and understanding of their own needs. Through these areas, this work is committed to dismantling systems of oppression in learning spaces, and, most importantly, dreaming and building beyond these systems.
Ruslana Lichtzier • Art History
Regarding the Missing Objects: a Syllabus
Regarding the Missing Objects is a public syllabus that traces the local and national incidences of censorship of artworks and art exhibitions. At this stage, it is built as a directory, presenting cases of censorship following simple rubrics of who, when, and where. By reconstructing these intentionally oppressed histories, the project makes visible that which was designated for obliteration. The goal is to outline the mechanism and logic of censorship, and concurrently, to build a network for cultural workers, scholars, artists, and activists whose work is under the threat of censorship. While the syllabus highlights the censorship on Palestine which is often imposed by Zionist institutions and individuals, it also includes the censorship of other radical artworks; in doing so, it casts a wide net of solidarity.
Gervais Marsh • Performance Studies
Attending to Details: The Always Expanding Artistic Practice of Robert Paige
I would like to develop an online platform that serves as both a digital archive and living site for the work of Chicago-based visual artist Robert Paige, which spans over 50 years, and will accompany the opening of his exhibition, Patterns of Progress: Retrospective on the Work of Robert Paige at the Hyde Park Art Center in 2024. The website will include articles that highlight the vibrant art communities that Robert Paige has been connected to throughout his career and is an important opportunity to share the work of a prolific artist whose practice continues to be vital to the Chicago creative landscape.
Caitlin Monroe • History
Podcast Project: Women's History and Nanga Music in Western Uganda
This project—developed in partnership with Rebecca Rwakabukoza—focuses on music and women's experiences in Uganda and aims to reach different audiences through various products. First, Rebecca and Caitlin will produce a podcast episode, "Women's History and enanga music" on the women's historical expertise as carried in the women-led enanga (harp) songs in Western Uganda. The episode will be based on Caitlin's research on historical knowledge and available on Wulira!, a podcast Rebecca produces for a primarily Ugandan audience that is co-hosted by two other Ugandan women. To include in-country audiences that do not access podcasts, they will then have the episode play on local radio stations specifically in the region where the research was conducted. They will also deposit recorded songs in the archives for access and lead a conversation on international research and repatriation of materials.
Golden Owens • Screen Cultures
Complexities of Care: The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete
As part of the Kaplan Institute’s Humanities Dialogue on CARE, I will be working with Block Cinema to host a screening of The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete, a coming-of-age story about two boys of color attempting to survive on their own in the inner city when their caretaker is arrested. Following the film, I will lead a post-screening discussion about how the film speaks to and about different forms of care and carework.
Eduardo Ramirez Bello • Spanish and Portuguese
Machado de Gêmeos: A Podcast
Co-hosted with Heloisa Imada, this is a podcast on Latin American literature and astrology. The name itself is a play on words with the last name of one of Brazil's most famous writers and the Gemini zodiac sign. In each episode, the podcast will focus on two or more Latin American writers and seeks to find affinities among them based on their astral chart, but also on their life, careers, and cultural environments.
Rebecca Rwakabukoza • History
Podcast Project: Women's History and Nanga Music in Western Uganda
This project—developed in partnership with Caitlin Monroe—focuses on music and women's experiences in Uganda and aims to reach different audiences through various products. First, Rebecca and Caitlin will produce a podcast episode, "Women's History and enanga music" on the women's historical expertise as carried in the women-led enanga (harp) songs in Western Uganda. The episode will be based on Caitlin's research on historical knowledge and available on Wulira!, a podcast Rebecca produces for a primarily Ugandan audience that is co-hosted by two other Ugandan women. To include in-country audiences that do not access podcasts, they will then have the episode play on local radio stations specifically in the region where the research was conducted. They will also deposit recorded songs in the archives for access and lead a conversation on international research and repatriation of materials.
Chelsea Taylor • Theatre and Drama
Materializing the Bible: Digital Scholarship Project (Guest Contributor)
As a guest contributor to the Materializing the Bible digital scholarship project, I will add a new, interdisciplinary perspective by creating original content focused on theatrical adaptations of the Bible in the United States of America. I will use my fieldnotes, photographs, and archival research to design new virtual tours, write accessible blog posts, and contribute to the public bibliography for the Materializing the Bible website.
Ariana Turner • Psychology
Through a partnership with StoryStudio, my goal is to create a memoir-focused writing workshop series for women in Chicago. Participants for the workshop series will be drawn from women-focused community organizations that serve a variety of populations (i.e., domestic violence survivors, sexual violence survivors, queer and trans women, women emerging from incarceration, etc.) around the city.
Arcade Willis • Media, Technology, and Society
A Night At Charmer’s Bar: The Untold LGBTQ+ Histories of Jarvis Square
This project will engage community members in an intergenerational collaborative project that documents 20th century LGBTQ+ life in the Jarvis Square area of Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood through oral history.
Anna Zalokostas • English
What Was Globalization? Podcast Series
With the crises of the present interconnected globe in view, my podcast series, What Was Globalization? will invite an interdisciplinary group of writers, artists, scholars, journalists, and community activists to look back on what was vigorously debated following the fall of the Berlin Wall as the new economy and culture of globalization.Back to top