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Public Humanities Graduate Research Workshop

The Public Humanities Graduate Research Workshop of the Kaplan Humanities Institute provides participants with opportunities to develop professional skills and networks to make their scholarship more relevant, legible, and meaningful to publics across and beyond the university.

As part of this workshop, we explore what constitutes publicly engaged scholarship while developing more grounded communication and translational skills that can help participants pursue a diverse set of careers within and outside of the academy. With an eye to connecting theory to practice, workshop participants are also given research support and mentorship opportunities to pursue their own public humanities projects during the course of the year (see PROJECTS, below).

Following an application process, student participants meet twice a quarter in workshop (hybrid format with lunch provided for both on-campus and virtual participants). The initiative also hosts public events throughout the year. These sessions provide participants an opportunity to engage faculty, staff, and professionals—from across Northwestern and other institutions around the country—who can speak to the importance of publicly engaged work but also provide skills training and professional mentorship.


As part of the Research Workshop, graduate students will develop a public humanities project over the course of the 2021-2022 academic year, culminating in a public symposium in spring quarter. Through six workshops, students will explore the full range and impact of publicly-engaged scholarship, bridging theory and practice in their own project and connecting to practitioners and scholars engaged in similar work. The Kaplan Institute will also offer project funds of up to $500 and administrative support.

Projects can include (but are not limited to) podcasts, public syllabi, short films or other media, walking tours, exhibits, community events, installations, and performances. We welcome any ideas that are of interest to applicants. The workshop will meet twice a quarter in a hybrid format, bringing together faculty and staff from across Northwestern, as well as from institutions around the world.


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Negar Razavi, ACLS Emerging Voices Fellow of the Kaplan Institute, and Rebekah Bryer, doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama Program.

The Public Humanities Graduate Research Workshop is sponsored by the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, the Center for Civic Engagement, and Northwestern Career Advancement.


In addition to the Public Humanities Graduate Research Workshop, the Public Humanities Initiative at Kaplan hosts public events for the wider graduate student community on publicly engaged scholarship and careers outside of the academy. Events will be updated here as they are scheduled.


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