Promoting collaborative research on ideas central to the pressing issues of our time.

Public Humanities Initiative

In keeping with its commitment to displaying the social value of the humanities, the HI is engaged in a multi-level program to bring humanities ideas into broader public conversation.

The Public Humanities Fellowship Program trains undergraduate students in being able to translate humanities ideas and research into media content that can reach a broader public outside of the university. This program involves two courses, the first of which teaches public humanities and media skills and the second allows students to develop their own media projects. The courses are led by an instructor with experience in public humanities and an instructor with experience in media production, who work together with students to develop these skills.

The Public Humanities Fellows are also given the opportunity to go out to community groups to conduct discussions of social issues that relate to research in humanities disciplines. Visit the Public Humanities Fellowship Website.

In addition, the Humanities Institute is engaged in a partnership with WPSU to produce a video documentary series called HumIn Focus that examines pressing social issues from the broader and deeper perspectives of humanities scholars.

We look at topical issues such as public monuments, immigration, religion, and democratic representation in a way that contextualizes these debates in a broader historical and philosophical perspective. We discuss work by Penn State scholars who provide crucial background for the deeper questions lying beneath policy debates and social controversies.

This Initiative results from a partnership between the HI in the College of Liberal Arts and the Bellisario College of Communications.