See the registration page & form to propose breakout sessions for Saturday – forms no longer active


The Sympoisum

The Humanities for the Public Good Initiative brought together students, artists, scholars, cultural practitioners, and people interested in using humanistic knowledge to forward publicly engaged scholarship, for two days of events on Friday, May 3rd & Saturday, May 4th, 2019. All events were free, and unless otherwise designated on the registration form, open to the public. More on the conference theme and the “unconference” break out sessions below.

Schedule of Events

Friday, May 3rd
Before Lunch: Graduate Summit
8:30 a.m.-10 a.m.
Pleasants Family Room, Wilson Library
Engaged Grad Breakfast Forum: Talking Mentorship, Project Support, Career Pathways

Robyn Schroeder, Humanities for the Public Good
Rachel Schaevitz, Carolina Public Humanities
A breakfast discussion connecting engaged humanities graduate students & strategizing about HPG investing in grad priorities
10 a.m.
Pleasants Family Room, Wilson Library
Meaning-Making for Engaged Graduate Students Mini-Workshop

Maria Erb, Diversity & Student Success, Graduate School
An opportunity for graduate students with public scholarship goals to reflect on their social impact priorities and how they are or aren’t connected to graduate study
11 a.m.
Pleasants Family Room, Wilson Library
Doing the Dissertation Differently: Resources, Evaluation, & Graduate Lightning Talks

Charlotte Fryar, American Studies
Sarah George-Waterfield, English & Comparative Literature
Grant Glass, English & Comparative Literature
Kimber Thomas, American Studies
Helen Orr, Religious Studies

Facilitators: Philip Hollingsworth, Institute for the Arts & Humanities; Dwayne Dixon, Department of Asian Studies
Examples of new, innovative humanities and social science dissertations on campus, with reflections on the available and needed practical and intellectual resources for supporting them
12:30 p.m.
Lunch, Carolina Inn
Mentoring Graduate Students for Professional Success Beyond the Tenure Track

Facilitators: Rachel Schaevitz, Carolina Public Humanities; Robyn Schroeder, Humanities for the Public Good
A lunch conversation, in breakout groups, between grads, faculty, and staff about challenges and needs in mentoring grad students for professional success (as grads’ themselves define it).
After Lunch: Campus Summit
1:30 p.m. (Panel A)
Donovan Lounge, Greenlaw Hall
HPG Engaged Project Spotlight

Stories to Save Lives (Sara Wood & Rev. William Kearney)

Migration Stories: Linguistics & Belonging Among Refugees from Burma (Becky Butler, Jennifer Boehm, and Amy Reynolds)

National High School Ethics Bowl (Steve Swartzer)

UndocuCarolina (Rubi Franco Quiroz, Ricky Hurtado, and Barbara Sostaita)

Facilitator: Daniel Fisher (National Humanities Alliance)
Reflections on the first round of “Migration & Mobility” community collaborative projects funded by the Humanities for the Public Good Initiative.
1:30 p.m. (Panel B)
Pleasants Family Room, Wilson Library
Digital Public Humanities Roundtable

ArtBot (Elizabeth Manekin & Kristen Foote)

Red Record/Carolina K-12 Teacher’s Development Institute on Difficult History (Seth Kotch, Christie Norris)

Digital Portobelo (Renee Alexander Craft)

Facilitator: Dan Anderson, Digital Innovation Lab
Reflections on the sustainability, outreach, and programmatic challenges and possibilities and the intersections of digital and public humanities.
3 p.m. (Panel C)
Incubator Room, Hyde Hall, Institute for the Arts & Humanities
Knowledge, Access, and the Public

Elaine Maisner (UNC Press)

Elaine Westbrooks (UNC Libraries)

Lovey Cooper (Scalawag Magazine)

Tammy Baggett (Durham County Library)

Facilitator: Meli Kimathi, Communication
All. Contemporary library & publisher approaches to making new knowledges accessible against technological and resource barriers.
3 p.m. (Panel D)
University Room, Hyde Hall, Institute for the Arts & Humanities
Supporting Local Arts & a Healthy Arts Ecosystem ft. Orange County Public Art Commissioner

Amanda Graham (Carolina Performing Arts)

Fred Joiner (Carrboro Poet Laureate)

Katie Murray (Orange County Art Commission)

Susan Harbage Page (Associate Professor, Women & Gender Studies)

Facilitator: Elizabeth Engelhardt
How do we characterize the local arts economy, and what is (and ought to be) the university’s role?
5:30 p.m.
Ackland Art Museum
Wine & Snacks Reception Event Co-Hosted by Orange County Art Commission and the College of Arts & Sciences

Featuring Culture Mill et al
An opportunity for scholars and staff to mingle with local artists and performers

Featuring local performers including Culture Mill
Saturday, May 4th
9 a.m.
Hyde Hall, Institute for the Arts & Humanities
BreakfastBagels, fruit, and coffee
10 a.m.
Incubator Room, Hyde Hall

Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Courtney Reid-Eaton, and Sangodare
Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Sangodare, and Courtney Reid-Eaton will lead a participatory keynote accompanied by a Black feminist book installation.
11am, 12noon, 2pm & 3pm - Concurrent with Sessions Below

Incubator and Seminar Rooms of the Institute for the Arts & Humanities, Hyde Hall
**Unconference Style Breakout Sessions**
Topics TBA
Propose a Breakout Session here:
Participants will have the opportunity to vote on topics in person on Saturday morning.
11 a.m.
University Room, Hyde Hall, Institute for the Arts & Humanities

Becoming Allies: What Makes a Good University Partner

Joseph Jordan (Sonja Hanes Stone Center)

Della Pollock (Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving & Making History)

Susan Brown (Chapel Hill Public Library)

Facilitator: Kim Allen, Kenan Scholars Program Director
Reflections from long-standing local cultural leaders about the practical challenges and imperatives to form lasting and meaningful partnerships.
12:30 p.m.Lunch
Grab a boxed lunch and find a spot with your new friends!
A lunch conversation, in breakout groups, between grads, faculty, and staff about challenges and needs in mentoring grad students for professional success (as grads’ themselves define it).
1:45 p.m.
University Room, Hyde Hall, Institute for the Arts & Humanities
Organizing Culture: Making Change with the Humanities

Daniel Fisher (National Humanities Alliance)

Barbara Lau (Pauli Murray Project)

Raphael Ginsberg (Friday Center Correctional Education Program)

Facilitator: Molly Luby, Special Projects Coordinator, Chapel Hill Public Library
Dynamic approach to understanding the many faces of cultural organizing in the broad education & cultural sector.
3:15 p.m.
University Room, Hyde Hall, Institute for the Arts & Humanities
Reckonings: Local History and Racial Equity

Charlotte Fryar, Reclaiming the University of the People

Danita Mason-Hogan & Molly Luby, Remembering the Chapel Hill Nine

James Williams, Orange County Community Remembrance Coalition

Vera Cecelski, Stagville State Historic Site
Spotlight on local history-and-present projects at the campus, town, county, and regional level which are aim to remediate racial inequity.
4:45 p.m.
Closing RemarksRobyn Schroeder, Director, Humanities for the Public Good Initiative

Those with questions may write to the Humanities for the Public Good Initiative Director Robyn Schroeder (rschroeder [at] Don’t be strangers.

Our Theme: “Why We’re Here”

We chose the theme “Why We’re Here” to center the core impulse of the Humanities for the Public Good initiative, which is our collective human urge to promote the well-being of others–to serve the public good itself, and to engage in critical conversations about the histories of doing that well and badly, and forward evidence and experience-based conversations about ongoing and needed changes in higher education and the cultural sector. We invite engaged scholars, humanists, artists, and cultural workers to come together in a democratic spirit for constructive discussion and workshopping. To talk about why we’re here, in or at Chapel Hill, Orange County, or the Research Triangle, is to promote our collective morale by reminding us what the point of higher education in the humanities is in the first place–to improve minds and lives, to learn from each other, and to build the ideas and questions that lead to relationships, problem-solving, and a culture that reflects the best of what we know.

Humanists have much to learn from others and each other about doing engaged project work–whether in public scholarship, engaged teaching, project-based service, or otherwise. We’ve drawn out a schedule which highlights just some of the vectors of experimentation right now, flagging opportunities and resources as well as sources of inspiration. Key topics include:

  • pathways for developing engagement skills
  • making knowledge public and accessible
  • supporting local artists and understanding the problems and possibilities in the local arts economy
  • practical approaches to university-community partnership
  • in keeping with Humanities for the Public Good’s upcoming critical projects theme of “Reckonings and Reconciliation”, learning about projects uncovering local histories of marginalization, anti-blackness, and exclusion

A Note on the Small Group Breakout Sessions: Unconferencing Our Symposium

Many folks indicated an interest in taking time to talk across disciplines and professions about public engagement topics, outside of the panel/lecture format. We set aside the Incubator Room at the IAH on Saturday, May 4th, for one-hour meetings proposed by symposium attendees. Symposium attendees had a chance to read proposals and vote 4-6 proposals into existence over breakfast that day.

Humanities for the Public Good Graduate Coordinator Meli Kimathi (mem [//at//] coordinated this portion.

Before the HPG Symposium: Popular Narratives and the Experience of War

Co-sponsored by Humanities for the Public Good, the Graduate School, the Carolina Veterans Resource Center, the History Department, and the English & Comparative Literature Department, learn more about the panel discussion and veterans’ writing workshop which took place on Saturday, April 27th, under the direction and management of doctoral students Davis Winkie and Paul Blom.