The Divers by Fernand Léger
Why Public Humanities?

I have been thinking of this essay as a road map to the ideas and practices of public humanities, a map that would help answer the title question, "why public humanities?" This essay will look at some beginning points for public humanities; work through definitions; talk about the stakes for faculty and students–and the universities and communities in which they work–and consider whether public humanities could be transformative rather than simply translational. No matter how you map public humanities, discussions of collaboration and social justice need to be at the center.

Divers on a Yellow Background by Fernand Léger
The Public Futures of the Humanities
The public humanities stand the best chance of showing the distinctive contribution that the humanities can make to all fields of knowledge by keeping alive values that are irreducible to both instrumentality and profitability. The public humanities not only shows what the humanities have to offer the public sphere, but how various publics are framing what the humanities do within the university.