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Humanities Speak of Race (2021): Making a Place for Writing

Public Humanities, Building Publics

dateJune 2, 2021 timeWednesday, 4:30pm EDT locationVirtual Event
  • Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required. See details.
  • Image Credit/Caption: Faith Ringgold, For the Women’s House (1971)
For the Woman's House by Faith Ringgold, painting of diverse women performing different occupations

The Building Publics Spring Graduate Series showcases how our Public Humanities Graduate Fellows bridge humanistic thinking with civic engagement; social justice with scholarly research; and public building with communication, in order to unleash new, more critical modes of scholarly imagination. Each year highlights a new, pressing theme.

This year Building Publics will convene under the heading Humanities Speak of Race. While it was particularly challenging to develop academic work through public ties in the context of lockdown, our fellows actively engaged in debates about privilege and race that are animating academia generally and the public humanities in particular. Over the weeks of the Building Publics series, we will learn about different ways organizations and fellows are attempting to together address and better understand these relations. Each workshop is curated by a graduate fellow or graduate collective, and will feature conversations with some of the community members and civic partners with whom they have worked in conceiving and implementing the projects.

This series is co-funded through the Addressing Racism: A Call to Action for Higher Education initiative of the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement.

June 2nd, 2021: Making a Place for Writing

This week, the Building Publics series features Therese Cox in conversation with Leslie Davol from the community organization Street Lab. Together, they talk about the development of WRITE, an ongoing public humanities initiative that brings free, interactive pop-up writing stations to public spaces throughout New York City’s five boroughs. By making a place for writing, WRITE fosters a participatory urbanism that emphasizes accessibility, collaboration, creativity, and community interaction. More broadly, the talk will consider the role of collaboration in the public humanities between scholars and creative practitioners, curators and cultural organizers, teaching artists and writers, to explore how writing, design, and civic engagement can create opportunities for a more equitable built environment. With a response from K. A. Jagai, mentor at Girls Write Now.