University Park, IL,
14:10 PM

Public Scholarship in The Humanities Video Series Now Available on YouTube

(UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill.) – Public Scholarship in The Humanities is a series of four videos showcasing the collection of essays published as "Public Scholarship in Literary Studies(2021), a ground-breaking collection released as part of Amherst College Press's peer-reviewed, digital-first, open-access scholarly publishing program. Rosemary Erickson Johnsen, Ph.D., Associate Provost & Associate VP of Academic Affairs, Acting Administrator of the University Library, and Professor of English at Governors State University, co-edited the volume with Rachel Arteaga of the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington.

"Public Scholarship in Literary Studies" essays offer the reader a unique, thoughtful and fluid approach to public scholarship which begins with the cover featuring a photo taken by Johnsen of the Hive, an installation in Kew Gardens, United Kingdom. The featured essays are by scholars who have: 1) a high level of experience in public scholarship and write regularly for public audiences; 2) experience with research-based teaching and engagement in public scholarship; and 3) developed new models that can be applied not only in partnership with the community, but can be applied in on-campus environments as well.

Johnsen's commitment to public engagement led her to originate the video series Public Scholarship in The Humanities in order to embody the theory and practice represented by the book.

“The video series does more than describe or explain public scholarship; the videos are themselves public scholarship, made accessible to additional audiences through YouTube,” Johnsen said.

As a result, on March 22, 2021, Governors State University hosted a national virtual panel discussion with audience Q & A, organized by Johnsen and sponsored by the university's Graduate Studies, Library, and College of Arts and Sciences. This webinar, an example of public scholarship in action, offered an opportunity for viewers to learn and better understand the opportunities and impact of public humanities engagement in the community through presentations by four contributors to "Public Scholarship in Literary Studies" which ultimately created the video series as envisioned by Johnsen.

Beth Bouloukos, Director at Amherst College Press (ACP) and Lever Press affirms that “This video series helps us actualize ACP's mission to reach the widest audience possible by funding completely open access books with no costs for our authors or their institutions. These innovative video conversations will both make scholarship available via an additional medium and drive new readers to the book.”

The four presentations, edited into separate, shorter pieces, inaugurate the innovative video series. They are as follows:

Part 1 features Rosemary Johnsen who highlighted the imperatives of public scholarship in literary study as reflected in "Public Scholarship in Literary Studies," the publishing program of Amherst College Press, and examples of her own public scholarship, including two National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Dialogues on the Experience of War program grants.

Watch Part 1 here.



Part 2 features Jim Cocola, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Humanities and Arts, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, who demonstrated the multi-directional exchange of ideas with reference to Richard Wright’s late-career adoption of the haiku form.

Watch Part 2 here.



Part 3 features Christopher Douglas, Ph.D., Professor of English, University of Victoria, Canada who spoke of writing for public audiences and offered strategies for engagement and promotion.

Watch Part 3 here.




Part 4 features Carmaletta M. Williams, Ph.D., Executive Director, Black Archives of Mid-America, Kansas City Missouri expanded upon her chapter in the book, "Takin' it to the Streets: Public Scholarship in the Heartland," to reflect upon her career and how she continues to focus on her strong commitments to academic research and public engagement.

Watch Part 4 here.




Dr. Williams offered her perspective on the importance of public scholarship.

“'Takin' It to the Streets' is a very self-indulgent way for me to share what I have learned about my community, my family and myself. In the words of Audre Lorde, ‘Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.’ As a teen-ager I often wore a shirt with a raised fist on it that said, ‘Knowledge is Power.’ I want other people in those communities to which I belong, as well as those in communities in which I am a voyeur learning about the lives of others, to know that learning, and sharing what one knows is a powerful weapon that can advance our world to amazing new heights. This book on Public Scholarship is, in the words of Gordon Parks, a wonderful ‘Choice of Weapons.’” 

Each video in the series demonstrates how public scholarship connects research with the community. At its best, Johnsen says, "public scholarship promotes multi-directional engagement with contemporary issues, facilitating the development of new models for responding to challenges we face today. We need the humanities more than ever right now. The book and video series bring to life strategies for creating more and better engagement with the humanities, ultimately benefitting our diverse communities."


Contact: Zion Banks