Spring 2020

Rita Charon, TBD & Margaret Crosby-Arnold, TBD

Kathryn Tabb, TBD & Joy Knoblauch, When is Social Distance? Simmel, Park, Bogardus, Hall, or After

Hosted by the Public Humanities Initiative at the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University, this Zoominar features the projects developed by our 2019-2020 Public Humanities Graduate Student Fellows over the course of the past year, followed by discussion with fellow scholars, community members, and civic partners. An interdisciplinary group of emerging scholars, these Public Humanities Fellows have worked both together and independently to implement projects that bridge humanistic thinking with civic engagement and social justice, scholarly research with public building and communication. They will discuss how their projects promote humanistic thinking beyond the university, from different disciplinary perspectives and through a variety of media, such as audio media and podcast producing, walking and mapping, and curatorial and pedagogical practices aimed at serving under-resourced communities.  They will also discuss the origins of their projects in a commitment to break out of academic silos, the challenges they faced in the recent foreclosure of public spheres, and their current thinking about the methods and urgency of the Public Humanities in these critical times—both in the public sphere and in the context of higher education. 

Samia Henni, French Nuclear Toxicity in the Sahara & Chisomo Kalinga, Narrative Stories: Understanding HIV & AIDS Among Peri-Urban Citizens of Malawi

Hosted by the Public Humanities Initiative at the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University, this Zoominar features the projects developed by our 2019-2020 Public Humanities Graduate Student Fellows over the course of the past year, followed by discussion with fellow scholars, community members, and civic partners. An interdisciplinary group of emerging scholars, these Public Humanities Fellows have worked both together and independently to implement projects that bridge humanistic thinking with civic engagement and social justice, scholarly research with public building and communication. They will discuss how their projects promote humanistic thinking beyond the university, from different disciplinary perspectives and through a variety of media, such as audio media and podcast producing, walking and mapping, and curatorial and pedagogical practices aimed at serving under-resourced communities.  They will also discuss the origins of their projects in a commitment to break out of academic silos, the challenges they faced in the recent foreclosure of public spheres, and their current thinking about the methods and urgency of the Public Humanities in these critical times—both in the public sphere and in the context of higher education. 

Rachel Adams, Care Beyond the Human & Bryony Roberts, TBD

Hosted by the Public Humanities Initiative at the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University, this Zoominar features the projects developed by our 2019-2020 Public Humanities Graduate Student Fellows over the course of the past year, followed by discussion with fellow scholars, community members, and civic partners. An interdisciplinary group of emerging scholars, these Public Humanities Fellows have worked both together and independently to implement projects that bridge humanistic thinking with civic engagement and social justice, scholarly research with public building and communication. They will discuss how their projects promote humanistic thinking beyond the university, from different disciplinary perspectives and through a variety of media, such as audio media and podcast producing, walking and mapping, and curatorial and pedagogical practices aimed at serving under-resourced communities.  They will also discuss the origins of their projects in a commitment to break out of academic silos, the challenges they faced in the recent foreclosure of public spheres, and their current thinking about the methods and urgency of the Public Humanities in these critical times—both in the public sphere and in the context of higher education. 

Jonathan Metzl, Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America's Heartland

Hosted by the Public Humanities Initiative at the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University, this Zoominar features the projects developed by our 2019-2020 Public Humanities Graduate Student Fellows over the course of the past year, followed by discussion with fellow scholars, community members, and civic partners. An interdisciplinary group of emerging scholars, these Public Humanities Fellows have worked both together and independently to implement projects that bridge humanistic thinking with civic engagement and social justice, scholarly research with public building and communication. They will discuss how their projects promote humanistic thinking beyond the university, from different disciplinary perspectives and through a variety of media, such as audio media and podcast producing, walking and mapping, and curatorial and pedagogical practices aimed at serving under-resourced communities.  They will also discuss the origins of their projects in a commitment to break out of academic silos, the challenges they faced in the recent foreclosure of public spheres, and their current thinking about the methods and urgency of the Public Humanities in these critical times—both in the public sphere and in the context of higher education. 

Meredith Tenhoor, Architectures of Care: French Theories and Institutions circa 1968

Hosted by the Public Humanities Initiative at the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University, this Zoominar features the projects developed by our 2019-2020 Public Humanities Graduate Student Fellows over the course of the past year, followed by discussion with fellow scholars, community members, and civic partners. An interdisciplinary group of emerging scholars, these Public Humanities Fellows have worked both together and independently to implement projects that bridge humanistic thinking with civic engagement and social justice, scholarly research with public building and communication. They will discuss how their projects promote humanistic thinking beyond the university, from different disciplinary perspectives and through a variety of media, such as audio media and podcast producing, walking and mapping, and curatorial and pedagogical practices aimed at serving under-resourced communities.  They will also discuss the origins of their projects in a commitment to break out of academic silos, the challenges they faced in the recent foreclosure of public spheres, and their current thinking about the methods and urgency of the Public Humanities in these critical times—both in the public sphere and in the context of higher education. 

Leslie Topp, From Seclusion to Self-Isolation: Uses and Perils of the Single Room Alexandre White, Epidemic Imaginaries: Disease and the Redrawing of the Polis

Hosted by the Public Humanities Initiative at the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University, this Zoominar features the projects developed by our 2019-2020 Public Humanities Graduate Student Fellows over the course of the past year, followed by discussion with fellow scholars, community members, and civic partners. An interdisciplinary group of emerging scholars, these Public Humanities Fellows have worked both together and independently to implement projects that bridge humanistic thinking with civic engagement and social justice, scholarly research with public building and communication. They will discuss how their projects promote humanistic thinking beyond the university, from different disciplinary perspectives and through a variety of media, such as audio media and podcast producing, walking and mapping, and curatorial and pedagogical practices aimed at serving under-resourced communities.  They will also discuss the origins of their projects in a commitment to break out of academic silos, the challenges they faced in the recent foreclosure of public spheres, and their current thinking about the methods and urgency of the Public Humanities in these critical times—both in the public sphere and in the context of higher education. 

Hosted by the Public Humanities Initiative at the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University, this Zoominar features the projects developed by our 2019-2020 Public Humanities Graduate Student Fellows over the course of the past year, followed by discussion with fellow scholars, community members, and civic partners. An interdisciplinary group of emerging scholars, these Public Humanities Fellows have worked both together and independently to implement projects that bridge humanistic thinking with civic engagement and social justice, scholarly research with public building and communication. They will discuss how their projects promote humanistic thinking beyond the university, from different disciplinary perspectives and through a variety of media, such as audio media and podcast producing, walking and mapping, and curatorial and pedagogical practices aimed at serving under-resourced communities.  They will also discuss the origins of their projects in a commitment to break out of academic silos, the challenges they faced in the recent foreclosure of public spheres, and their current thinking about the methods and urgency of the Public Humanities in these critical times—both in the public sphere and in the context of higher education. 

Recent research by Andrew Simpson and Anne Merritt has pointed to the important contribution of ambulances to the establishment of emergency medicine as a medical subspecialty from the 1960s in the United States. A great deal of attention on both sides of the Atlantic was devoted to transporting victims of road traffic accidents safely and quickly to the locations of emergency care, reflecting much broader anxieties about motor car use as a social problem. For the most part, this concern was framed as a dimension of urban inequality in that it adversely impacted city dwellers, where the levels of traffic congestion tended to be most acute. This paper draws on insights from critical mobilities studies to examine how physicians, ambulance service managers, and urban health planners sought to overcome obstacles to the efficient transport of accident victims that were posed by complex urban infrastructures.

Humans and microbes have always co-habited, and their relationship has had a profound influence on human history—especially in cities, the crossroads of the movements of people, goods, and germs. Dr. Rebecca Hayes Jacobs will discuss her work as co-curator of Germ City: Microbes and the Metropolis, a 2018 exhibition at the City Museum of New York that explored the complex story of the city's long battle against infectious disease—a fight involving government, urban planners, medical professionals, businesses, and activists.  Planned to mark the centennial of the Spanish Flu pandemic, the show was organized in collaboration with The New York Academy of Medicine and Wellcome as part of the latter's international project Contagious Cities, a multi-city research and public humanities porject that explored the interplay of people and pathogens in urban contexts.

Care for the Polis is an online conference that exists in a multi-temporal and virtual space. The conference is designed to reimagine how medical humanities and public humanities shape, and are shaped by, the city and its diverse publics. In a series of weekly Z-Panels, our invited speakers will discuss the effects of health on the conception of cities and publics—including, in the context of pandemic, the foreclosure of public space and what it means to become an online yet domestic-bound public. Together, we will address emerging concerns such as economic impact and recovery, domesticity and democracy, public care and public reconstruction.

A day of workshops with scholars, artists, students, curators, and educators who are working to bridge arts education and incarceration and, in the process, render visible the hidden histories of mass incarceration and radicalize arts pedagogies for a more just society. 

This Public Humanities environmental walk will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by exploring the history of the Harlem River as it manifests itself on-site. The Harlem River has been shaped by tide patterns and climate change, and like the Hudson River, it contains a legacy of toxic pollution. Despite the fact that the Harlem River is a man-made river—New York City engineers rerouted its channel—most people who live along the river have no access to the waterfront. This walk, free and open to the public, will spatially explore the ways people have been disconnected from the river and the role river history, and a public humanities approach to the site, can play in rebuilding the connections between people and their river.  By engaging the river’s wide public and staging an interdisciplinary conversation about the river’s histories of disconnection—with walkers experienced in urban planning, climate change, photography, and community activism—we will come away with an inclusive and compelling history of the Harlem River that may begin to draw new connecting threads to its publics.

Award-winning director Kurt Orderson and co-producer Najma Nuriddin will participate in a panel discussion following a screening of “Not in Our Neighborhood” (2018), an award-winning documentary on the intergenerational stories of how ordinary citizens respond to the policies, process, and institutions driving contemporary forms of spatial violence and gentrification in São Paulo, Cape Town, and New York. In telling these contemporary urban stories through the activist voices that are emerging to reclaim the right to shelter, the film offers a global critique on the current politics of space and casts the so-called Global South as particularly radical in offering modes of resistance to the social injustices afforded by the built environment.

View the full history of lectures for Public Humanities Initiative.

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