National Graduate Student Workshop: Public Humanities and Activism

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

Presented by the ANU Humanities Research Centre (HRC) and the Interdisciplinary Cross Cultural Research (ICCR) Program.

PhD, Masters, and Honours students working in public humanities and related fields, including but not limited to history, museum studies, heritage, cultural politics, art, sociology, anthropology, digital humanities and cultural studies are invited to attend this workshop.

Public humanities invites contemplation of, and engagement with, cultural and civic life. Reflecting on history and heritage, public humanities projects allow a diverse public to look critically at issues through cultural organizations, public art, heritage, oral history and material culture.   

Activism has become an increasingly important subject of public humanities investigation, as highlighted by the 2011 Occupy movement. The question has been posed whether 'public humanities' is just activism by a different name? Cultural institutions are increasingly collecting and exhibiting on activist movements, alongside a rise in community-based archival work in this area. That evolution forms part of the challenge of reimagining and re-engaging communities with history and historical narratives.

Drawing upon the expertise and experience of the speakers, the workshop will span numerous facets of public culture and activism, including archiving as activism, oral history and activism, heritage and activism, digital heritage and activism, intellectual activism, art as activism, and community activism.

Expert international academics and practitioners will lead discussion and provide mentoring throughout the workshop, which will focus on contemporary debates and the challenges of researching contestation in public culture globally, nationally, and locally. The workshop has a dual focus on:

  • - Issues and topics relevant to activism and public culture 
  • - Methodological questions relevant for students researching these topics

See the event website for further information on applications, registration, and travel assistance.