What is the Public Humanities?

The Public Humanities strives to bring people from all walks of life together to share perspectives and insights on the challenges of being human. In the US and across the globe, Public Humanities programs endeavor to build civic and intellectual community by generating public conversations that help individuals build a better understanding of themselves, others, and the world through the exploration of societal issues. By challenging each others’ assumptions and ideas, we hope to engage, enrich, and empower our communities and to create a better understanding of our world.

Here at the University of Texas, the Humanities Institute directs campus resources toward engaging central Texas communities through a variety or programs and events. We regularly offer film screenings, public lectures, and open discussions throughout the academic year. Our Difficult Dialogues program brings together individuals from both within and outside of the University to discuss controversial topics with each other in a safe and intellectually challenging space. Our Difficult Dialogues course listings introduce graduate and undergraduate students to what it means to practice the Public Humanities. The Humanities Institute also partners with various Austin non-profit organizations aimed at generating new conversations and bridging cultures. We are committed to expanding the emerging practice of public humanities both within the US and across the globe, and we invite you to join us!

The above description was written by two of our student workers, Alejandra Martinez and Wendy Fernandez.

Official Blog of the Humanities Institute at the University of Texas at Austin