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Section 1-1

What do we mean by publicly engaged scholarship?

Publicly engaged scholarship encompasses humanities research, teaching, preservation, and programming conducted in partnership with diverse individuals and communities outside the university. Its research aims and methods are collaboratively conceived and designed with the aim of benefiting all participants. It is integral to a faculty member or student’s academic discipline, deepening and broadening the horizons of their scholarship. It serves the public good in both its processes and outcomes, directing the resources of the humanities to address society’s most pressing challenges.

More broadly, the circulation of publicly engaged work via publication, scholarly or otherwise, holds the potential to benefit all, across communities and disciplines. For communities, publication of publicly engaged scholarship can help communicate the impact of their work and seed and inform future projects, programming, research, and teaching. It can inform contemporary debates, amplify community voices and histories, and preserve culture in times of crisis and change. For scholars, publicly engaged work holds the potential to lead to—and indeed to enhance—academic publication, thus contributing to scholarly conversations and sustaining a scholar’s career.

This OER was supported by a grant from the Scholarly Communication Notebook.

Last updated 2023-04-21.