Rural Humanities Seminar

The Rural Humanities seminar will introduce students to the public humanities as both a disciplinary inquiry and a set of practices grounded in public and community engagement. It is intended to train cohorts of graduate students and advanced undergraduates in the various theories, methods, and practices of public humanities, to think collectively with and beyond disciplinary interests, and to bring these discipline-defined research agendas to much wider communities by first focusing on local rural communities. Students will produce a collaborative project related to or working with a community partner. Enrolled students can receive up to $2,000 to assist them in the development and dissemination of their research and/or to facilitate their collaborations with community partners.

Spring 2024

SHUM 4800/6800: Rural Humanities Seminar

Spring. 4 credits.
Limited to 12 students. Interested students must submit an application.
Tuesdays 2-4:30pm

Woman stands in a forest holding the straps of her orange backpack.

Topic for Spring 2024: Documenting Local Lives: Filmmaking as Research

This course will explore documentary and filmmaking practice through a hybrid lens — utilizing local subjects as storytellers, protagonists, and collaborators on original short films. Working in teams and individually, students will research, produce, and edit short-form films about regional subjects and issues (aging, queer rural life, agriculture, etc.), emphasizing a non-extractive, non-exploitative developmental approach. (No pre-requisite required, but students should apply with a potential project or subject matter in mind.) 

Instructor: Austin Bunn, Associate Professor in the Department of Performing and Media Arts and the Director of the Milstein Program in Technology and Humanity.

Application Instructions

Applications are now closed. Interested students must submit a brief application via our online application form with the following information and materials:

  • Name
  • NetID
  • Degree program and field of study
  • Expected degree completion date
  • A brief statement of no more than 300 words describing (1) why you are interested in public humanities and/or community-engaged work; (2) what it means for your intellectual development; and (3) the type of project in these areas that you have developed and/or are currently developing. If you have previous experience in public or engaged work, please also briefly discuss it.

Spring seminar deadline: November 20


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