May 9, 2017 was the first ever Day of Public Humanities (DayofPH). The John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanity’s post-doctoral fellows Robyn Schroeder and Jim McGrath, and Inge Zwart (MA ’17) curated, organized, and hosted three events on Brown’s campus and an elaborate online discussion in order to raise the profile of the public humanities with specific attention to questions of labor within the field. In this blog post, we share our reflections on the events, show some behind-the-scenes preparations, and introduce tentative future plans.
The former NEA Chair Rocco Landesman says he doesn’t see anything “apocalyptic” for the arts in a Trump presidency. Robert Lynch, the President of Americans for the Arts and a top advocate for the nonprofit arts sector, is more cautious and says Trump’s election “brings some uncertainty in terms of federal support for the arts.” Van Jones, the CNN pundit is blunt: Trump, he says, “is going to start a war.”
The digital public humanities are having a moment. Universities, museums, and other cultural institutions are exploring how technology and new media are changing the ways in which individuals create, perceive, and interact with cultural heritage.