Research Initiatives

Working with local, national and sometimes international partners, the Center for Public Humanities incubates a range of research initiatives that spark new approaches, methods or collaborations in the field of public humanities. These initiatives include conferences, exhibitions, publications, tours, performances, events and digital media projects that shape our understanding of public history, museum practice and curation, digital humanities, preservation and cultural heritage, and the arts.

A current research initiative at the Public Humanities Center is Year of the City: The Providence Project, a year-long collaboration in 2019 co-organized by the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage with more than 50 different public projects over the course of the year that probe aspects of the city's past, present and future built or imagined landscape.  Project participants include many of the artistic, historical and cultural institutions in Providence and individuals participating as historians, artists, makers, performers, curators, and storytellers.  Through exhibitions and public programs, Year of the City participants will ask critical questions about transformations in the city with regard to issues of power, equity, social division and/or connection, design, and planning.To create inclusiveness and a wider circle of engagement, the project incorporates all 25 of Providence’s neighborhoods, with each represented through a project partner or acting as the location of a public program.  Find out more at