On each full day of the Annual Meeting, we will offer in-person breakfast sessions facilitated by our members on topics of mutual interest. What are your programmatic priorities as a humanities center director or staff member? What topics do you see underrepresented in our conference schedule? What attendees would you like to meet and form a connection with? These conversations will take place in Salón Danubio on the 2nd floor of Hotel Plaza San Francisco.


Wednesday June 21

  • “The Fight for Ideas: Addressing Banned Books and Ideological Attacks” (Jennifer Ho, CU Boulder; Erika George, University of Utah)

  • Public Humanities Initiatives (Rachel Sailor and Brigida Blasi, University of Wyoming)

Thursday June 22

  • Small Budget Institutes (Serenity Joo, University of Manitoba)

  • The “Public” in Public Humanities (Russ Castronovo, UW-Madison; Ulka Anjaria, Brandeis University)

  • Publishing in Centers and Institutes (Sylvia K Miller, Duke University)

Friday June 23:

  • Possibilities and Challenges of Interpretation and Translation across Languages Spoken within the Continent of the Americas in Public Humanities Scholarship (Michelle Habell-Pallán, University of Washington)

  • Social Media for Humanities Social Justice (Nanda Jarosz, University of Sydney)

  • The Collapse of the Academic Job Market & Issues of Access for Contingent Faculty (Jessica Berman, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Gustavus Stadler, Haverford College)

The Fight for Ideas: Addressing Banned Books and Ideological Attacks

Ideological attacks on books and ideas are happening globally and are particularly intense in the United States. Humanities are at the center of these attacks because so often these assaults are happening within educational spaces—libraries, classrooms, curriculum. Erika George (Tanner Center, University of Utah) and Jennifer Ho (Center for Humanities & the Arts (CHA), University of Colorado Boulder) want to hold a conversation with other center directors who are interested in addressing these attacks and how to combat the anti-intellectual climate that permeates our educational and cultural spaces. Both the Tanner and CHA will be doing programming around these issues, especially banned books. We hope others may want to join us in brainstorming how we can combat these assaults on the humanities and higher ed. We envision potential collaborations across our centers, aided by the facility with Zoom and on-line programming that we’ve all utilized in the last three years.

Erika George (University of Utah) & Jennifer Ho (CU Boulder)

Public Humanities Initiatives

Public Humanities programs and initiatives have been a priority for humanities centers and institutes around the world over the last decade. New methodologies, curricula, and conceptions of what the public humanities are and what the humanities do will be the topic for this breakfast conversation. We invite participation from those who have new insights and new directions to share or those who are interested in initiating new public humanities programming.

Rachel M. Sailor and Brigida Blasi, Wyoming Institute for Humanities Research, University of Wyoming

Small Budget Institutes

We'd like to facilitate a discussion with academics and/or administrators at small-budget institutes like ours, focused on how to host quality programming, including community engagement, when funds and/or staff are limited. Our institute, the University of Manitoba Institute for the Humanities (UMIH), is run by one full-time office assistant and one rotating academic director. We are interested in creative approaches to programming, prioritizing EDI initiatives, and how to support and protect labor and avoid burnout. This session can be a place for those of us at smaller-sized institutes to share some of our strategies and best practices (and lessons learned!), and make connections within CHCI, as we often navigate distinct challenges relating to modest operating budgets.

Serenity Joo, University of Manitoba

The “Public” in Public Humanities

What tactical resource does the “public” in Public Humanities provide? This question strikes us as especially important at a moment when literature, art, and history are treated as personal matters of taste and private morality. To take a flashpoint from the US political spectrum, Florida’s Stop-WOKE Act prohibits teaching material that causes students to “feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress.” According to the text of this law, no one “bears responsibility” for what happened in the past, but the real effect is to make public instruction bear the responsibility for how others feel. Other cases where sensibilities have been offended involving Toni Morrison’s Beloved or Michelangelo’s David might be referenced, but the larger issue is the marshaling of energies into privatizing and individualizing the humanities. The humanities are still operative under such a vision, but it’s one that rests on individual conscience and feeling.

In context, we want to frame a conversation about the utility of emphasizing the public dimensions of humanities programming, scholarship, events, and other initiatives. At our respective centers at Brandeis and UW-Madison, we have devoted energy and resources to programs such as “New Directions in Public Scholarship” and “Great World Texts.” We look forward to hearing from our colleagues about what strategies are working for you.

Among the topics we might discuss:

  • The role of the public humanities in framing a worldview that extends beyond individual responses of “guilt, anguish,” or outrage?

  • The connection between the public humanities and democracy, which might be more vexed than it seems when putatively democratic claims (parental rights, freedom of conscience, etc.) are pitted against the humanities.

Ulka Anjaria, Mandel Center for the Humanities, Brandeis University

Russ Castronovo, Center for the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Publishing in Centers and Institutes

Is your center or institute involved in publishing or interested in supporting faculty and/or community publishing? Let’s share our experiences with events, workshops, and projects and our ideas about the role of publishing in humanities centers and institutes in the future. Whether it’s organizing book manuscript workshops, holding events to critique or expand definitions of scholarly publishing, guiding collaborative publishing projects, celebrating faculty publications, enabling digital and multimodal publishing, or encouraging participation in the book arts, the involvement of a humanities center or institute in publishing can enhance the center or institute’s role as an interdisciplinary hub and have longterm positive effects for the humanities at large. We’ll take notes for the CHCI Publication and Peer Review Working Group, which will hold its workshop at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Fall 2023.

Sylvia K. Miller, Senior Program Manager, Scholarly Publishing and Special Projects, The John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University, USA. Liaison, Carlyle Letters Online, Duke University Press. Member of the Board, College Book Arts Association (CBAA). Co-Leader, Triangle Book Arts, North Carolina

Possibilities and Challenges of Interpretation and Translation across Languages Spoken within the Continent of the Americas in Public Humanities Scholarship

As the Director of the Certificate for Public Critical Race Scholarship, which was developed within the University of Washington Simpson Center for the Humanities, I propose to lead a conversation about the possibility and challenges of supporting public humanities scholarship’s interpretation and translation across languages spoken within the continent of the Americas. How can studies of the humanities in European and non-European languages generate collaborations that acknowledge the mutual benefit of plurinational and intercultural relationships between music, art, literature, philosophy, and social media? I am eager to connect with members who are curious about these questions and possibilities. have been working with my UCLA colleague Maylei Blackwell (who is an invited speaker for this year’s symposium in Chile) on these questions and we are hoping to open this conversation to others. I will be sharing my own experiences of my five-year collaboration with Black and Indigenous-identified feminist musicians from Ecuador who theorize in Spanish, Kichwa, and English with the goal of prompting others to share their own experiences and insights.

Michelle Habell-Pallán, is Professor of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington (UW) Seattle. She holds appointments in the School of Music and Department of Communication as well. She was past Director of the UW Simpson Center’s Certificate for Public Scholarship and is now the current Director of the Certificate for Public Critical Race Scholarship for the UW Center for Communication, Diversity, and Equity. She co-directs the UW Libraies Womxn Who Rock: Making Scenes, Building Communities Oral History Archive. In partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, she co-curated/authored the exhibit & book American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music. She recently authored “‘Girl in a Coma” Tweets Chicanafuturism: Decolonial Visions, Social Media, & Archivista Praxis,” and creates community music with the Seattle Fandango Project. She received the Barclay Simpson Prize for Scholarship in Public in addition to the 2021 UW Award for the Advancement of Learning Communities. Her current in-process manuscript includes Chicanxfuturism which examines the sound of futurity produced by feminista musicians across Abya Yala.

Social Media for Humanities Social Justice

Social media has the power to amplify conversations and shape large-scale social justice movements. As attention spans shorten and communities move further online, however, academics and institutions need to adapt to emerging technologies and modes of communication if they are to achieve real impact. Many humanities centres already serve as aggregators and disseminators of humanities related knowledge and scholarship. But most online audiences are more familiar with large institutional brands rather than the names of research centres, let alone individual academics, working within University contexts. This suggests an untapped public for our research.

To engage the online public for social justice, humanities centres need to develop and support the skill sets required to best translate and communicate the work of their members. There are multiple, intersecting reasons to use social media to communicate research findings:

  • To communicate and enhance awareness of research

  • To achieve impact

  • To network with scholars in the field

  • To access and share opportunities in and outside academia

  • To improve research quality, and

  • To build a sense of a scholarly community.

SSSHARC proposes a breakfast discussion with CHCI and its members to establish a community of social media practice in the humanities to continue the development and exchange of ideas among centres. Developing social media skills related to humanities advocacy and social justice issues will help individual member centres grow their online communities and make the CHCI network stronger and more impactful.

Dr Nanda Jarosz, Executive Officer, The University of Sydney, Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre

The Collapse of the Academic Job Market & Issues of Access for Contingent Faculty

As the structure of university employment shifts away from tenure track faculty, how can Humanities Centers and Institutes on campuses use our resources to help to support adjunct and other teaching faculty? How can we help them be recognized as fully faceted faculty with research agendas that deserve support? How can we provide resources to make adjunct factually in particular feel welcomed and part of campus intellectual communities while fighting the dehumanizing logic that excludes them from many campus systems and avenues for funding and other support?

This conversation is a continuation of discussions from the Best Practices for Humanities Centers session.

Jessica Berman (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) and Gustavus Stadler (Haverford College)