Public Humanities

The UC Davis Humanities Institute (DHI) invites scholars in the arts, humanities and humanistic social sciences to think broadly about how we can use communication, critical thinking, and public-centered research to engage with the world. One of our core missions is to find ways in which a public humanities framework can produce knowledge in the academy while helping people outside of it. How can we use the lessons learned from the arts and humanities-centered scholarship to enact meaningful change across our communities?

Public humanists are uniquely positioned to address some of the most pressing issues of our times. For example, humanists have the ability to direct efforts to preserve the past while helping navigate the currents of conflict and change. They are at the forefront of initiatives to protect heritage sites and center indigenous narratives. With training in the humanities, we can transform education from the ground up by equipping grade school students with a comprehensive, inclusive curriculum that focuses on marginalized histories and civic engagement. Beyond the classroom, we envision humanists playing a larger role in developing guidelines for contemporary and future challenges that address climate resiliency, public policy, and strategic planning. The practical applications of humanistic inquiry to address the grand challenges that face us are boundless and the DHI is committed through its funding programs and programming to participate in the conversations that are important to our communities.

The DHI's Public Humanities Programs

Graduate Public Scholars (2022-)

Public Engagement Faculty Fellows (2016-Present)

Mellon Public Scholars (2016-2022)