Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

Living Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith (Editor-in-Chief)

Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51726-1_1134-2

Brief Definition of the Topic

Public humanists – public historians, oral historians, folklorists, curators and museum educators, public art administrators, cultural media producers, and cultural policy planners, as well as cultural heritage workers – encourage the public’s participation in the creation of meaning about history, art, and culture. They do this in many ways: sometimes as mediators between the academy and the public, interpreting the work of scholars for the public, sometimes as facilitators of public engagement with culture, and sometimes producing cultural work on behalf of communities. Public humanists work with academic humanists, communities, community cultural organizations, and individuals to explore, preserve, understand, and make use of cultural heritage, values, beliefs, knowledge, and traditions, promoting a shared examination of culture, art, and history to encourage civic engagement.

Public humanists, like workers in the cognate fields of public anthropology...

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  1. Bate, J., ed. 2010. The public value of the humanities. London/New York: Bloomsbury Academic.Google Scholar
  2. Commission on the Humanities. 1980. The humanities in American life: Report of the commission on the humanities. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  3. Hylland Eriksen, T. 2006. Engaging anthropology: The case for a public presence. Oxford/New York: Berg.Google Scholar
  4. Sommer, D. 2014. The work of art in the world: Civic agency and public humanities. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural HeritageBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Thanik Lertcharnrit
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologySilpakorn UniversityBangkokThailand