Speaking History: Public Engagement at The UMMA

By Lucy Smith, Doctoral Student in History and Women’s Studies   Jean – Antoine Houdon, the Parian sculpture, traveled to Mount Vernon in 1785 to cast a bust of George Washington. The life like and iconic Houdon Bust remains to this day at Washington’s ancestral home and became a familiar sight throughout my 3 years at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington. Even though I moved across the country to undertake a History and Women’s Studies PhD program, I was greeted by a copy […]

The Humans of the Archives

By Alex Honold, Second year PhD student in Education Studies with a focus in history education and learning technologies.   Before coming to the University of Michigan, I taught high school US history and world geography. One of my favorite parts about teaching was introducing students to dramatic and thought-provoking primary source materials–diaries, oral histories, Nixon’s insane White House rants. Despite how impressive I thought my collection of primary sources was, I never gave much consideration to where many of those original sources were housed, who put them there, who […]

Expanding the Archive: Building a Digital Archive at the Arab American National Museum

By: Meryem Kamil, Doctoral Candidate, American Culture “Take the banana, put it in a vat of rice overnight, and then use a hair dryer, and all the spots on the banana will disappear.” It’s a lunch break at the Arab American National Museum, and one of the staff is telling us about an internet prank he fell for as we laugh incredulously, passing around a box of Rocky Road flavored Oreos. I looked forward to these Monday afternoons, when drafting reports and collecting archival materials was interrupted by communal lunches […]

Humanities, Communications, and Philanthropy: What I Learned Sharing the Barbour Scholars Story

By Elizabeth Harlow, Doctoral Candidate, English Language & Literature As the University of Michigan commemorated its bicentennial in 2017, one of its most storied programs also marked the major milestone of its 100th anniversary. I spent last summer learning and telling the history of the Barbour Scholarship as a Mellon Public Humanities Fellow on the Rackham Graduate School’s Development and Alumni Relations team. What is the Barbour Scholarship, you ask? One of the university’s oldest, most prestigious, and most uniquely impactful awards, the Barbour Scholarship has supported female students from […]

Preparing for Humanities Careers: Suggestions for Doctoral Students and Departments

By Matthew Woodbury, Doctoral Candidate, Department of History As a historian, when asked to explain what I do, one reply is to say I study change and continuity over time. This month that methodological approach takes a personal turn; there are a few changes on my horizon as I reach the final weeks of my doctoral studies and finish a research assistantship with Rackham Graduate School’s Humanities PhD Project. Like the end of a calendar year, the conclusion of an academic year is an appropriate moment to celebrate successes, consider […]

Exploring Public Humanities at the University of Michigan Museum of Art

By Michael Pascual, Doctoral Student, American Culture I have been in school for as long as I can remember. Except for one small break during my undergrad, I have been enrolled in every semester and quarter and class since I entered into preschool in my hometown of Anchorage, Alaska. I’m qualified to call myself a lifelong learner and, at this point in my journey, a researcher. My research begins with my interest in the representation of Filipinos in America. I look at how the live display of Filipinos in the […]

From Angst to Advocacy: My Summer with the Michigan Humanities Council

By Emelia Abbe, Doctoral Student, English Language and Literature I’ve never been sold on the idea of a strictly academic career path. As a student in the humanities, I’ve constantly wrestled with how to make sense of the greater effects of my discipline on audiences outside of the university. The circular concept of researching to write articles that other academics then use to write more articles for still more academics is a frustrating one to me — especially when I know that engaging more people outside of universities in humanities […]

“More than a sound, it’s a feel”

By Nicole Navarro, Doctoral Student, Department of History When I was accepted as a Mellon Fellow at the Charles H. Wright Museum in Detroit, I was excited for an opportunity to work in a museum setting. I have a background in museums as I worked for two and a half years at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture prior to beginning my history PhD journey. I was motivated to apply for the Mellon Fellowship, and specifically to the Wright, to get back to museum work and […]

Transferring Skills and Building New Ones at Michigan Publishing

By Catalina Esguerra, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures This past summer, I had the opportunity to work with Michigan Publishing, a part of the UM library system and home to the University of Michigan Press and Michigan Publishing Services. Specifically, my fellowship was with their Editorial and Marketing department. I was tasked with researching competing presses – from their publishing plans to their website platforms – in order to identify Michigan’s strengths and areas for improvement directed at their Marketing and Acquisitions efforts. Before beginning the fellowship, […]

(Re)learning to Write

By Cecilia Morales, Doctoral Candidate in English Given that one of my goals in applying for a Mellon Fellowship was to discover the Ann Arbor community beyond the walls of UofM, my position as the Communications Intern at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF) was the perfect fit. AAACF maintains an extensive network of connections to donors and nonprofits in Washtenaw County, holding endowments that benefit a wide range of individuals and institutions. In short, they know a lot of people, and they have a deep influence on the community. […]