Reading List

This list draws upon scholars throughout and beyond Georgetown to compile a directory of noteworthy resources on the role of the humanities, and humanities education, in today’s interdisciplinary world, and the humanities career landscape beyond academia, as well as a critique of current doctoral education and concrete recommendations for the revision of doctoral programs.

  • Warner, Michael. “Publics and Counterpublics.” Public and Counterpublics. (2002): 65–124.
  • Arendt, Hannah. “Excerpt from The Human Condition.” pp. 93–113. From The Idea of the Public Sphere: A Reader, Section III: The Public Sphere Rediscovered edited by Jostein Gripsrud, Hallvard Moe, Anders Molander, and Graham Murdoe, 2010.
  • Habermas, Jürgen. “The Public Sphere: An Encyclopedia Article.” pp. 114–120. From The Idea of the Public Sphere: A Reader, Section III: The Public Sphere Rediscovered edited by Jostein Gripsrud, Hallvard Moe, Anders Molander, and Graham Murdoe, 2010.
  • Fraser, Nancy. “Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy.” pp. 127–148. From The Idea of the Public Sphere: A Reader, Section III: The Public Sphere Rediscovered edited by Jostein Gripsrud, Hallvard Moe, Anders Molander, and Graham Murdoe, 2010.

  • Bennett, Jane. The Enchantment of Modern Life: Attachments, Crossings, and Ethics. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016, pp. 3–16; 159-174.
  • Sommer, Doris. The Work of Art in the World. Civic Agency and Public Humanities. Durham: Duke University Press, 2014. pp. 3–15; pp. 16–80.
  • Jay, Gregory. “The Engaged Humanities: Principles and Practices of Public Scholarship and Teaching” (2010). Imagining America. 15.
  • Humanities & Public Life Book Series.
  • Public: A Journal of Imagining America.
  • The Inclusive Historian’s Handbook.
  • Sommer, L. K., & Klöckner, C. A. (2021). “Does activist art have the capacity to raise awareness in audiences?—A study on climate change art at the ArtCOP21 event in Paris.Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 15(1), 60–75.
    The goal of this study was to investigate whether activist art can have a stimulating psychological effect on its spectators. This question is examined in art specifically related to climate change. With the aim of inspiring public engagement and communicating environmental issues to spark a climate change movement, ArtCOP21 is a global festival that took place simultaneously to the United Nations climate change negotiations (Conference of the Parties [COP21]) 2015 in Paris. Eight hundred seventy-four spectators responded to a questionnaire on their perception of 37 selected artworks. In an explorative study using cluster analysis, characteristics of the artworks were connected with emotional and cognitive audience responses. The analysis of the artworks assigned them to four clusters: “the comforting utopia,” “the challenging dystopia,” “the mediocre mythology,” and “the awesome solution.” As suggested by the name, the “awesome solution” was the cluster of artworks that caused the highest emotional and cognitive activation. Artists and environmental campaigners can use the commonalities of the artworks in this cluster in their own creative work and contribute to our understanding of the impact of activist art. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Forthcoming: The Routledge Companion to Publicly Engaged Humanities Scholarship edited by Michelle May-Curry and Daniel Fisher, from the National Humanities Alliance.