The Humanities Center
at Miami University
Humanities and Public Engagement Documentary Unit
The mission of the Documentary Unit of the Humanities and Public Engagement Project is to:
- "Translate" and disseminate humanities work to broader publics;
- Promote new ways of creatively applying knowledge in the humanities to improve the quality of American life and culture;
- Bring together academic practitioners from diverse fields, digital application specialists and members of local communities to explore how the critical insights of the humanities can promote thoughtful discussion and application to real world problems;
- Engage issues, publics, and ways of life that are not a part of the present public space, either because they are not commercially viable or they lack the resources to get a hearing in the public sphere;
- Build, and in some cases rebuild, a public culture that offers a prism through which we see and hear the world in its variety and complexity.
- To use contemporary media forms — particularly the Internet, visual documentary, and radio —
- to translate traditional humanities work for non-academic publics, and
- to create original, interdisciplinary, collaborative projects that advance the ideas and values of the humanities to the broader public;
- To promote the humanities as central to the life of Miami University and the greater community;
- To foster collaboration between diverse areas of the humanities, as well as connections with other units in the Schools of Arts and Science and Art;
- To provide non-specialist access to important new work in the humanities
- To find humanities applications for identifying and solving problems that affect local and global communities;
- To support innovative opportunities for humanities majors to develop and apply knowledge in outside-the-classroom settings.
The Unit would be responsible for developing research projects into public media forms, finding public venues and spaces for these projects, and coordinating projects produced among the research groups.
Specifically, the Unit will produce a variety of media programs:
- Documentary video
- produce digital/video documentaries to visualize various areas of scholarship within the University and to forge interdisciplinary collaborations among humanities faculty
- Radio documentary and public dialogue
- coordinate the use of the university's existing public and online radio space as another public venue for the presentation of audio documentaries, public forums, and community conversations of various humanities projects
- Web-based digital space
- manage a unique space integrating text, photography, art, audio, and video towards rich, interactive multimedia narratives that once again visualize university scholarship and interdisciplinary collaborations. The web space, which would link our four campuses (including Luxembourg), would be an additional venue for digital video and radio production.
This media production would focus on two categories:
- A "visualizing research" project in which traditional humanities oriented research, say a book, monograph, or substantive article would be "translated" into Web, visual documentary, and/or radio versions intended to reach the larger public;
- An existing or original interdisciplinary idea in which some faculty group submits a joint idea that would be produced by the media unit — again in Web-based, radio-based, and visual documentary versions.