Public Humanities at WesternWestern Arts and Humanities

Upcoming Events

Becoming a public scholar: Community engagement and the future of the humanities

Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences
Regina, Saskatchawan
May 28, 2018 from 9-11 AM

What role does public scholarship have to play in the arts and humanities disciplines today? During a time of change and crisis for higher education, how can scholars in the arts and humanities disciplines explore new spaces of engagement for our research, teaching, creative work, or even activism? How can we translate our field scholarship into innovative forms of engagement that reach a broader audience within and beyond the university, whether this takes the form of new digital platforms, experiential learning, campus-community collaborations, public lectures and writing, or other forms of artistic creation? How, in short, will we advance the “civic turn” currently taking hold in higher education across Canada, the US, and beyond?

This Congress-sponsored workshop, “Becoming a Public Scholar,” will take up these challenges and opportunities by highlighting new possibilities for presenting dynamic, publicly engaged scholarship to broader audiences, particularly in cases where academic research can help foster public debate, policy development, community engagement, and a wider appreciation of the value of the humanities. Featuring emerging and established scholars, “Becoming a Public Scholar” will offer new perspectives on the growing field of the public humanities in Canada and beyond. Our 2-hour workshop will be divided into two parts. We will begin with short presentations by an expert panel of established scholars who will highlight new ways to include publicly engaged forms of scholarship as part of our research programs. During the second part of our session, participants will have the unique opportunity of working in smaller groups with our expert facilitators to discuss the place of community engagement in their research, and to identify strategies that can help take their research public. The workshop’s primary objective is to give all participants the chance to develop at least one new idea they can take away to help engage broader audiences with their research and teaching. In partnership with Public Humanities (Western University) and TRaCE (McGill University).

Speakers: Sandra Lapointe, Associate Professor of Philosophy/President and Chair, McMaster University/ The Collaborative Inc.; Paul Yachnin, Tomlinson Professor of Shakespeare Studies at McGill University / Director, TRaCE Project; Thomas Peace, Assistant Professor of History, Huron University College / Editor, Active History; Joshua Lambier, PhD Candidate and Director of the Public Humanities at Western University



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This event is free and open to campus and community.

Have you or anyone you know experienced chronic or acute illness? How does the art of storytelling work to improve health care education and the experience of patient care? In what ways are doctors, patients and other health professionals storytellers? How can researchers, educators, students, and members of the greater public work together to produce compassionate approaches to patient-centred care?

Stories of Health and Illness at Western invites members of the public, both campus and community, to join us to experience the stories of people living with illness. Through stories shared by participants who have dealt with chronic or acute conditions, audience members will hear first-hand accounts of what is important to patients throughout their health care experience. Following each story, we will invite the audience to reflect on their experience of each narrative and engage in an open dialogue with our storytellers.

Our moderator for the evening will be Dr. Shannon Arntfield, Professor of Obstetrics-Gynaecology at the Schulich School Medicine & Dentistry and Director of the Narrative Medicine Initiative at Western University. 

This event will be videotaped for educational purposes.

Thank you to our partners: Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry - Western University, the Arts and Humanities at Western, The Public Humanities at Western, the London Public Library, Faculty of Health Science, Fanshawe's School of Nursing, and the Narrative Medicine Initiative.

All questions can be sent to