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The Humanities Edge invites full-time Humanities faculty to apply to present in a Faculty Development Seminar. The theme is University-Community Partnerships.

The seminar, organized by Dr. Ana Luszczynska, Chairperson of the Department of English, Florida International University, will be held at FIU on Thursday, January 20, 2022 from 9 am to 2 pm.

Over the past three decades, colleges and universities have increasingly understood themselves as responsible to the communities in which they exist.  What began as a murmur has evolved into a full-on movement of civic engagement and social responsibility with a corresponding lexicon that includes terms such as “service learning” and “community-based research.”  As the “Field Guide for University-Community Partnerships”1 states, “Colleges and Universities are uniquely positioned to make lasting contributions to local problem-solving efforts, and they are at the forefront of pioneering endeavors in cities across the country.” 

 Perhaps the most concrete marker of this evolution of the conception of the University lies in the Carnegie Classification Elective on Community Engagement which emerged in the mid 2000’s.  The leadership communities of colleges and universities took note. As of 2019, 74% of universities had mission statements with some commitment to civic engagement and 95% a central office devoted to meeting it.  Indeed, FIU’s own community engagement efforts have earned us the Carnegie Classification for Engagement.    

This one-day seminar hosted by FIU seeks 300-word proposals from humanities faculty for presentations on their own initiatives involving University-Community partnerships.  Initiatives may be existing or in conceptual stages and might address (but not be limited to) the following questions and concerns:  

  1. What social issue is your project intends to address?
  2. How have humanities sensibilities and orientations contributed to the project (conceptually, practically, or both)?
  3. In what ways, if any, have students contributed to the initiative?
  4. In what ways have you ensured democratic and mutually respectful dynamics between the University and community entity or entities with which you are engaged?
  5. How do you imagine that the initiative could be sustained and thus have the potential for long-term impact? 
  6. For those who have existing projects, what advice would you give to faculty in the conceptual stages? 

From the submitted proposals, eight will be chosen to present at the seminar.  Each presenter will deliver a ten-minute, three-four-slide presentation and will receive a $300 stipend for their participation.  The application is open to all full-time faculty at MDC and FIU working in Humanities disciplines, including the digital humanities, art and art history, English, philosophy, modern languages, and gender and African and African Diaspora studies.    

Additionally, there will be a Keynote address presented by the indefatigable Kathie Klarreich, the founder and director of the Exchange for Change (E4C) program for prison education.  E4C has been successfully partnering with FIU English, Miami Dade College, and the University of Miami since 2014.  Kathie will review best practices for the creation and maintenance of productive and impactful University/Community partnerships from the lens of her successful leadership of Exchange for Change.    

The application deadline has been extended through Friday, December 3, 2021.

[1] “The Field Guide for Urban-University Partnerships” is published by the Thriving Cities Lab at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia.  

Apply to the University-Community Partnership seminar today!