The North Eastern Public Humanities Consortium (NEPH) fosters public projects animated by humanistic inquiry in support of art, culture, history, and education for a more democratic society. Linking eleven diverse institutions across the region (Bard Graduate Center, Brown, Columbia, CUNY Grad Center, Harvard, Lehigh, New York University, Rutgers—Newark, University of Massachusetts Boston, Tufts University, University of Delaware and Yale), the consortium provides opportunities for faculty, students, professionals, and community members to build partnerships and enhance the relationship between liberal arts and the public through public humanities practices such as historic preservation, oral history, material culture, curation and exhibition, documentary work, digital humanities, public art, cultural heritage, and more. Institutional members of the consortium are committed to mutually engaged cooperation toward the following ends:
- Knowledge production and programming geared toward broad publics;
- Collaborative research and teaching—sharing resources, knowledge, and strategies across disciplinary and institutional divides;
- Supporting graduate students and early career scholars who participate in public intellectual work;
- Community engagement;
- Transformative, praxis-based pedagogy for the production of a more just and equitable future.
The consortium provides an innovative structure for sharing ideas, determining best practices, and strategizing funding and resources. NEPH aims to serve as a powerful advocate for the importance of public humanities both within our institutions and across the region.
In the fall of 2014, Yale University’s Public Humanities Working Group, led by graduate students Najwa Mayer and Lauren Tilton, met with Professor Matthew Jacobson to discuss a conference. In conversations to articulate the event’s themes and goals, a new direction was forged. Creating formal partnerships across institutions offered the best means to collaborate across institutions in theorizing and practicing public humanities. Building off of year’s of informal conversations across programs in the Northeast and momentum at Yale, the North East Public Humanities Symposium was held in April 2015. The result of the three day gathering was the North East Public Humanities Consortium.