Guide to Issues in Humanities Advocacy

Gathered here are bibliographies compiled by 4Humanities collective members and local chapters intended to provide background on public discourse in the humanities, including definitions of the humanities, resources on the humanities “crisis,” emerging models for humanities scholarship and pedagogy, framing public debates on the humanities, and more.

Table of Contents

Core Issues in Public Discourse on the Humanities

1) The so-called “crisis” of the humanities (Fish, Davidson)

2) Defining the Humanities Today

3) Emerging models for the Humanities of the present-future (Davidson-Goldberg, Shanks)

4) Framing public discourse

  • Ganz, Marshall. “The Power of Story in Social Movements.” Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association. August 2001.
  • Lakoff, George. “Framing 101: How to take back Public Discourse.” Don’t Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate. White River, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2004.
  • Mooney, Chris. “The Science of Why We Don’t Believe in Science.” Mother Jones, May/June 2011.
  • Rifkin, Jeremy. “The Empathic Civilisation.” RSA Animate. May 6, 2010.

Theory and Practice of Activism

Key readings marked with asterisks: ***

1) Theoretical & Practical readings (all optional)

  • ***Adler-Kassner, Linda. “Changing Conversations about Writing and Writers.” The Activist WPA, 85-127. Logan: USUP, 2008. (Full book online)
  • ***Adler-Kassner, Linda. “Taking Action to Change Stories.” The Activist WPA, 128-163. Logan: USUP, 2008. (Full book online)
  • ***Adler-Kassner, Linda and Peggy O’Neill. “Framing (and) American Education.” Reframing Writing Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning, 13-39. Logan, Utah State UP, 2010.
  • ***Earl, Jennifer, and Katrina Kimport. Digitally Enabled Social Change: Activism in the Internet Age. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2011.

2) Resources for reframing education – These readings focus on education (generally K-12 education) as a whole. However, they are very oriented toward developing messages about education. Additionally, they do an excellent job identifying the larger frames that surround discussions about education P-16. This means that while they do not directly address the humanities per se, they do suggest the broader frames in which any discussions about the humanities (at whatever level) occur. [Most of these readings are tools developed by The Frameworks Institute for reframing education (K-12). One document comes from the SPIN (Strategic Press Information Network) Project; please note the caveats associated with that document (which will guide the focus for reading).]

  • ***Resources from The Frameworks Institute Education Reform Toolkit
    • “Education Toolkit: Talking Points.” The FrameWorks Institute, 2010.
    • “Education Reform Toolkit: Frequently Asked Questions.” The FrameWorks Institute, 2010.
    • “You Say/They Think: Handling competing frames.” The FrameWorks Institute, 2010.
  • ***”Communication Strategies.” National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the Council of Writing Program Administrators (CWPA), 2011.
  • ***”Strategic Communication Planning.” The SPIN Project, 2005.

Optional additional resources for reframing:

3) Documents intended to reframe educational issues (all optional) – These are position papers, research reports, policy statements, and other materials that have been developed as a result of reframing initiatives in composition/writing and English Language Arts. Many are focused on K-12 learning.

4) The Dominant Frame – These are documents (and links to additional materials) that illustrate the dominant frame surrounding discussions about education. While they are primarily focused on K-12, the frame here also surrounds and extends to postsecondary education/discussions about the humanities.

If you’d like to see the current manifestation of this agenda (optional):

Creating a Humanities Advocacy Media Plan

1) Principles for an overall media strategy

  • Liu, Alan. Excerpt from “Where is Cultural Studies in the Digital Humanities?” (pages 495-98) []. In Debates in the Digital Humanities. Ed. Matthew K. Gold. U. Minnesota Press, forthcoming 2012.
  • Liu, Alan. “Creating a Humanities Advocacy Media Plan” (Prezi presentation). How to navigate the Prezi presentation in your browser: The Prezi will appear in your web browser. Click the arrows to move forward or back along the path of the presentation. Drag with your mouse to move around any particular screen view. You can also zoom in and out. When you see a Web link (a URL), you can click on it to open it in another browser tab or window.
  • Earl, Jennifer, and Katrina Kimport. Digitally Enabled Social Change: Activism in the Internet Age. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2011.
  • Joyce, Mary, ed. Digital Activism Decoded: The New Mechanics of Change. New York: International Debate Education Association, 2010. (Availabile online as PDF)

2) Historical & Current Paradigms of Advocacy IT

3) Examples of IT Platforms & Tools That Can Be Used for Advocacy

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