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Engaging the Public: Seven Rules

by Bob Beatty, AASLH on

Steven Lubar, Director of Brown University’s Public Humanities Program has recently posted “Seven Rules for Public Humanists.”

Without losing meaning, one could easily swap the words “Public Humanists” for “Public History” or “History Organizations” or “History Museums,” &c.

Lubar's Twitter profile photo, an adaptation of the famous Charles Willson Peale self-portrait.
Lubar’s Twitter profile photo, an adaptation of the famous Charles Willson Peale self-portrait.

Here are his rules. Read the full post for his take on each of them.

  1. It’s not about you
  2. Be a facilitator and translator as well as an expert
  3. Scholarship starts with public engagement
  4. Communities define community
  5. Collaborate with artists
  6. Think digital
  7. Humanists need practical skills

Steven has articulated some core principles that should drive all of our work.

As my good friend and mentor Kent Whitworth says, “Stewardship is an open hand, not a closed fist. It’s, ‘What are your needs and how can I/we help you get there?'”

What do you think of these principles?

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