The “commons” cultivated by the Humanities Commons not only describes the space shared by our diverse departments and programs (on the model of rooms ringing a courtyard), but also the extension of that space beyond the School and the campus (on the model of roads and bridges linking up discrete locales). The Humanities Commons encourages the exchange of ideas and perspectives among faculty and graduate student researchers and a range of publics. Ideally such exchange is a two-way street, in which the translation of academic scholarship into concepts and formats that resonate for non-academic audiences also renders that scholarship more precise, urgent, lively, and various. Bringing community members onto campus presents one kind of opportunity for public work; taking our knowledge, skills, and research questions into the community, whether to schools, libraries, museums, or community centers, is another. Co-teaching, co-learning, and co-creating with humanities advocates, culture makers, knowledge workers and citizen-scholars in other institutions and settings can stimulate thinking and generate new lines of inquiry for all participants. The Commons is available to support groups and individuals in the School interested in creating programs and partnerships that build visibility for humanities research and strengthen scholarship through the testing ground provided by a wider connectivity.
image: Jacob Lawrence, Library, 1960 (detail). ARTstor Image ID: LARRY_QUALLS_1039540438.
The Humanities Core Course, with the 2014-2015 them of War, is collaborating with the Santa Ana Public Library and the Orange County Public Library, which are participating in the 2014 Cal Reads War Comes Home program. The Core Course and the libraries are cross-promoting lectures, books discussions and other programs to both the UCI and library communities.
The Vietnamese American Oral History Project (VAOHP) at the University of California, Irvine actively assembles, preserves, and disseminates the life stories of Vietnamese Americans in Southern California. The project contributes to expanding archives on Vietnamese Americans with the primary goal of capturing first generation stories for students, researchers, and the community.