University of Virginia, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

The Humanities and Everyday Life: An afternoon of celebrating the Public Humanities

April 13, 2018

The Humanities and Everyday Life

An afternoon of celebrating the Public Humanities


Inflammatory Objects: What We Keep and Why

2:00-3:30pmFriday April 13

Wilson 142


The Art in Public Working Group invites you to participate in a panel and discussion

that will explore the public and private lives of racially and/or politically charged objects, as well as the practices surrounding their collection, curation, and exhibition. The panel will consist of several short presentations about specific objects and practices meant to provoke a lively discussion amongst panelists and participants. The panel will be followed by coffee and snacks.


Panelists include:

Molly Schwartzburg (Special Collections)

Lara Musser (English)

Kelli Shermeyer (English)

Catherine Addington (Spanish)

Benjamin Romero Salado (Spanish)

Pasuth Thothaveesansuk (History and Statistics)


Coffee Break and Meet the Lab

3:30-4:30pmFriday April 13

Wilson 142


The IHGC Graduate Student Public Humanities Lab invites you to grab a snack and meet the 2017-2018 lab members. At 4:00pm there will be a brief reporting session where attendees can learn about the initiatives accomplished by this year’s working groups and learn about how they can apply to the lab for the 2018-2019 academic year.


The Humanities and Everyday Life: An Open Forum with Michael Levenson

4:30-5:30pmFriday April 13

Wilson 142


The IHGC Public Humanities Lab concludes the afternoon with an open discussion of Professor Michael Levenson's book The Humanities and Everyday Life (Oxford 2017). The book investigates the many points of contact and exchange between the academic humanities and its "everyday" others: Wikipedia entry editing, family genealogy, and museum-going, for example. Illuminating their shared and divergent histories, the book invites us to explore the fecundity of these others in order to shed light on the basic questions driving humanities research.


In Chapter 5, "Places to Think," Professor Levenson addresses the popularity of personal collecting and museum-making. Our discussion will begin by responding to the presentations given earlier in the afternoon on the panel "Inflammatory Objects." Collecting, preserving, and remembering are deeply humanistic acts, but they often create as many problems as they attempt to solve. Together, we'll ask how the academic humanities can inform such practices and what they tell us about the organization of knowledge on highly local, personal scales. We will also focus on chapter 3, which considers the role of "Experts and Expertise" in everyday life.


The first fifteen participants to sign up for the discussion will receive a free copy of Professor Levenson's book. Participants are free to read and raise questions or comments about other parts of the book; this brief description is but a starting point.


Please e-mail DeVan Ard (dda8xx) with questions or if you'd like to be part of the discussion.


Closing Reception


Wilson 117 and Wilson Lobby


All are welcome!

Homer Statue
Wilson 142
2:00 pm - 6:30 pm