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Monday, September 17, 2007

Fellowship for the Study of the Public History of Slavery

Providence, RI - September 17, 2007 - The John Nicholas Brown Center announces a new fellowship for students seeking an M.A. in public humanities who are interested in working in museums and other cultural institutions on issues related to the history and legacy of slavery.
Fellowship recipients will be selected based on relevant experience in museums and cultural institutions, academic coursework on related topics, and an essay that outlines their experience and interest in this area of work. Successful applicants will receive a fellowship that covers tuition, stipend, and fees for the two years it takes to complete the M.A. in public humanities at Brown. Through a partnership with the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, the Center will coordinate paid internships for public humanities students. The fellowship especially seeks to prepare future professionals who can lead museums and cultural institutions to address controversial issues and initiate public discussions about slavery, retrospective justice, and the impact of the past on American culture.

The Center's fellowship program connects to Brown University's ongoing examination of the University's historic ties to the slave trade. This initiative began in 2003 with the appointment of the Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice, charged with studying the impact of the slave trade on the University and recommending institutional responses to the continuing legacy of slavery at Brown and in American society. Following the Committee's recommendations, Brown University has supported efforts to preserve and memorialize the history of slavery and advance the discussion of retrospective justice within museums, libraries, and historic sites.

About the M.A. in Public Humanities
at Brown University

The public humanities program at Brown University combines courses in humanities disciplines with hands-on learning. Students develop expertise in history, literature, archaeology, anthropology, media and performance, public policy, or art history; knowledge of the history, theory, and methods of the public humanities; and the practical skills to handle museum artifacts, create exhibits or Web sites, conduct oral histories, undertake historic preservation projects, and manage cultural programs. By combining the ideas and traditions of diverse communities with the methods and approaches of humanities scholars, students in the M.A. program broaden the ways that Americans understand their cultural heritage.

Students complete two years of courses, including three required classes and nine elective courses. In addition, students undertake two practicums, gaining professional experience by working in cultural institutions. In past years, students have completed practicums at museums (including the Smithsonian, Baseball Hall of Fame, and International Folk Art Museum), local historical societies, the National Park Service, and Providence's New Urban Arts program. Partial fellowships are available to most students in the program, in addition to financial support to attend workshops and conferences and for some student practicums.

The John Nicholas Brown Center supports the Department of American Civilization's M.A. in public humanities with a variety of programs, lectures, and workshops. In the Carriage House Gallery, students experiment with a variety of exhibit styles and techniques. Center staff and students work with cultural organizations and museums across the U.S. to enhance and expand their programs. Internationally, the Center is developing a partnership with the cultural heritage and management programs at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

For more information

M.A. program
Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice

For more information about the public humanities program, see jnbc. Applications for admission to the M.A. in public humanities are due by January 1, 2008. Application forms are available at:

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