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Students in new HEX-U program to create ‘public humanities projects’

December 7, 2016 By Sara Griswold

Undergraduates who enroll in a new program will design and undertake “public humanities projects” to meet the needs of the local community.

The Public Humanities Exchange for Undergraduates (HEX-U) will begin in spring 2017 at the Center for the Humanities.  A similar program for graduate students has been available for about a decade, and a very generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation allows it to be expanded to undergraduates.

“We are hoping that students will look around Dane County for any unmet or under-met needs of the community, and be inspired by their study of the humanities to design “public humanities” projects that engage with those community needs through humanities lenses and methods,” says Program Coordinator Jamila Siddiqui.

When accepted into the program, scholars receive training, mentoring and funding to support the planning and implementation of their creative, humanities-based community project that is conducted in partnership with a Dane County organization. Financial support comes in the form of a $600 stipend award per project; each project can receive up to an additional $2,000 for project expenses.

“This is the first year that the Center for the Humanities is opening up this opportunity to undergraduate students,” Siddiqui says.

All projects must be designed to benefit the student and community partner. Projects may be focused on providing services, creating programs, developing relationships and networks, etc.
“Students can propose projects on their own or as a team of students,” Siddiqui said. “Projects might be focused on (but are not limited to) developing relationships, cultivating and sharing perspectives, creating programs and guides, or providing services. This is intentionally broad as we want students to be creative.”

Undergraduates with a background in humanities are welcome to apply. Applications are due at 5 p.m. on Jan. 23. Learn more about how to apply for the program here.

Those with questions on the program should contact Jamila Siddiqui at or (608)262-8331.