Engaged Humanities Initiative Involves English Faculty and Grad Students

The English Department is partnering with the Provost and the Institute for the Humanities to bring humanities research to the general education curriculum at UIC through the Engaged Humanities Initiative (EHI). Thanks to generous grant funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, UIC is piloting a program in which undergraduate students take humanities-focused courses throughout their four years and receive funding to pursue research projects over the summer.

English PhD students Corbin Hiday and Margaux Brown are currently teaching HUM 100 writing workshop sections in collaboration with faculty in Art History (Dr. Omur Harmansah) and Anthropology (Dr. Molly Doane) who teach the concomitant HUM 101 lecture sections. Corbin and Margaux were also part of summer planning meetings to pilot this program to the first cohort of undergraduate students.

This spring, Dr. Rachel Havrelock (who also directs the Freshwater Lab at UIC) and PhD student Kathleen Blackburn will lead a course on food production and Dr. Nadine Naber (Global Asian Studies) and PhD student Cecilia Villarruel will lead a course on race and immigration.

HUM 101 and HUM 100 introduce undergraduates to humanities research projects, engage them more deeply with their cohort, and allow them to get to know Chicago better through field tips to various locations. The courses also fulfill both ENGL 161 and the Individual and the Society general education requirements.

English PhD students are uniquely positioned to participate in EHI as writing workshop leaders, as Corbin, Margaux, Kathleen, and Cecy all have, enhancing their teaching ability and giving them valuable experience working on a prestigious grant-funded project with faculty across disciplines.

English faculty will soon be invited to propose course topics for the 2019-2020 academic year, including first-year courses like those above and second year seminars for students who choose to continue in the initiative after their first year.

The official EHI flyer for Spring 2019.