Public Scholarship

The IAS serves as a home for numerous publicly-engaged initiatives that operate within and beyond the academy. We operate an online journal, two grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (one led by the IAS on environment and community, and a second administered by the IAS on transformational decolonial and racial justice), as well as a variety of exhibits and displays in IAS offices and the Northrop Gallery. Our public scholarship initiatives are interdisciplinary in nature, and a mix of projects led by the IAS, or in conjunction with other units. Our public scholarship is done with the community rather than for the community. We view this as an important distinction in public scholarship, which includes a range of approaches.

Open Rivers: Rethinking Water, Place, and Community is a journal of public scholarship that recognizes rivers as a space for timely and critical conversations about the intersections between biophysical systems and human systems. 

Our Mellon-funded projects include The Environmental Stewardship, Place, and Community Initiative, and Minnesota Transform. The Environmental Stewardship, Place, and Community Initiative amplifies efforts to decolonize our University and serve as a national model in the humanities by establishing a systematic approach for integrating Indigenous ways of knowing and research methodologies in humanities scholarship. Minnesota Transform will collaborate with Black, Indigenous, immigrant, and refugee communities on a range of public humanities projects to pave the way for redress and build the University’s capacity to be a site of racial justice. 

Our public offices and building spaces at Northrop also offer us the opportunity to showcase a range of public exhibits curated by faculty, staff, and students that can change frequently to reflect work connected to the IAS, or currently happening at the University.