Involving Scholars in Humanities Programs for the Public
The following suggestions address ways to identify, contact, and involve humanities scholars in a range of public programming projects.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SCHOLARS
The National Endowment for the Humanities funds projects grounded in sound humanities research. Humanities advisers will strengthen the intellectual substance of a project and ensure its significance to the humanities—qualities essential for successful applications.
WHEN TO CONTACT HUMANITIES ADVISERS
Include humanities scholars as early as possible in the proposal development process. Remember, your application must reveal the merit and appeal of the topic for general audiences, as well as the quality and the depth of scholarship. Early involvement of scholars will ensure that these significant qualities are at the heart of your project.
IDENTIFYING SCHOLARS FOR A PROJECT
Start Locally/Think Nationally
Start by contacting a nearby college or university academic department. Members of the institution's faculty may be able to suggest scholars on campus or at other universities. Keep in mind that the most appropriate scholars for your project may be located at universities throughout the country.
- The public relations office at most colleges and universities maintains a list of faculty available for public consultation.
- Call your State Humanities Council, which regularly works with scholars in your area. A directory of State Humanities Councils is available at http://www.neh.gov/whoweare/statecouncils.html .
Use the World Wide Web as a Resource
- If you are affiliated with a college or university, e-mail faculty members with a description of the proposed project and seek assistance from resident scholars.
- Consult the Web sites of colleges and universities. Many institutions maintain a
directory of humanities faculty, which may even include a faculty member's areas of research and teaching expertise.
- Send a request for information to the editors of H-Net, the humanities online discussion network for humanities scholars. H-Net is at http://h-net.msu.edu .
Added Resources with Links to Multiple Sites Include:
Humanities Web Pages
- African American Link Page: http://home.earthlink.net/%7Eanthony/africa.html 
- American Anthropological Association: http://www.aaanet.org 
- American Association of Museums: http://www.aam-us.org 
- American Council of Learned Societies: http://www.acls.org 
- American Historical Association: http://www.theaha.org 
- American Philosophical Association: http://www.apaonline.org/ 
- American Studies Association: http://www.georgetown.edu/crossroads/asainfo.html 
- College Art Association: http://www.collegeart.org 
- Council of Public History: http://ncph.org/home.html 
- H-Net Humanities and Social Sciences Online: http://www2.h-net.msu.edu 
- Modern Language Association: http://www.mla.org 
- National Endowment for the Humanities: http://www.neh.gov 
- Oral History Association: http://omega.dickinson.edu/organizations/oha/ 
- Organization of American Historians: http://www.oah.org/ 
- Society for American Archaeology: http://www.saa.org 
- Society of American Archivists: http://www.archivists.org 
- Society for Cinema and Media Studies: http://www.cinemastudies.org 
ONGOING CONTRIBUTIONS OF SCHOLARS TO A PROJECT
Successful proposals employ the insights of the humanities to enhance an applicant's own contributions. We seek collaborative efforts, with partners blending their talents and expertise into the final product. Consequently, scholars should be involved throughout the course of the project, increasing its quality and collaborative coherence. Take their suggestions seriously, and give them an opportunity to read and comment on all aspects of a project. If possible, meet in person to discuss the project and its objectives.