ACLS President Joy Connolly statements monthly messages to the ACLS Community and official statements on urgent matters in higher education and humanistic scholarship.

  • November 2021
    My recent talk at the Charleston Conference, a gathering of librarians, publishers, and consultants, was entitled “Think Different.” It focused on how libraries and publishers, particularly at university presses, could contribute to the conversations many research universities and selective liberal arts colleges are having about broadening the scope, form, and impact of humanistic scholarship today. In it, I was able to highlight the need for flexible approaches in defining what counts in the production and circulation of knowledge, so that we can welcome and reward work that appears in a variety of formats and that speaks to a variety of audiences.
  • October 2021
    “The Sustaining Public Engagement Grants, made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, will support programs based in accredited US colleges and universities that are devoted bringing academics together with people beyond academia for the co-creation of knowledge…What do we mean by the term “co-creation”? For us, its use signals that we do not define “public engagement” as scholars sharing their expertise with non-academics.
  • September 2021
    “As the fall 2021 semester gets underway, here at ACLS we are hearing that students, faculty, and staff are excited but weighed down by Zoom exhaustion, confusion regarding policies on vaccines and masks, and other challenges resulting from the pandemic. This burden of extra worry is likely to impede practical thinking about how to deal with COVID’s longer-term consequences. For this reason, my mind turns to everyday tactics.”
  • August 2021
    “Right now as a timely moment to think about the conventional methods and modes of scholarly practice: how we choose research topics, collect evidence, and make arguments and counter-arguments – and how we pass these choices onto the next generation.”
  • July 2021
    “Followers of ACLS will know that much of our own work involves convening scholars at every career stage from many different colleges and universities and in jobs beyond academia. Work is a standout theme in our convenings this year – specifically the mismatch between the work done by faculty and doctoral students and the reward systems in place at many of the colleges and universities that employ them.”
  • June 2021
    “Amazing work is afoot that builds on the effort and imagination of scholars over decades. Interdisciplinary work in environmental humanities, public humanities and public social science, medical humanities, and the study of monuments and cultural heritage; sustained efforts by scholars in disciplines steeped in tradition to connect with the students and publics of today; substantive changes to doctoral education that increase diversity, improve advising, and embrace career diversity; and much, much more.”
  • May 2021
    “During this busy spring we presented our first fully virtual Annual Meeting, welcomed three new member societies to ACLS, joined important conversations about the future of the academy through our Design Workshop and Intention Foundry, and, of course, presented new cohorts of outstanding scholars with fellowship and grant awards supporting their work.”
It is the function of the humanities and social sciences to make the heritage of human creativity past and present meaningful today and for the future. The humanities and social sciences will not thrive unless they reflect the diversity of the experiences they seek to interpret. ACLS President Joy Connolly, September 2019

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