In 2018, The Graduate Center, CUNY received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation focused on transforming doctoral education in the humanities for the public good. As part of this initiative, the PublicsLab distributes annual Doctoral Curriculum Enhancement Grants (DCEGs). In the 2019–2020 academic year, four DCEGs were given to support the development and implementation of new curricular methods and strategies that approach the following question: “How can our program support graduate students in doing public scholarship and preparing for careers both inside and outside the academy?” LAILaC is one of the awardees of this year’s grants.
The Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures (LAILaC) department will explore making structural changes in the Ph.D. program’s curriculum by inviting external experts in public humanities to help leverage existing possibilities that students, faculty, and staff already embody. This will serve as a starting point for graduate students to consider their role as scholars, for faculty to re-imagine their teaching, assessment and mentoring, and for staff to help the program overcome the administrative obstacles they might encounter in the near future.
Four visitors during the 2020-2021 academic year will help students to translate their research interests and professional skills into public-facing scholarly projects as well as to explore non-academic professional positions with which their program has natural affinities. Outside experts will also help faculty members to reflect on their teaching, assessment, and mentoring in order to restructure courses, examinations, and dissertations progressively into new models and possibilities. This will be accomplished through a series of internal workshops (two by each visiting expert) for students and faculty, as well as public events (one by each visiting expert) to be included as part of LAILaC’s regularly programmed colloquia.