How do we achieve meaningful public discourse in an increasingly divisive culture? This Project, with the support of a $1 million Tier 1 Academic Vision Grant from UConn, aims to understand the nature of such discourse, the historical and sociological barriers that preclude its realization, and the personal and cultural conditions—such as open-mindedness and tolerance—that must be present in order for it to flourish. It aims not only to address the sources of our cultural division, but to do something about it: to combine academic research and community engagement toward the goal of replacing partisan acrimony with constructive debate. In so doing, the project will build on UConn’s reputation as a center of excellence for interdisciplinary work on these topics, and establish the Humanities Institute as a preeminent leader in both public and digital humanities research.
The Humanities Institute’s Public Discourse Project (PDP) will include a grant competition, host a series of workshops and conferences, expand the Institute’s current
Fellowship Program, and construct an international research and engagement network. Together with additional anticipated funding from the Mellon Foundation, and in
partnership with faculty from UConn Digital Media and Design, it will create a dynamic digital interface for the presentation of the project’s research. The Project itself will
produce basic research, support partnerships with think tanks and policy institutes, and promote civic and educational engagement. PDP will therefore act as a platform for
attracting further significant funding to the Humanities Institute and to the humanities generally at UConn.
For further information see funding opportunities.