The Institute for Humanities engages in the Community in three ways.

First, the continuing program “Conversations with a Humanist”, which links a Mississippi State Scholar with a current event, issue, question, or concept that falls within their area of expertise. The scholar then spends about ten to fifteen minutes discussing the topic with a fellow specialist, then takes questions from the audience. These conversations are an opportunity for people to ask questions about difficult or complex topics and engage with an expert and other curious people like themselves. All programs are free and open to the public.

Second, each year the Institute co-hosts a Writer in Resident with the Department of English, who engages in at least two public events.

Third, in our “Public Humanities Programs”, the Institute Humanities encourages members of our community to use the humanities to amplify their voices. This includes poetry workshops with the afterschool children and adult learners at the J.L. King Center.

Background Image Alternative Text: Presenter before projection screen
Background Image Alternative Text: Rita Dove at podium

Humanities program

Most of our public humanities outreach thus far has involved the J.L. King Center.  Through poetry workshops, the adult learners produced their own volume of poetry, “The King’s Speech”.

The Institute has also conducted several poetry workshops with the after school kids and summer campers at the King Center to produce lots of poetry, including several poems based on Ross Gay’s Sorrow is Not My Name.