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John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage

The John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage supports and strengthens the work of arts and cultural organizations that strive to preserve, interpret, and make the humanities meaningful and accessible.  We do this through teaching, research and public engagement initiatives that connect individuals and communities to art, history, and culture.  The Center offers innovative hands-on projects and educational programs, including professional development workshops and an Masters degree program, that help practitioners, students, and scholars who want to better understand and contribute to a vibrant culture.

The A.M. Program in Public Humanities

The Center for Public Humanities administers the master's program in Public Humanities, degree granted by the department of American Studies.  This program offers a dynamic interdisciplinary opportunity for students interested in careers in museums, historical societies, cultural planning agencies, heritage tourism, historic preservation, and community arts programs.

For more information regarding admission and program requirements please visit:

Public Humanities Courses

The Center lists courses under the American Studies rubric: AMST.   Our flexible program draws on Brown University's open curriculum.  Elective courses can be selected from approved 1000 and 2000 level courses offered at Brown or RISD.  The disciplinary field or departments are not limited to Public Humanities/American Studies course offerings sponsored by the Center for Public Humanities, list as follows:

AMST 1550 Methods in Public Humanities
AMST 1903G Oral History and Community Memory
AMST 1903Z Shrine, House or Home: Rethinking the House Museum Paradigm
AMST 1904I Art/Place
AMST 1904L Cultural Heritage, Curation and Creativity
AMST 1904R New Narratives, New Media, New Museums
AMST 1904U Museum Collecting and Collections
AMST 2220D Museums in Their Communities
AMST 2540Methods in Public Humanities *required for the A.M.
AMST 2650 Introduction to Public Humanities*required for the A.M.
AMST 2651 The Responsive Museum
AMST 2652 Community Documentary and Storytelling
AMST 2653 Public Art: History, Theory, and Practice
AMST 2656 Cultural Policy Planning
AMST 2658 Releasing the Imagination in Public Humanities Practice
AMST 2660 Projects in Public Humanities
AMST 2680 Semester Practicum in Public Humanities*required for the A.M.
AMST 2690 Management of Cultural Institutions
AMST 2691 Poetry in Service to Schools and the Community
AMST 2693 Community Arts with Young People
AMST 2695 Museum as Idea
AMST 2697 Museum Interpretation Practices
AMST 2699 Digital Storytelling

Public Humanities Faculty

The Center appoints visiting faculty to teach Public Humanities curriculum  via the Department of American Studies.   

For more information on the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities & Cultural Heritage, our current courses, faculty, events, exhibits, and initiatives, please visit our website