Associate Professor Ralina Joseph received a Certificate in Public Scholarship (CPS) course development grant from the Simpson Center for the Humanities this year, to explore the possibilities for further project-based collaboration between her Black Cultural Studies classes and the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM).
The Certificate in Public Scholarship is piloting course development grants to promote opportunities for its graduate fellows and faculty to collaborate with each other and with partner organizations. The Certificate currently enrolls 26 graduate students and draws on an advising network of 40 faculty across the humanities, social sciences, and professional schools. Joseph’s course development intends to create pathways for CPS graduate students and others to partner with NAAM through a community-based learning version of her graduate COM 563 course, and also as service-learning teaching mentors for the undergraduate version, COM 489.
“Black Cultural Studies is ideally suited for public scholarship,” says Joseph. “When I became a mentor in the Simpson Center’s Certificate in Public Scholarship program, I also began to expand my own public scholarship work in my classes. NAAM is a tremendous resource, regionally and nationally—it houses permanent exhibits like The Journey Gallery, a treasure-trove of narratives, photographs, and artifacts from African American communities of the Pacific Northwest. Yet few UW students know this. This past year I tied two Black Cultural Studies class assignments to NAAM engagement activities, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels: students’ responses showed that they wanted more opportunities to work with the museum.”