Humanities Institute

The Humanities Institute Awarded NEH Digital Projects for the Public Grant to Document and Digitally Curate Community Health Narratives

Fri, January 12, 2018
The Humanities Institute Awarded NEH Digital Projects for the Public Grant to Document and Digitally Curate Community Health Narratives
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The Humanities Institute at the University of Texas at Austin is thrilled to announce that we have been awarded a Digital Projects for the Public Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop a project on “Communities of Care: Documenting Voices of Healing and Endurance.”

The NEH Digital Projects for the Public grants are designed to support projects that interpret and analyze humanities content in formats that attract broad and diverse public audiences through the use of digital platforms. The Humanities Institute received a Discovery stage grant which will support the early stage planning work of “Communities of Care.”

“Communities of Care: Documenting Voices of Healing and Endurance” is a community-based multimedia storytelling project focusing on illness and healthcare narratives. This project will generate and curate its own archive by asking participants to produce narratives through writing, photography, video, and oral histories. The project team will work with six to eight community health organizations in Central Texas to produce and curate multimedia storytelling that explores the ways in which these communities, both patients and providers, experience and respond creatively to health disparities, develop modes of endurance in response to illness and suffering, and advocate for more inclusive and comprehensive healthcare. More broadly, this project will explore how telling and listening to stories are practices that themselves can promote a healthier society. “Communities of Care” aims, therefore, to address the barriers that patients, their families and communities, and providers face in building a more caring society and to explore how to break down those barriers through humanistic support.

“Communities of Care” builds on the scholarly and community relationships that the Humanities Institute has developed throughout its activities in 2016 and 2017 under the organizing theme, “Health, Well-Being, and Healing.” “We have a vibrant and dedicated group of humanities researchers and medical professionals on campus and in Austin exploring together how interpretive practices unique to the humanities can improve health care,” says Director Pauline Strong. “Support from the NEH will help us work directly with members of Central Texas communities to document their stories about their struggles to create healthy families and communities.” The interdisciplinary research team will be led by HI staff members Pauline Strong (director), Phillip Barrish (associate director), and Clare Callahan (program coordinator), with participation from faculty in the College of Liberal Arts, the Dell Medical School, the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, the  School of Information, and the University of Texas Libraries. Over the course of 2018 this team will work with community partners to develop a plan for a multi-year research project. 

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