We the Humanities

I’m delighted to be able to host this guest blog announcing the launch of ‘We the Humanities’ below. I came across the project through the magic of the twitter machine when they first put a call out for curators.

We humanists can, at times, be an insular bunch. Hanging around in libraries, nose in book, head in clouds, laughing in the face of diminishing job prospects and collapsing in a state of existential despair every time we run out of coffee. But we are a curious and social bunch too and when we’re not hanging out with dead poets and enlightenment thinkers, we need to reach out to each other.

In some ways its never been tougher to be in the humanities game but also there have never been so many opportunities to connect and collaborate with time and distance no barrier. This is best exemplified by my miniscule involvement in the project. One tweet in my timeline asking for host blogs, one quick reply from me and rapid response from ‘We the Humanites’ and hey presto by the power of the internet a mutually advantageous connection is made. That’s why I love this project and hope that you will too.

@wethehumanities launches – Monday 24th February
After seven weeks of preparation, curator-sourcing and generous support, We the Humanities launches today. It’s the first rotation-curation Twitter account for the humanities, featuring a new guest editor every week who’ll be tweeting about their work or research in the humanities and their other areas of interest. Set up by Jessica Sage and Kristina West, who are both part-time PhD researchers and sessional lecturers at the University of Reading, the hope is that it will offer a central platform for discussion and news of the humanities in all its forms.
From humble beginnings (a lightbulb moment whilst wearing pyjamas on a Sunday afternoon) the account now has more than 650 followers and 21 brave tweeters who’ve put themselves forward to curate for us. Today’s launch sees the account being taken over by Louise Jackson, the Head of Learning Enhancement at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Future guest editors include a senior lecturer in English and Cultural Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, an Assistant Curator in the Sculpture department of the Victoria and Albert Museum, and researchers from Norway, New Zealand, Australia and the USA. We are also looking forward to adding participants from the business world, primary and secondary education and any other discipline associated with or interested in the humanities.
The account’s set-up has been juggled with teaching and finishing a thesis (Jess) and teaching, PhD research and parenting (Krissie) and so it’s with relief as well as excitement that our first curation is underway. It has been great fun getting to know some of our followers in the last few weeks – and we’ve been overwhelmed by people’s generosity in sharing the initiative, suggesting avenues of publicity and hosting us on their blogs – but this is a project that’s bigger than two individuals. It’s this spirit of collaboration and the diversity of contributors that we hope will grow the account to reach more people, from those who’ve dedicated their working lives to the humanities to people with a mild curiosity in one particular area.
Although it’s a modest project, we hope that @wethehumanities will contribute to debates about the importance of the discipline and provide entertaining and informative perspectives on an ever-expanding variety of research, interests and hobbies.
You can follow @wethehumanities on Twitter here and you’ll find the blog here. If you would like to curate for a week the details and sign-up form can be found here. You can also get in touch with Jess and Krissie with any suggestions or comments that you may have by emailing them at wethehumanities AT gmail DOT com.

LINKS:
We the Humanities: http://www.twitter.com/wethehumanities
Jessica Sage: http://www.twitter.com/jessisreading80
Kristina West: http://www.twitter.com/krisreadsbooks
Louise Jackson: http://wethehumanities.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/2402-02032014-louise-jackson/
Blog: http://wethehumanities.wordpress.com/
For curators: http://wethehumanities.wordpress.com/for-curators-2/

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