The John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage administers the Department of American Studies’s M.A. in Public Humanities. Students in this program (which can be completed either as a professional master’s program or as part of the Ph.D. program) gain the knowledge and skills needed for jobs in museums, historical societies, state and federal humanities and cultural resource agencies, and historic preservation and community cultural development organizations.
The Center, founded as the John Nicholas Brown Center for the Study of American Civilization in 1979 (see History) and part of Brown University since 1995, offers:
- the leading graduate program in public humanities, offering a professional (terminal) MA and an MA available for those in Brown's Ph.D. program in American Studies.
- a range of courses in topics including oral history, museum skills, informal learning, cultural policy and nonprofit management, and community and public art
- a wide-ranging professional development workshop series open to students and practitioners
- innovative engaged scholarship disseminated through academic publications, online and social media, and public exhibitions
- public engagement initiatives, both physical and virtual, that connect students and faculty with communities to serve both educational and community needs
- installations and interpretive programs in the Carriage House Gallery and elsewhere in the Providence area
- collaborative projects developed with other departments and centers at Brown and with local, national, and international cultural, arts, and educational institutions