A Day of Public Humanizing: Emily Esten

Editor’s Note: Hi, DayofPHers (you don’t have to call yourselves that)! Robyn, Inge, and I have been reaching out to friends, colleagues, idols, and other acquaintances in the wide world of public humanities to see if anyone wants to write guest posts about their days of public humanizing. If you’d like to tell us about your day (or blog about another topic related to our Day of Public Humanities!), please get in touch! You can email us (dayofPH[at]gmail) or contact us via Twitter (@DayofPH). And don’t forget to talk about your work with us on Tuesday, May 9th, 2017! 🙂

Emily Esten, graduate student in Public Humanities at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, was kind enough to share an overview of what digital community engagement looks like on Twitter.

To paraphrase that introduction from the old days of Internet: Hi, I’m Emily, and I’m from Twitter.

This is a bit of a cop-out, but I thought I’d share my work in PH not through a to-do list but through a place that represents a passive but important aspect of my engagement in PH. #DayofPH is being advertised on Twitter, and it’s quite fitting why: it’s a place where I’ve curated a professional identity in PH, share my work, and meet other public humans finding ways to bring the insights and ideas to an audience.

esten gif

Just scrolling through my twitterfeed

Personally, I’m interested in digital community engagement and how cultural institutions can make use of new media to further their work. And I found my way to public humanities because I prioritized sharing knowledge in effective ways, at the end of the day. So, I use Twitter to find these intersections – of individuals doing humanities work in and outside the university, community organizers defining their commitments to art and culture, and public initiatives at every level of engagement. And Twitter offers me a way to find practitioners in our broad field, a sense of what’s going on, and new avenues of work.

Some of my lists/lists I subscribe to:

 New Media in Museums by @danamuses: New media gurus working in/for/around cultural institutions like museums, archives, libraries – I pop in here to see what’s new with new media.

 HASTAC Scholars 2016-2018 by @HASTACScholars: The HASTAC Scholars Initiative is a fellowship program by students and for students working at the intersection of technology and the arts. Most of these accounts are scholars are rethinking their place in their respective disciplines, how Twitter fits into our work as researchers, and using a public platform to speak out the culture of academia.

 Digitalhumanities by @dancohen: Dan Cohen, founding director of DPLA and future Northeastern dean of libraries, curates a comprehensive list of scholars in digital humanities and editors of Digital Humanities Now. (With his interest in maximizing access to culture and cultural artifacts, Cohen is a great person to follow anyway.)

 history | humanities by @paige_roberts: Over 900 members sharing history –public AND academic – from a variety of accounts, institutions, and interests.

 arts, museums, libraries by @robertjweisberg: Weisberg, Senior Project Manager at the Met, seeks to connect cultural organizations with organizational culture. His list focuses on cultural workers at museums, artists, and libraries at all lengths of the spectrum, and their engagement with the arts and humanities.

#ITweetMuseums, a hashtag by @ITweetMuseums: Mark B. Schlemmer launched the hashtag in 2013 as an non-affiliated, independent initiative to encourage & support all cultural workers to tweet about museums from their personal accounts. I love seeing individuals exploring exhibition and sharing their work on the web!


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