The Rackham Program in Public Scholarship supports collaborative scholarly and creative endeavors that engage communities and co-create public goods. We believe that the work of scholars and artists can enrich civic and community life. Pursuing such work, in dialogue with the public, enriches university research, teaching, and creative expression. We support students’ academic and professional development through programs designed to cultivate the next generation of public scholars.

What Is Public Scholarship?

Imagining America, a national advocacy and professional organization for publicly engaged scholars, defines this work as follows:

“Public Scholarship refers to diverse modes of creating and circulating knowledge for and with the public and communities. It often involves mutually-beneficial partnerships between higher education and organizations in the public and private sectors. Its goals include enriching research, creative activity, and public knowledge; enhancing curriculum, teaching and learning; preparing educated and engaged citizens; strengthening democratic values and civic responsibility; addressing and helping to solve critical social problems; and contributing to the public good.”