Public Scholarship in a Time of Crisis: A Reflection
- Public: A Journal of Imagining America, 5(1)
- August 2018
In times of crisis, unforeseen factors can emerge in conducting public scholarship and research, especially in marginalized communities. Given the current political climate, it is imperative we bring attention to how crisis creates barriers which can hinder, obscure, and complicate public scholarship, and how crisis is endured by the communities with whom we seek to collaborate. This paper reflects on the experiences of three 2017 Mellon Public Scholars: Mayra, who works with Latino farmworker parents of children with special needs; Roy, who investigates the role of citizenship/legal status in the lives of undocumented Asians/Pacific Islanders; and Alana, who seeks to identify how the homeless population is and isn’t being served by a county’s food bank’s services. Through this discussion we hope to make more salient the challenges of doing public work in underprivileged communities, so that future scholars can better prepare for the dynamic situations they will navigate as they tackle their own projects.