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ERIC Number: EJ989770
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2946
Reimagining the Meanings of Service on the Streets of Detroit
Cotera, Maria
Academe, v98 n6 p28-33 Nov-Dec 2012
The success of partnerships between universities and communities, especially partnerships involving Research I universities, is often undermined by divergent goals and timetables. Whereas a community organization might imagine its timetable for achieving a certain goal in years or even decades, the goals of faculty members working at high-pressure institutions might be relatively short-term and even provisional, ranging from the production of an article, book, or white paper to the development of a service-learning class or undergraduate research experience. While one set of goals places the community at the center, and is therefore focused on outcomes that serve the community, the other must weigh the professional demands of the institution to publish, to teach, to create first-class research. Indeed, this view of opposing community and university goals is especially strong in "new" arenas for community-engaged scholarship--like the humanities--that lack both the long-standing research models and the reward systems available to scholars in professional fields like education, public health, and social work. In these fields, collaborative, community-centered scholarship has been central to the development of methodologies, practices, and theories that integrate scholarly and community work, and it has shaped the system of rewards (tenure, merit pay raises, research funding) that make life in the academy viable. By contrast, in the humanities, community-centered and collaborative research is seen, more often than not, as a distraction from serious scholarship, and consequently is rarely rewarded. In the context of the institution, the work that humanists do in the community is often figured as a labor of love, something they do outside of their service to the professional communities that they inhabit but which enriches their intellectual lives in ways that are often hard to tabulate. For many of those in the academy, community work represents a return--a way of giving something back to the communities that helped to make them the scholars they are today. The author reminds faculty members doing public humanities service for the community and the university to make sure that they themselves are not ill-served.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan