Humanities Communication Interchange — Resources, Materials, Tools (HumSource)

The following are early plans from the CHC for developing a Humanities Communication Interchange (HumSource) providing open access to ideas, language, multimedia, data, templates, resource collections, and volunteer or freelance creator/designer expertise. The goal is to enable humanities organizations and projects, both large and small, to assist each other in communicating the humanities.

Ideally, the HumSource interchange could be developed in collaboration with – or could dovetail with – other humanities open, federated, or linked-data platforms such as Knowledge Commons (formerly Humanities Commons), Digital Public Library of America, and similar forum, cultural heritage, or GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, museums) digital networks around the world (e.g. HuNI in Australian and Canada).

The interchange would be a growing, sustainable digital repository of humanities advocacy and communications materials built on open-access and FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) principles. It could be implemented through standards, templates, linked open data, and other means allowing for federated data adoption, association, and customization by humanities-serving organizations or individuals.

An especially high priority will be to develop or adopt for the humanities open platforms for collaborative content creation and media design, asset and project management, and team communications (analogous to such widely-used proprietary platforms in the commercial and start-up sectors as Figma, Airtable, Slack, and others). Another high priority is to develop for humanities communication “fine-tuned” or otherwise customized large language models (LLMs) (and similar large text-image generative AI models) analogous to those now being developed for higher-ed institutions (such as in the case of the University of Michigan’s U-M GPT). These would customize open LLMs by training them on humanities materials and orienting them toward suggesting, improving, or otherwise facilitating fluency in a kind of “middle ground” discourse of words and images bridging between humanities scholarship and the public.

Contents created and shared on the HumSource interchange could include “talking points” and showcases of examples of the humanities (see below). They could  also include archival humanities communication materials dating back, for example, to the era of U.S. Presidents Kennedy and Johnson when recognition of the need to support the humanities led to establishing the National Endowment for the Humanities (and the National Endowment for the Arts).

— Examples of Materials to be Exchanged through the HumSource Interchange —

Screenshot of the menu panel in the Center for Humanities Communication's Bibliography showing "Talking Points on the Humanities: Definitions, Values, Contributions."

Menu panel in the Center for Humanities Communication’s Bibliography showing “Talking Points on the Humanities: Definitions, Values, Contributions.” (This section of the CHC Bibliography will in the future be synchronized with the categories and resources in the CHC “Talking Points Toolbox” (below).

“Talking Points Toolbox” concept being developed by Christine Henseler for the Center for Humanities Communication. Full document is currently in progress. It will include materials and links to definitions, data and statistics, areas where the humanities intersect with popular culture, learnings for students, professional paths, “debunking myths,” advise for reframing messaging, etc.

Banner logo for the "Talking Points Toolbox" concept being developed by Christine Henseler for the Center for Humanities Communication