The John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage and its students help connect academic communities and the broader public through history, art, and culture. We support people and organizations that explore, preserve, and interpret cultural heritage. Our programs explore the ways in which the humanities enrich everyday life.
Steven Lubar is the director of the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage and the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, and professor in the departments of American civilization and history at Brown University. He’s written on the history of industry and technology, the history of museums, and museum interpretation, and consulted for many museums on a range of exhibition, interpretation, and collections projects. Before moving to Brown he was for many years a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. You can follow him on Twitter.
Ron M. Potvin is the Assistant Director and Curator of the John Nicholas Brown Center and the clinic coordinator. His museum experience includes working with fine and decorative arts, manuscripts, exhibitions, collections management, and historic sites. He serves on the board of directors of the New England Museum Association and the Curators Committee of the American Association of Museums and is chair of the CurCom Program Committee. His research interests include historic house museums and sites, especially their sustainability and interpretation.
Anne M. Valk is Associate director for programs of the John Nicholas Brown Center. For nearly fifteen years, Annie has worked with students and communities to design and undertake oral history projects as a means to document local history and build archives for future research and programs. At Brown, she directs the Fox Point Oral History project, working with community members, students, and historical organizations to collect, record, and present aspects of this diverse and changing Providence neighborhood. She also advises individual scholars who are planning oral history projects focused on other topics. She currently serves on the board of the New England Association for Oral History.
Public Humanities Students at Brown University contribute expertise in a wide range of academic disciplines and methods. As candidates for a Master’s degree in public humanities, they develop practical skills related to public programming, museum exhibition, digital humanities, oral history and cultural policy. Students participate in consultations and assist in project design and assessment. Working through the Public Humanities Clinic and with humanities organizations is a vital part of their preparation for future careers in the field.