The American Beauty Project seeks to support change in the academic humanities and social sciences by helping colleagues acquire tools for public-facing work that is responsive to the democratic obligations of scholarship.  Many of us want to transition to more agile, public-facing work, but we feel that we don’t have the time, support, opportunity, or tools to do so.   A peer-reviewed article in a scholarly journal or a university press monograph is a laudable goal and an essential form of credentialing.  But too many of us spend years writing books read by hundreds and articles read by dozens.  Peer-reviewed publications are a platform from which we can enter, speak into, and shape conversations critical to the well-being, dignity, humanity, and democratic citizenship of the people we serve.  They need not be our only destination.

Many of us also know that retooling humanities and social science scholarship is important to the graduate students we teach and mentor and the future of the profession.  We want to encourage more public-facing, engaged work and cultivate digital media skills in our students, but we don’t feel we have the tools.

This project adapts traditional media training and the tools of digital media to the goals of an engaged, democratic humanities serving diverse communities and constituencies.  Workshops and individual consultations strive for an ethos of collegiality, candor, encouragement, and fun that will change the way you think about our work and our profession.

One-day campus workshop

Three-hour morning session guides participants–faculty and / or graduate students–through exercises to

  • Identify the core strengths and contributions of their scholarship
  • Assess the constituencies / audiences for their work
  • Craft a message that effectively communicates with these constituencies
  • Understand new genres of public-facing work
  • Identify potential venues—from local, to regional, to national—for public-facing work
  • Explore how public engagement can energize and renovate humanities research agendas

During afternoon session, participants will work in small groups and in one-on-one coaching to develop impactful messaging for a hypothetical occasion and audience.

Podcast launch consultation for academic cohorts

Three-hour morning session identifies intellectual assets and potential audiences and develops brand and format.  Afternoon session includes brand build, launch plan build, and entry-level introduction to technical aspects of podcasting. Webinar also available,

Individual consulting

For when it’s time to change your game.  Whether you’re getting ready for a book launch, conceiving a next project, or need a mid-career tune-up to open your research, connect with broader audiences, and build projects with impact, I’m happy to walk you through the process.  I offer a 45 minute one-on-one video conference listening session, 45 minute follow-up with personalized plan, and 15 minute monthly check-ins for one year.

Additional services

Media training, book launch planning, and basic platform (including website) build also available.

Please email jb@joannabrooks.org for further information.