A picture of Ashley Hinck next to her name spelled out

Public Humanities:

a portrait of Ashley laughing spontaneously during a Public Humanities Exchange meeting As a scholar, I look for ways to bring my research to broader publics. Sometimes this is done through blog posts that translate research for a public audience. Other times, this occurs through volunteer work in the local community. In these cases, I donate my time as an expert in communication, public speaking, and identity as is the case with the workshops I conducted at the Madison Children's Museum and the Saginaw Correctional Facility. Still other times, scholars have the opportunity to build projects from the ground up that traverse the divide between the university and the local community. I have been fortunate enough to receive a Public Humanities Exchange grant that has allowed me to do just that. I deeply believe that fandom has immense potential to serve as a pathway to citizenship, and as such has remarkable implications for the communities in which we live. I hope to connect with various communities and publics to provide expertise where I can provide it and to learn from actors on the ground whenever I can.

Public Humanities Projects:


Public Humanities Exchange: In 2012, I received a $1,250 grant from the UW-Madison Center for the Humanities to conduct a community project. The grant gives graduate students the opportunity to take their research interests beyond the university campus, with benefits to both graduate students and the community. Participation in the Public Humanities Exchange includes both a monetary award as well as access to a series of workshops on the potentialities and implications of public humanities.

the logo for the Center for the Humanities at UWWorking with Shabazz Alternative High School, I worked with a group of high school students to develop a fan activism campaign. The participants chose the media text (Doctor Who) and the current issue (global warming). Participants composed blog posts and memes encouraging Doctor Who fans to donate money to the Union of Concerned Scientists and to send emails to President Obama demanding stronger action on climate change. The blog created by the project participants is called Companions Against Global Warming.

Public Talks

"What Fan Activism Means for State Legislators": A panel presentation at a meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures in Madison, WI, October 12, 2012.

Blog Posts

The Wire, Freddie Gray, and Collective Social Action. Blog post on Antenna: Responses to Media and Culture, April 28, 2015. http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/2015/04/28/the-wire-freddie-gray-and-collective-social-action/

As You're Tweeting the National Championship Game..." Blog post on Rhetorically Speaking. April 6, 2015. http://rhetoric.commarts.wisc.edu/?p=276

Thai Protesters' Use of hte Hunger Games 3-Finger Salute as a Form of Resistance and Critique. Blog post on Rhetorically Speaking. June 4, 2014. http://rhetoric.commarts.wisc.edu/?p=169

Why Rhetoricians Need to Pay Attention to Fan Culture. Blog post on Rhetorically Speaking. May 29, 2014. http://rhetoric.commarts.wisc.edu/?p=150

Popular Culture and Politics: The Hunger Games 3-Finger Salue in Thai Protests: Blog post on Antenna: Responses to Media and Culture. June 4, 2014. http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/2014/06/04/popular-culture-and-politics-the-hunger-games-3-finger-salute-in-thai-protests/

China, Japan, and Voldemort," co-authored with Judy Y. Blog post on Rhetorically Speaking. February 3, 2014. http://rhetoric.commarts.wisc.edu/?p=92

Team Jack: What It Means to Be a Husker. Blog post on Rhetorically Speaking. January 9, 2014. http://rhetoric.commarts.wisc.edu/?p=75

Harry Potter Takes Fans from Apathy to Activism. Blog post on Antenna: Responses to Media and Culture. January 24, 2011. http://blog.commarts.wisc.edu/2011/01/24/harry-potter-takes-fans-from-apathy-to-activism/

Hermione Visits Madison, WI. Blog post on The Harry Potter Alliance's Imagine Better Blog. March 29, 2011. http://thehpalliance.org/2011/03/hermione-visits-madison-wisconsin/


Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Speech Writing and Making a Difference in Your World" Workshop: . A self-developed and self-led workshop on Martin Luther King Jr. and speechwriting for the Madison Children's Museum on January 17, 2011.

Intersections of Gender and Race Workshop: A self-developed and co-taught (with Anne Szczubelek) workshop at the Saginaw Regional Correctional Facility, Freeland Michigan during July 2008.

Other projects

"Defending Nerdfighteria." A comic defining rhetoric. Intended for an audience of fans of the prominent YouTube vloggers, John and Hank Green. Created during Jim Brown's Digital Rhetorics class, Spring 2012. an image of the front cover of the comic called Defending Nerdfighteria

Comic as a .pdf
Comic as .cbz file
You can download the free comic archive software needed to read the .cbz file, at http://dancingtortoise.com/simplecomic/