NEH in the News
The 2014 Film Forward festival – a joint project of the Sundance Institute and the NEH, NEA, PCAH and IMLS – made a visit to San Diego, CA and Tijuana, Mexico in early March. Films shown as part of the event included Circles, a drama set against the backdrop of hard choices made in the Balkan War, and Dancing in Jaffa, the story of ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine and his efforts to unite Israeli and Palestinian children through the transcultural power of dance, from KPBS, San Diego.
The Bloomington Public Library has been selected to host NEH-supported Prime Time Family Reading Time programming, with the first program taking place from March 12 through April 16. Other libraries in Illinois selected to participate include two libraries in Chicago and one in Peoria. The theme for this season’s programming is “It’s a Small World After All,” with the focal stories centered on themes of global citizenship, from Vidette Online.
An analysis of the films nominated for 2014 Academy Awards reveals major differences in screen time for actors versus actresses, with Academy-award nominated leading actors getting an average of 85 minutes of screen-time compared to only 57 minutes for nominated leading actresses. These statistics were revealed by utilizing the Cinemetrics database at the University of Chicago, which breaks down films into component information pieces and which received an NEH grant in 2010, from the New York Times.
New facts, figures and idiosyncrasies in the trend of “selfies” – a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website – have been revealed through a study by CUNY Professor Lev Manovich. Manovich conducted the research using tools and techniques developed as part of the Software Studies Initiative, a project partly funded by the NEH. He intends to continue selfie research in the vein of viewing the online photography trend as part of “self-sociology," from National Geographic.
The NEH will be funding a project being conducted at the University of Chicago and Oxford University wherein data analysis techniques will be used to analyze the spread and development of intellectual knowledge in the early modern period. The project will focus on creating “commonplace books” – loading in massive amounts of scanned text from 18th-century books and sequencing out similar strings of text among various books to determine the origin and flow of ideas and arguments across authors, languages and time periods, from UChicago News.
Dan Livesay, assistant history professor at Drury University in Springfield, MO, has been chosen as the recipient of an NEH fellowship. Livesay will use the fellowship to conduct research at Rockefeller Library in Williamsburg, VA – noted for being an archive of specialized collections and records from Virginia planters – on the daily lives of slaves, from the Springfield News-Leader.
The Minnesota Humanities Council will be hosting “Telling: Minnesota,” a three-act play wherein veterans will take the stage to share their war experiences and promote understanding of military service ranging from the Vietnam War to US operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Telling Project has been previously performed at the Library of Congress and across the US with support from the NEH, from the Star Tribune.
The Langston Hughes Center at Kansas University will be showing the Created Equal film series and hosting lectures and programs relating to the films’ themes of civil rights, race relations, and non-violent protest from now through late March, from the Lawrence Journal-World.
The Connecticut State Library will be able to digitize 100,000 pages of three newspapers from Norwich and Bridgeport, CT printed between 1910 and 1922 thanks to an NEH Chronicling America grant of $274,034. The digitization will be complete by the end of this summer, in time to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War, from the Norwich Bulletin.
Radio interview with NEH Public Programs Director Karen Mittelman who discusses the value and purpose of the NEH-funded Created Equal film series and how they explore issues of freedom, civil rights and American history, from WAMC-FM / Northeastern Public Radio.