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NEH announces $18.8 million in awards and offers for 216 humanities projects

WASHINGTON (April 26, 2011) — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced today $18.8 million in grants for 216 humanities projects.

This funding will support a wide variety of projects, including fellowships for scholarly research and the development of new undergraduate courses in the humanities, traveling exhibitions, production and development of films, the development and staging of major exhibitions, digital tools, and the preservation of and access to historic collections.

The grant awards announced today highlight the breadth of high-caliber humanities projects and research supported by the Endowment. With NEH support, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia will mount an exhibition and website on the lasting social and medical impact of the Civil War’s unprecedented number of deaths and battlefield injuries, and researchers at the University of California at Berkeley will create a digital tool to help scholars identify authors of texts with ambiguous origins through analysis of its grammatical and stylistic features.

This round of funding will also support the production of a four-hour documentary examining the ecological and economic causes and consequences of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and enable the expansion of a publically accessible online database of recordings made between 1900 and 1950 by RCA Victor Records, the largest record company in the U.S.

NEH grants will allow college and university teachers to develop new approaches, courses, and curricula within the humanities around essential questions such as “why do humans write?” and subjects like the experiences of Southern soldiers in the Mexican-American War. Grants announced today will also allow humanities scholars to pursue advanced research on topics as diverse as the Morrill Act’s remaking of American higher education against the backdrop of the Civil War, the history of cultural encounter and exchange between Austria and Turkey from the late 19th century till today, and Ralph Waldo Emerson’s stance on antebellum political debates over equality.

“From documentaries and exhibitions that bring to life the events that have shaped our country to the use of new technologies that enhance our capacity to understand the past, these projects represent some of the most innovative work happening in the humanities today,” said Jim Leach, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This award cycle, institutions and independent scholars in 39 states and the District of Columbia will receive NEH support. Complete state-by-state listings of grants are available here (40-page PDF).

In this cycle, grants were awarded in the following categories:

  • America’s Historical and Cultural Organizations: Planning and Implementation Grants support projects that create new ways to excite, inform, and stir thoughtful reflection upon culture, identity, and history in creative and new ways.
  • America’s Media Makers: Development Grants enable media producers to collaborate with scholars to develop humanities content and to prepare programs for production.
  • America’s Media Makers: Production Grants support the preparation of a media program for distribution.
  • Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants encourage innovations in the digital humanities by supporting the planning stages of projects.
  • Enduring Questions Grants allow faculty members to develop a new undergraduate course that grapples with a fundamental question addressed by the humanities.
  • Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions provide scholars with research time and success to resources that might not be available at their home institutions.
  • Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Grants allow institutions to preserve and provide access to collections essential to scholarship, education, and public programming in the humanities.
  • NEH On the Road Grants help small sites defray the cost of hosting an NEH traveling exhibition.
  • Picturing America School Collaboration Projects Grants provide teachers and librarians whose schools display Picturing America images to incorporate them into the school’s core curriculum.
  • Preservation and Access Research and Development Grants support projects that address major challenges in preserving or providing access to humanities collections and resources.
  • Teaching Development Fellowships support college and university teachers pursuing research aimed specifically at deepening their knowledge in the humanities to improve undergraduate teaching.

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About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

Media Contacts: Paula Wasley at (202) 606-8424 or pwasley@neh.gov