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Posted: July 27, 2017 Federal grant to help preserve endangered Kiowa language
The University of Kansas Press

As an amateur linguist growing up among the Kiowa people a century ago, Parker McKenzie devised a method of writing his native language using English letters. Now his great-grandson, University of Kansas Assistant Professor of Linguistics Andrew McKenzie, is completing a book that will go further than ever before in outlining the grammar of Kiowa.

Andrew McKenzie recently won a three-year grant from the Documenting Endangered Languages program of the National Science Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities to fill in a gap on Kiowa.

For one thing, there’s no consensus on how to write it using English letters. Parker McKenzie’s method is still taught, as are a handful of others, but Andrew McKenzie says there has never been a tribal vote on the matter.  Using his ancestor’s system, Andrew McKenzie is working on a “semantic grammar” of the language.

After a dictionary, “Most languages have a reference grammar,” he said, “a book that informs linguists about the structure of the language: the sounds, how they interact, forms of words, syntax and the way sentences get built.  “With most American languages, you can do so much with verbs. There is very little about syntax,” he said.

Andrew McKenzie said he is working to document “not just what the pieces mean, but how does the meaning of a sentence get built?”

Posted: July 26, 2017 Teacher studies with distinguished scholars
Gainesville Daily Register

Callisburg’s Corey Whittington has been selected to attend a professional development institute sponsored by Humanities Texas and the University of North Texas.  Whittington, who teaches Texas history at Callisburg Middle School, participated in “Three Centuries of Texas History,” which took place from June 19–22.

“Three Centuries of Texas History” drew 50 teachers from across Texas to the University of North Texas campus in Denton for three and a half days of presentations and in-depth seminars.

The institute highlighted topics central to the state’s Texas history curriculum, including Native Americans in Texas; Texas under Spanish and Mexican rule; the Texas Revolution; the Republic of Texas; Texas during the Civil War and Reconstruction; women’s suffrage in Texas; cattle, railroads, and frontier defense; Texas during the Depression and World War II; the civil rights movement in Texas and post-1945 Texas politics.

“Three Centuries of Texas History” was made possible with support from the State of Texas and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Posted: July 26, 2017 Expanding Horizons - UC Santa Barbara part of national project to study career pathways for Ph.D. students
The Current, University of California, Santa Barbara

“The UC project will also include more in-depth work with humanities disciplines, as the UC Humanities Research Institute will lead a multicampus team of PhD researchers to conduct focus groups of humanities PHD alumni at work,” Genetti explained. “This will integrate well with a recent yearlong project led jointly by the UCSB Graduate Division and the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, and funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. That project led to a divisionwide conversation on engagement of humanists with the broader public and the relationship of such work to graduate student professional development and career opportunities. The new project will provide very helpful input as we build on our conversations and develop new academic programs.”

Posted: July 26, 2017 Williamstown: Mount Greylock teacher receives national recognition
The Berkshire Eagle

Thomas Ostheimer, a history teacher at Mount Greylock Regional High School for the past 20 years, was selected as a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar from a national pool of applicants to attend a Landmarks of History and Culture Workshop at the Deerfield Teachers Center in Deerfield.

The week-long workshop, "African Americans in the Making of Early New England," runs from July 24 to 29.

The NEH supports summer study opportunities for teachers to deepen their knowledge and to improve their practice.

Posted: July 26, 2017 ‘Us and Them’ podcast turns focus toward Charleston’s West Side
Charleston Gazette-Mail

 Last week in a part of town not often spotlighted in national media, Trey Kay held a “listening party” for the first of a four-part series of episodes from his podcast “Us and Them,” about Charleston’s West Side.  Titled “Deanna, Tymel & Amarie,” the episode focuses on 18-year-old Tymel McKinney, who was shot and killed on the front porch of his West Side home in April 2014, by a local teen looking to gain initiation into a Detroit-based gang.

Kay is producing the four-part series on the West Side with help from the West Virginia Humanities Council, which had funding to do stories about race, law enforcement and community from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“Us & Them,” which launched in May 2015, strives to “tell the stories of America’s culture divides,” exploring issues, disputes or ideas that divide people into longstanding, entrenched camps.