NEH in the News
Webster University faculty member Lindsey Kingston has received a Fulbright Lectureship and a National Endowment for the Humanities award, two prestigious honors that will advance her research in the areas of human rights and citizenship.
Kingston is an associate professor of International Human Rights in the Department of History, Politics, and International Relations, part of the Webster University College of Arts & Sciences, where she also serves as director of the Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies.
Kingston was awarded the 2018 Fulbright Lectureship in International Politics at the University of Milan, Italy. As a Fulbright Scholar, Kingston will conduct research on migration, teach courses on statelessness and social movements, and contribute to the university’s academic community. She will be in residence at l'Università degli Studi di Milano during the Italian spring semester, which is March through June.
Caleb McDaniel, an associate professor of history in Rice’s School of Humanities, is one of 30 grant recipients nationwide this year in the National Endowment for the Humanities’ program to support well-researched books in the humanities aimed at a broad public audience.
Advocates for public funding of arts programs are painting a dim picture of the House’s annual budget, saying its recommendation of a 13 percent cut in funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council will force the council to scale back its work and comes as President Donald Trump is also retreating from the arts.
The budget (H 3600), approved 159-1 on Tuesday night, allocates $12,075,699 to the council, which promotes the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences. The council received $14,299,000 this fiscal year and Gov. Charlie Baker in January proposed a budget of $14,307,229 for the council.
“We are deeply disappointed with the budget approved by the House, which calls for a 13 percent cut in funding for the Massachusetts Cultural Council,” MASSCreative Executive Director Matt Wilson said in a statement. He added, “With the Trump Administration proposing the elimination of funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, now is not the time to step back from our commitment to the arts.”
Every year Bowdoin professors and students receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal research funding. However, with a new administration in Washington, the College could soon see some of that funding disappear.
President Donald Trump’s budget proposal combines increased spending on defense with cuts to discretionary spending. Those cuts include $5.8 billion from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
As Congress considers the new budget in the coming weeks, President Clayton Rose plans to meet with Maine’s congressional delegation to discuss the potential changes. Rose declined to comment on when the meetings would occur.
“Issues that I plan to discuss with them on my visit include immigration, Title IX and issues of funding for arts, the humanities and the sciences,” Rose said.
Interim Dean for Academic Affairs Jen Scanlon stressed the importance of the College’s federal funding. Four Bowdoin professors are currently using grants from the NIH and one professor currently receives project funding from the NEH.
Eliminating the NEH and NEA’s combined annual funds approbation of about $300 million would make little difference against $20 trillion, but that the impact of doing so would be devastating.
Among the affected areas would be our own Mississippi Delta, through the Delta Center for Culture and Learning here on campus. Every June and July for the past eight years, the Delta Center has hosted “The Most Southern Place on Earth: Music, Culture, and History in the Mississippi Delta” workshop to bring seventy-two teachers to the Delta from across the world. The workshop has seen teachers from Brazil, Lesotho, Germany, and Bangladesh, among other places. Once here, the teachers immerse themselves in what Lee Aylward, the Delta Center’s Program Associate for Education and Community Outreach, calls the “Delta Story.”
Dr. Denise Bossy, a University of North Florida associate professor of history, was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship to support significant research in the humanities and to further her research of the Yamasee Indians, a community that is hardly understood by scholars today.
In its last five rounds, the NEH fellowships program, on average, received over 1,200 applications per year and awarded just 80 fellowships each year—meaning only seven percent of all applicants received NEH funding.
“Dr. Bossy’s trail-blazing work explores the history of the Yamasee Indians and the strategies they used to survive amidst European colonialism and American expansion. I’m convinced that she will write an impressive book on the Yamasees, one that will challenge the way we think about this supposedly extinct group of Indians, and the Indians of the Southeast in general,” said Dr. Charles Closmann, chair of the Department of History at UNF.
The year 2017 marks the 100th Anniversary of the United State’s entry into World War One. In an effort to help preserve this significant part of our history, the Russell Library will be partnering with the Connecticut State Library’s Remembering World War One project to hold a Digitization Day. During the event, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the library will be digitizing old photos, documents, mementos, and other objects related to the war at home and abroad.
On Thursday, April 27, from 3-7 p.m. area residents can bring in their photos, letters and other keepsakes to the Russell Library and have them photographed or scanned by staff.
Denise Russo, Reference Librarian at the Russell Library said, “Artifacts such as letters, photographs, draft cards, dog tags, and discharge papers found in the community have the power to tell stories about the men and women who served in WWI, and will help future generations better understand the sacrifices they made.”
Libraries around the country are bracing for the possible elimination of federal funding if Congress follows a budget proposal from the Trump Administration that would cut the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The IMLS provides federal funding to libraries and museums all over the United States.
The federal budget proposal, presented by the Office of Management and Budget in March, calls for $971 million in cuts to arts and cultural agencies, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
For Deming’s Marshall Memorial Library, the cuts would mean a reduction in programs available to patrons as well as training available for library staff.
“Creative destruction” is the term MIT economist Joseph Schumpeter used to describe the capitalist process where business constantly seeks product and process upgrades that result in the development of new and improved ways of doing things and new products that drive out the old and outdated ones.
The budget blueprint President Donald Trump proposed in March would cut funding for the National Institute of Health by roughly 20 percent and the Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent, in addition to completely eliminating funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts. Harvard’s administrators and faculty have decried the cuts as potentially “devastating.”
Research funding cuts featured prominently in the AAU spring meeting Faust attended on Monday. After that meeting, the AAU released a statement on behalf of the presidents and chancellors of its member universities that issued a dire warning to lawmakers about the impact of the cuts.
“This would cripple our ability to do our part in generating economic growth and providing more jobs for Americans,” the statement reads. “If these cuts are enacted, the partnership that has been reinforced through both Republican and Democratic administrations over the past 70 years could literally collapse.”