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NEH in the News

Selected articles on NEH-supported projects.
Posted: February 5, 2018 UA instructor finds draft for famed 1641 book
Arkansas Online

A University of Arkansas, Fayetteville philosophy instructor has won a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship after hunting down an elusive early copy of a renowned text by 17th century philosopher Rene Descartes.

Jeremy Hyman was the only scholar from Arkansas to last year win one of 74 fellowships from the independent federal agency, receiving $50,400 to support work on translating a pre-publication draft of Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy.

Posted: February 5, 2018 The Tree Whisperer
The Chronicle of Higher Education

Jared Farmer wants to change the way we think about climate change.  In 2016 he received a $200,000 Andrew Carnegie Fellowship to study relationships between people and ancient trees; with a research leave that Stony Brook financed with $50,000 apiece from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, he hopes to find lessons for living in a world of climate change and upheaval. "Climate change is the problem of our time; it is also a problem of time," wrote Farmer in his Carnegie application. "It requires thinking — and caring — in the long term."

Posted: February 5, 2018 CSUCI professor awarded a research grant
Ventura County Star

An assistant professor at CSU Channel Islands has received a $42,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to help further her research into the history of the California wine industry.

“We tend to think of the California wine industry as something very white,” Julia Ornelas-Higdon, an assistant professor of history, said in a statement from the university. “It’s something we connect with wealthier groups of upper and upper-middle-class people. My book challenges those racial stereotypes. The California wine industry involved a diverse set of immigrants.”

Ornelas-Higdon plans to use the money to research and write a book on the marginalized history of the California wine industry workers, according to a news release from the university.

“My book is going to look at the evolution of the wine industry beginning in the Spanish Mission in 1769 and continuing through Mexican and then American California,” Ornelas-Higdon said. “The book will go through to the end of World War I.”

Posted: February 5, 2018 Developing tools for analyzing spoken vocal performance
The California Aggie

>NEH grant supports UC Davis humanities research. The National Endowment for the Humanities recently awarded a $75,000 Digital Humanities Advancement Grant to a project co-led by University Writing Program lecturer Marit MacArthur.

The aim of this project is to develop more advanced tools for analyzing sound recordings of spoken vocal performance, especially those by poets and the famous radio plays by Orson Welles. This research is occurring at several universities across the globe with the other co-leader, Professor Neil Verma of Northwestern University’s department of radio, television and film, focusing on Welles and MacArthur focusing on poetry readings.

Posted: February 2, 2018 Two TWU faculty members ready to ‘go global’ with national grant
Denton-Record Chronicle

The National Endowment for the Humanities recently awarded two Texas Woman's University faculty members a grant to incorporate global perspectives and experiential learning into the university's undergraduate humanities courses. 

This highly competitive grant, totaling $99,803, is the first of its kind to be awarded to TWU. The grant is part of an initiative to support and enrich humanities education and scholarship at minority-serving institutions.

Gretchen Busl, Ph.D., and Ashley Bender, Ph.D., both assistant professors in the TWU Department of English, Speech and Foreign Languages, will serve as co-directors of the "Building Global Perspectives" project. Over two years, they will increase the number of globally focused humanities courses offered at TWU while strengthening the university's existing global studies minor, with the ultimate goal of creating a global studies major.

Posted: February 2, 2018 National Endowment for the Humanities supporting restoration of Earlham’s mummy
Earlham College News

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded funding to Earlham College’s Joseph Moore Museum to begin a long-term preservation project of the Egyptian mummy in its collection.

The grant will support the design of a temperature-controlled storage case for “Lady Ta’an,” the daughter of an Egyptian priest dating back to the period between 300 B.C. and 30 B.C. Once the design is complete, the museum will seek additional funds to construct the case to ensure that future generations of visitors will also have the opportunity to encounter and learn from this ancient ancestor.

“We are fortunate to have this great object in our collection but we need to do our part to ensure that the mummy is stored in a climate-controlled setting,” says Ann-Eliza Lewis, collections manager for the museum.

Posted: February 1, 2018 Twist of Harvey fate brings 'catalytic' cultural funding to Houston
Houston Chronicle

In a serendipitous twist of fortune caused by Harvey, Houston cultural institutions have landed preservation grants unavailable before the hurricane while the plight of a celebrated local painting has inspired a new federal funding opportunity.

The John Biggers mural at the Blue Triangle community center in Third Ward - long-imperiled by the lack of funds to fix a leaky roof and now peppered with mold - prompted the National Endowment for the Humanities to announce last month a new infrastructure grant program to support building upgrades at the nation's cultural institutions.

"Absolutely, the Biggers mural played a decisive role in creating this new category at the agency," said Jon Parrish Peede, who leads NEH. "It's such an uncommon work for its time."

Biggers is considered one of the foremost artists to capture the black experience of the 20th century. When Harvey swept through southeast Texas in August, rains seeped through the already compromised roof and left mold on his 1953 painting depicting the strength of black women.

"Without the impact of Hurricane Harvey, we would not have had the infrastructure grants created at the agency so quickly and so comprehensively," Peede said. "If we stabilize these artifacts but do not protect the physical structure, then we are not fully securing them for the future."

Posted: February 1, 2018 Professor studies women's role in 1919 peace process
California State University, Sacramento News

When global leaders gathered at the Paris Peace Conference following World War I, women were excluded from the negotiating table. Not only were they shunned from international politics in 1919, but in most nations they weren’t even allowed to vote.

But that didn’t keep them from making their voices heard at a time that proved a turning point for women’s rights. Sacramento State History Professor Mona Siegel will examine that pivotal year in a new book. More than Half of Humanity: The Women Who Shaped the Peace of 1919 will look at the women who gathered not only in Paris but also in cities such as Zurich and Cairo.

Siegel recently received a $50,400 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to complete the book. She used a previous grant to research the subject – which took nearly two years. The new grant will allow her to write it all up over the next two semesters.

Posted: February 1, 2018 Fenton to trace father’s path across WWII Europe
Mount Desert Islander

Nat Fenton will talk about his father, Major William Fenton, and his own travels across Europe tracing the path his father took during World War II, at the Jesup Memorial Library on Saturday, Feb. 10, at 1 p.m.

Using his father’s letters and a map of the route the 19th Army Artillery Corps took across Europe during World War II, Nat Fenton traced William Fenton’s footsteps from the beaches of Normandy across northern France into Belgium.

Nat Fenton used the letters his father wrote to his family to relive the experience advancing across Europe and liberating France from Nazi occupation. William Fenton landed in Normandy 10 days after D-Day and crossed France into Germany during the campaigns of 1944-1945. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the French Croix de Guerre for his actions.

Though this presentation is about the experiences of veterans and their families during World War II, it is part of World War I and America, a series of programs that are supported by a grant for World War I and America, a two-year national initiative of the Library of America presented in partnership with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, and other organizations, with support from The National Endowment for the Humanities. As part of the grant, the library is working with local veterans to tell their stories. The programs are cosponsored by Acadia Senior College and the George Edwin Kirk American Legion Post No. 25.

Posted: February 1, 2018 How three librarians began to rebuild in a “New Puerto Rico”
Champaign-Urbana Online Magazine

Well before the hurricanes Irma and María devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017, the University of Puerto Rico campus community was both resisting and weathering looming austerity measures. Today, nearly four months into the aftermath, concerns grow over the pro-corporate influence over the US territory to cut funds and privatize UPR and grade schools in the wake of the hurricane. Community and campus institutions of Puerto Rico have begun to share their stories of rebuilding, even as many wait for power to be restored. One such story made its way to Urbana-Champaign. It’s the story of three campus librarians at UIUC and at UPR Mayaguez who not only came together to save the collections at the UPR Mayaguez library, but kickstarted the efforts to restore, preserve, and strengthen public cultural institutions across Puerto Rico. It would be through a National Endowment for the Humanities grant that Dr. Hilda Teresa and Dr. Jaquelina Alverez of the UPR Mayaguez library secured that would bring Miriam Centeno, the Collections Care Coordinator for the University of Illinois Library, to the island to help in the disaster recovery efforts.