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NEH in the News

Selected articles on NEH-supported projects.
Posted: January 17, 2018 Department earns NEH grant for history project in Saugatuck area
Grand Valley State University Press

The Kutsche Office of Local History at Grand Valley received a $12,000 Common Heritage grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support a project documenting the history of summers in the Saugatuck-Douglas area in the mid-20th century.

Kimberly McKee, director of the Kutsche Office of Local History, said the project is a collaboration with the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center; "Stories of Summer" involves capturing oral histories and digitizing photographs, newspaper articles and other materials from the era.

Posted: January 17, 2018 Humanities Alliance NEH Speaker Series: Film and the Memory of War
Everett Community College News

As part of our grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, U.S. Army Col. John Nelson, an instructor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point will talk about about how veterans’ memories have been translated into film. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Posted: January 16, 2018 Bruce Cole, renaissance scholar who led National Endowment for the Humanities, dies at 79
Washington Post

Bruce M. Cole, a Renaissance scholar who chaired the National Endowment for the Humanities for much of the George W. Bush administration and proselytized for the teaching and meaning of civilization in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, died Jan. 8 at a vacation residence in Cancun, Mexico. He was 79.

The cause was a heart attack, said a son, Ryan Cole.

Dr. Cole, who retired from Indiana University as a distinguished professor emeritus of fine arts and professor emeritus of comparative literature, became chairman in December 2001 — less than three months after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. He said he saw his role as NEH leader as an element in the newly declared war on terrorism.

“Defending our homeland requires not only successful military campaigns,” he told Humanities magazine in 2002. “It also depends on citizens understanding their history, their institutions, and their ideals. The humanities show us what it means to be an American, and why America’s ideals are worth fighting for.”

He added: “I see works of art as primary documents of a civilization. The written document tells you one thing, but a painting or a sculpture or a building tells you something else. They are both primary documents, but they tell you things in different ways.”

Posted: January 16, 2018 UTEP Professors Earn Prestigious NEH Award
The University of Texas, El Paso Press

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded research grants to The University of Texas at El Paso’s Professors of English Isabel Baca and Robert L. Gunn.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded research grants to The University of Texas at El Paso’s Professors of English Isabel Baca and Robert L. Gunn.

Their grants to advance research at Hispanic-Serving Institutions are part of $12.8 million that will support 253 projects across the country.

Baca, Ph.D., will receive a $100,000 Humanities Initiatives grant. She plans to organize faculty training and develop curricula for an undergraduate bilingual professional writing certificate with a focus on translation theory, rhetorical theory and ethics. Her project is called “Developing a Humanities-Based Bilingual Professional Writing Certificate for Undergraduates.” 

Gunn, Ph.D., earned an Award for Faculty grant for $50,400 to support his research into the relationship of multiple time-keeping practices to literary and storytelling form between indigenous, Spanish, Mexican and U.S. residents in western North America borderlands from the 17th to 19th centuries. He said he would use the data to write a book. 

Both UTEP professors were excited to earn this highly competitive, peer-reviewed award. The NEH, which has supported the nation’s most significant humanities projects for more than 50 years, only funds about 10 percent of the proposals it receives.

Stephen Crites, Ph.D., interim dean of UTEP’s College of Liberal Arts, said NEH fellowships and grants are among the most prestigious and competitive awards that faculty in the humanities can receive. He added that this recognition exemplifies the kind of quality work that is done through the college.

“It is a tremendous affirmation of the quality of research and of program development in UTEP’s Department of English that Dr. Baca and Dr. Gunn have received these awards,” Crites said. “They reflect the exemplary accomplishments of these two individual faculty members.”

Posted: January 16, 2018 Religious Worlds of New York - Generous Stipend for PD in NEH Summer Institute on Religious Diversity
H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online

In today’s climate of religious bigotry and extremism, K-12 teachers can help promote mutual respect and understanding across faith lines.  The Religious Worlds of New York summer institute gives teachers the tools they need to build a more inclusive society. 

Public, private, and faith-based school teachers are invited to apply for the July 2018 Religious Worlds institute – a three week program, with a generous stipend, that will help them teach about religious diversity.  The institute will bring 25 teachers from throughout the U.S. to New York City, to work with leading scholars of religion, meet with diverse re­lig­ious leaders, visit local houses of worship, and explore the religious life of the city.  Past participants describe the institute as “my best professional development experience ever” and “one of the best learning expe­riences of my life” (click here for many more evaluations).  Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to explore the religious worlds of New York!

The institute is sponsored by the Interfaith Center of New York and Union Theological Seminary, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  It will meet from July 9th to 27th on UTS's Manhattan campus.  All NEH summer scholars will receive a $2,700 stipend to help pay travel, housing, and living expenses for the duration of the institute.

Posted: January 16, 2018 Dr. Jay Givens shares his experience with NEH
LMTonline News

Wayland Baptist University’s Dr. Jay Givens told his story of his participation in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for college and university teachers on the theme of World Religions and World Religions Discourse: Challenges of Teaching the Religions of the World, Tuesday at the weekly meeting of the Plainview Rotary Club.

The institute, which was held at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota over a one-month period during the summer, brought together 30 scholars from around the country and part of a variety of disciplines to study.

Those professors leading the institute included James Laine, a scholar on Hinduism, who organized the program; Tomoko Masuzawa a historian who teaches at the University of Michigan; Donald Lopez, a scholar on Buddhism, Carl Ernst, a scholar on Islam and Michael McNally, who was a scholar specializing in Native American religious beliefs.

Givens said a significant part of the first week of the program involved Masuzawa’s contention that the concept of individual world religions did not truly exist until the 19th century. He said that he and his fellow institute participants discussed and debated this issue at some length during the first week.

The following weeks were spent discussing Hinduism, Buddhism and monotheistic religion as well as Native American religious practices. Given gave the assembled audience a few important lessons on a number of different world religions as well as how certain religions, such as Buddhism, differ depending upon the country and culture of believers.

Givens, who said he would generally consider himself a small government supporter said that he really believed in the viability of the program supported by the NEH. He said that the program not only influences those who directly participate, but also benefits those students who can learn from the participants themselves.

Posted: January 16, 2018 Shepherd University News and Events
The Picket

Shepherd to provide fourth NEH Institute for Teachers in July. Public school teachers that work in all levels, in addition to librarians and theater arts teachers from all over the country, can apply to the 2018 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute at Shepherd University called “Voices from the Misty Mountains: The Power of Storytelling.” This event will last from July 8-28. This marks the fourth NEH Institute for teachers held on Shepherd grounds. 

Posted: January 16, 2018 Teaching kids how battles about race from 150 years ago mirror today’s conflicts
The Hechinger Report

Several organizations are providing information to help educators teach about Reconstruction. The National Endowment for the Humanities is sponsoring “American Reconstruction: The Untold Story,” a summer institute for teachers in grades K-12 in July 2018, at the University of South Carolina Beaufort. Twenty-five teachers will be selected to attend. The program was also offered in 2016 and 2017.

Posted: January 12, 2018 BCC Encourages Berkshire Immigrants To Tell Their Stories
NPR/WAMC

An unusual program at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield hopes to document the stories of immigrants coming to western Massachusetts. 

The program, which started in September 2016, is funded in part by two Mass Humanities planning grants totaling $31,000, and some National Endowment for the Humanities funding. BCC has partnered with the Tenement Museum in New York City to add to its online database Berkshire immigrants’ stories and images. 

“But the ultimate goal is for three community colleges in the state – BCC, Middlesex, and Holyoke – to use this as a springboard to develop a public humanities center at each of those colleges,” Laney says, “with the special goal of serving underserved populations in the area, and finding ways to meet their needs that maybe not all humanities projects do.”

Posted: January 12, 2018 Exhibit exploring history of American slave trade coming to LC Central Library
KPLC News

“Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865,” a traveling panel exhibition exploring the history of the domestic slave trade, is making a stop at Central Library, located at 301 W. Claude Street in Lake Charles. 

The exhibit will be on display from Jan. 16 until Feb. 27. An opening reception and presentation of the exhibit will take place at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18, at the library. 

Dr. John Keeling, a professor of history from McNeese State University, will open the exhibit with a discussion on the slave trade in New Orleans and throughout Louisiana. "Purchased Lives" examines the period between America's 1808 abolishment of the international slave trade and the end of the Civil War, during which an estimated two million people were forcibly moved among the nation's states and territories.

The display is made up of 10 panels and features reproductions of period artifacts such as broadsides, paintings and prints illustrating the domestic slave trade, as well as ship manifests, financial documents and first-person accounts conveying the trade's reach into all levels of antebellum society. 

Large-scale reproductions of post–Civil War "Lost Friends" ads depict the attempts of former slaves to reunite with loved ones, even as much as 50 years after the war.

The exhibit is on loan through the Historic New Orleans Collection, in collaboration with the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and is presented by Entergy, with additional support from Find Your Park, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Kabacoff Family Foundation.