NEH in the News
Rachel Teukolsky, an associate professor of English whose research bridges Victorian literature and the visual arts, has received a Summer Stipends award from the Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for her current book project.
Teukolsky will travel to London to conduct research at the British Film Institute and the Imperial War Museum for her upcoming book, Picture World: The Aesthetic Life of Images in Britain’s Machine Age.
Molly T. Blasing, assistant professor of Russian studies in the University of Kentucky Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures, has been awarded a 2017 NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) Summer Stipend, one of only two conferred this year in Kentucky.
She will use the funding to complete research on a final chapter of her book, “Snapshots of the Soul: Photo-Poetic Encounters in Modern Russian Culture.”
Blasing's project examines the relationship between photographic seeing and poetic creation in Russia and the Soviet Union. The book represents an interdisciplinary approach to modern literary studies, visual culture and the social history of technology.
Bentley Professor of English and Media Studies Gesa Kirsch has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend grant to study the Woman’s Medical Journal, which circulated nationwide from 1893 to 1952, along with the network of women doctors that it helped foster.
Kirsch’s work this summer will focus on the “rhetorical strategies, professional networks and intellectual leadership” of a group of late 19th century women physicians, using case studies of these women and analysis of the Woman’s Medical Journal. Kirsch will examine the ways these women physicians mentored each other in a culture that was sometimes openly hostile to their professional aspirations.
Dr. Kristina Killgrove, an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of West Florida, received a summer stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study skeletal remains of victims of the 79 A.D. Mount Vesuvius volcano eruption.
The NEH awards only about 80 of the prestigious stipends to recipients annually across the country.
The $6,000 stipend will allow Killgrove to analyze 54 skeletons this summer at Oplontis, a villa located in southern Italy near the ancient city of Pompeii that was buried in ash from the volcano. While the destruction of Pompeii is well studied, not as much is known about the associated villas that were also destroyed by the eruption.
“This huge villa included essentially an Olympic-size swimming pool,” Killgrove said. “The skeletons were found in an associated building that seems to have been a sort of merchant-type area. They seem to have been an import-export wine business.”
Killgrove will perform research at the ancient site for six weeks. She will create 3-D models of the partially excavated remains and an osteological analysis of all 54 skeletons, which were discovered between 1984 and 1991.
Among the recipients are the following CAA members, all of whom received Summer Stipends to work on their various research projects:
- Marie-Stéphanie Delamaire of the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library in Winterthur, Delaware, for “Diderot and d’Alembert’s Encyclopedia and the Color Printing Revolution: A Translation and Critical Study”
- Jennifer Germann of Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, for “A Study of the Portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle and Lady Elizabeth Murray, an 18th-century British Artwork”
- Laura Morowitz of Wagner College in Staten Island, New York, for “Art Exhibitions in Vienna, Austria, during the Nazi Occupation”
- Allie Terry-Fritsch from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, for “Cosimo de’Medici, Fra Angelico, and the Public Library of San Marco”
- Anne Verplanck of Pennsylvania State University in Harrisburg for “The Business of Art: Transforming the Graphic Arts in an Age of Mechanical Reproduction”
These awards come just weeks after President Donald J. Trump’s administration released a budget proposal calling for the elimination of the NEH, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Education’s international education programs, the Institute for Museums and Library Services, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Our attention now turns to Congress, which can fund these programs despite the administration’s proposals. We have been heartened that these programs—which have been supported by presidents of both parties—have seen growing support in Congress in recent years. Indeed, over the past two years, the Republican-controlled Congresses have supported increases for the NEH.
ASCA Director Al Head is also on the board for the Alabama Humanities Foundation and fears it would be hit even harder with the NEH zeroed out. He estimated 80 percent of its budget relies on NEH funding. “They fund everything from films to Museum on Main Street to lectures and programs for teachers and students. If NEH were to be abolished it would be hard for the Alabama Humanities Foundation to survive,” Head said.
Duwaine T. Bascoe, Esq., is president of the Rochester Black Bar Association - When I look at these dangerous disparities I’m reminded of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he stated, “A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our present policies. … A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
SUNY Polytechnic Institute has been selected by the National Endowment for the Humanities to receive nearly $100,000 in funding to re-imagine the spirit and strategy of entrepreneurship in an interdisciplinary way by uniting it with the creative thinking of the humanities, resulting in new opportunities for students, veterans, start-ups, and further enhancing the economic vitality of the community as a whole.
“This highly competitive award is tremendous evidence of our outstanding faculty’s dedication and commitment to finding new solutions to the challenges our region and the world face,” said Bahgat Sammakia, Interim President of SUNY Polytechnic Institute. “The funding from this grant recognizes the critical role that interdisciplinary collaboration between the humanities and business plays in our local, regional, and global economy, and SUNY Poly is proud to lead the way.”
UC Riverside professor Laila Lalami, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for The Moor’s Account: “The arts and the humanities are not partisan,” Lalami wrote. “They are essential to our lives, enabling us to connect with one another and enriching the range of our critical conversations.”
Have you ever watched Ken Burns’ documentary on the Civil War, read “The Color Purple” or watched “Sesame Street” with your children? Have you watched an indie Sundance film, listened to NPR or watched anything on PBS? Did you ever use inter-library loan for a book you need, attend a library-sponsored program on New Hampshire history or visit the Currier Museum of Art? Have you taken a League of NH Craftsman workshop, or attended their annual fair at Sunapee? Do you know a teenager who has explored ethics questions at HYPE (Hosting Young Philosophy Enthusiasts — at UNH) or a child who has discovered the joy of theater at Andy’s Summer Playhouse?
If you say “yes” to any of these, you can thank one or more of the following: the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), our state’s Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), our own N.H. Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) or the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS.) These organizations enrich our cultural life, enhance civic connections and empower new ideas.