The National Endowment for the Humanities announces new awards and grants

NEH Logo MASTER_082010

Here are a few of the recent grants that caught our eye:

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Outright: $10,000

[Preservation Assistance Grants]
Project Director: Elizabeth Burgess
Project Title: Updating Manuscript Collection Housing Part II
Project Description: The purchase of preservation supplies as the second phase of rehousing the Stowe Center’s manuscript collections. The Center’s collection of 195,000 items dating from c. 1500 to the present include the Foote Collection of Stowe’s maternal family manuscripts; the Katharine Seymour Day Collection of the historic preservationist’s personal correspondence, notes, financial papers, family materials, and other documents; the Saturday Morning Club Collection, with meeting agendas, invitations, programs, minutes, and membership lists of the Hartford Women’s Literary Club; and the papers of architect George Keller. Together, these collections illuminate such topics as the material culture and history of antislavery, the history of slavery in the United States, women’s roles, the history of stage and screen, and historic preservation in Hartford.

Reinhardt College Outright: $189,004
[Landmarks of American History]
Project Director: William Bishop
Project Title: The Trail of Tears: Context and Perspectives
Project Description: Two one-week workshops for 72 school teachers about the history and culture of the Cherokee people.

University of Maryland, College Park Outright: $350,000
[Scholarly Editions and Translations]
Project Director: Leslie Rowland
Project Title: Freedmen and Southern Society Project
Project Description: Preparation for publication of volumes 8 and 9 of Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861–1867.

Massachusetts Historical Society Outright: $350,000
[Scholarly Editions and Translations]
Project Director: Sara Martin
Project Title: Adams Papers Editorial Project
Project Description: Preparation for publication of volumes 20, 21, and 22 of the papers of John Adams (1735–1826) and volumes 15, 16, and 17 of the Adams Family’s correspondence.

Vincent Cannato Outright: $60,000
[Public Scholars]
University of Massachusetts, Boston
Project Title: Powerhouse: Francis Cardinal Spellman (1889–1967) and America’s Catholic Cold War
Project Description: Research and writing leading to a biography of Archbishop Francis Cardinal Spellman (1889–1967) and his influence on religion, politics, and American life

University of Massachusetts, Lowell Outright: $180,008
[Landmarks of American History]
Project Director: Sheila Kirschbaum
Project Title: Social Movements and Reform in Industrializing America: The Lowell Experience
Project Description: Two one-week workshops for 72 school teachers on the history of reform movements in Lowell, MA.

University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth Outright: $189,702
[Landmarks of American History]
Project Director: Anthony Arrigo
Project Title: Sailing to Freedom: New Bedford and the Underground Railroad
Project Description: Two one-week workshops for 72 school teachers to explore abolitionism and the Underground Railroad in the port city of New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey Outright: $251,536
[National Digital Newspaper Program]
Project Director: Caryn Radick
Project Title: New Jersey Digital Newspaper Project
Project Description: Digitization of 100,000 pages of New Jersey newspapers, published between 1800 and 1926, as part of the state’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

Christopher Bellitto Outright: $35,000
[Public Scholars]
Kean University
Project Title: Humility: A History of a Lost Virtue
Project Description: Research and writing of a book on the idea of humility in world literature, religion, philosophy, mythology, and theater.

Teagle Foundation Outright: $3,000,000
[Cooperative Agreements and Special Projects (Education)]
Project Director: Andrew Delbanco
Project Title: The “Cornerstone” Approach to Reinvigorating General Education
Project Description: A five-year cooperative agreement to develop and implement new humanities pathways in undergraduate education.

Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Outright: $111,947
[Institutes for School Teachers]
Project Director: Denver Brunsman
Project Title: The Making of America: Colonial Era to Reconstruction
Project Description: A one-week institute for 30 K–8 teachers on United States history from the colonial era through Reconstruction, to be held in Washington, D.C.

New-York Historical Society Outright: $161,860
[Institutes for School Teachers]
Project Director: Mia Nagawiecki
Project Title: Early Encounters in the American Colonies
Project Description: A two-week institute for 30 K–12 teachers on the history of women in colonial America.

Historic Hudson Valley Outright: $189,384
[Landmarks of American History]
Project Director: Elizabeth Bradley
Project Title: Slavery in the Colonial North
Project Description: Two one-week workshops for 72 K–12 educators on the history of slavery in the colonial north.

Fort Ticonderoga Association Outright: $92,257
[Institutes for School Teachers]
Project Director: Richard Strum
Project Title: For the Common Defense: Subjects, Citizens, and America’s Military Origins, 1609–1815
Project Description: A two-week institute for 25 middle and high school teachers on the origins and development of American military institutions.

University of Oregon Outright: $99,985
[Digital Humanities Advancement Grants]
Project Director: Daniel Rosenberg; Anthony Grafton (co-project director)
Project Title: Time Online II: The Time Charts of Joseph Priestley
NEH Grant Offers and Awards, July 2020

David Pettegrew Outright: $60,000
[Public Scholars]
Messiah College
Project Title: The Archaeology of the Early Christian World: History, Methods, Evidence
Project Description: Research and writing for a book on the archaeological history of Early Christianity.

University of South Carolina, Columbia Outright: $200,000
[Scholarly Editions and Translations]
Project Director: Constance Schulz
Project Title: The Revolutionary Era Pinckney Statesmen of South Carolina: A Digital Documentary Edition
Project Description: Preparation for digital publication of volume 4 of the papers of three South Carolina statesmen: Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (1746–1825), Thomas Pinckney (1750–1828), and Charles Pinckney (1757–1824).

University of Virginia Outright: $256,000
[Scholarly Editions and Translations] Match: $78,000
Project Director: Jennifer Stertzer
Project Title: The Papers of U.S. President George Washington (1732–1799)
Project Description: Preparation for publication of volumes 30 through 38 of the Revolutionary War series of the papers of George Washington (1732–1799).

University of Mary Washington Outright: $180,000
[Scholarly Editions and Translations] Match: $20,000
Project Director: Daniel Preston; Robert Karachuk (co-project director)
Project Title: The Papers of James Monroe
Project Description: Preparation for publication of volumes 8 and 9 of the papers of James Monroe (1758–1831), fifth president of the United States.

Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture Outright: $146,125
[Institutes for School Teachers]
Project Director: Karin Wulf
Project Title: Teaching the History and Culture of Vast Early America
Project Description: A two-week institute for 25 K–12 teachers on the broad history of colonial America.

Congratulations to all the grant winners!

National Endowment for the Humanities Awards Grants

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The National Endowment of the Humanities has announced its recent round of grant winners.  Here are the ones that caught my eye, including a $64,593 grant for a program on women in the military directed by my Messiah College History Department colleague Sarah Myers!

Jonathan Den Hartog Outright: $6,000
[Summer Stipends]
Samford University
Project Title: John Jay’s Statesmanship: Diplomacy, the Law, and Education
Project Description: Writing three chapters of a political and intellectual biography of
John Jay (1745–1829), secretary of state and first chief justice of the United States.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Outright: $50,000
[Humanities Collections and Reference Resources]
Project Director: Briann Greenfield
Project Title: Planning to Digitize the Collections
Project Description: A planning and pilot project to establish priorities for digitizing the
Stowe Center’s archival holdings and artifact collections related to Harriet Beecher
Stowe, her family, and the Nook Farm neighborhood in Hartford, Connecticut. The
project would seek advice from focus groups of scholars, teachers, and students; digitize
and create metadata for 100 objects; develop and test workflows; and collaborate with
state-wide digital platforms to ensure the collections reach a wide audience.

Kacy Tillman Outright: $6,000
[Summer Stipends]
University of Tampa
Project Title: The Liberty of Loyalty during the American Revolution: Black Loyalism in
the Book of Negroes
Project Description: Research and writing of an article on “The Book of Negroes,” a
Revolutionary War manuscript that documents black loyalists to the British cause, held
at the British National Archives as part of the British Headquarters Papers, 1774–1783.

Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, Inc. Outright: $50,000
[Short Documentaries]
Project Director: Sonny Seals
Project Title: Historic Rural Churches of Georgia’s Saving Grace Documentary Series
Project Description: Production of short films about rural churches of the South.

Helen Kim Outright: $6,000
[Summer Stipends]
Emory University
Project Title: Transpacific Piety and Politics: Cold War South Korea and the Rise of
American Evangelicalism
Project Description: Research for a book on evangelical Christianity and politics in South
Korea and the United States after the Korean War.

Concord Museum Outright: $400,000
[Exhibitions: Implementation]
Project Director: Thomas J. Putnam
Project Title: Concord: At the Center of Revolution
Project Description: Implementation of a new permanent, 6,000-square-foot exhibition,
education materials, and public programs exploring the history of Concord in the
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Amanda Kleintop Outright: $6,000
[Summer Stipends]
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Project Title: The Balance of Freedom: Abolishing Property Rights in Slaves During and
After the Civil War
Project Description: Research and writing one chapter of a book interrogating the
significance of policies governing property rights in slaves before and after
Emancipation.

Hannah Muller Outright: $6,000
[Summer Stipends]
Brandeis University
Project Title: The Aliens Acts, the 1790s, and the Changing Contours of Citizenship
Project Description: Research for a book on British, Canadian, Caribbean, and American
immigration legislation during the 1790s in response to the French Revolution.

Kimberlee Moran Outright: $6,000
[Summer Stipends]
Rutgers University, Camden
Project Title: The Arch Street Project: Visualizing the Historical, Archaeological, and
Bioanthropological Evidence from the First Baptist Church
Project Description: Development of a digital map to present the results of salvage
excavations of a historic cemetery in Old City, Philadelphia.

Kevin Kenny Outright: $6,000
[Summer Stipends]
New York University
Project Title: Slavery and Immigration, an American History (1789–1889)
Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on the interrelationship of
immigration standards and slavery in federal policy, constitutional reform, and political
action after the Civil War.

Douglas Egerton Outright: $6,000
[Summer Stipends]
Le Moyne College
Project Title: The Ally: Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Boston Brahmin, Radical
Minister, Labor Agitator, Vigilance Committee Activist
Project Description: Research for a biography of Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823–
1911), artist and public intellectual of the nineteenth century.

Leigh Fought Outright: $6,000
[Summer Stipends]
Le Moyne College
Project Title: A Biography of Sally Hemings (1773–1835)
Project Description: Onsite research at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello for a short
biography of Sally Hemings

Messiah College Outright: $64,593
[Dialogues on the Experience of War]
Project Director: Sarah Myers
Project Title: Women’s Experiences in the U.S. Military
Project Description: A two-day workshop to prepare facilitators to lead discussion
programs for veterans in five host communities in the United States.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania Outright: $124,266
[Humanities Collections and Reference Resources]
Project Director: Cary Hutto
Project Title: Improving Access to Women’s History Collections at the Historical Society
of Pennsylvania
Project Description: The arrangement and description of four manuscript collections,
totaling 149 linear feet, that document women’s history in the greater Philadelphia region from the 1860s to the present. Portions of each collection would also receive
conservation treatment and be rehoused for long-term preservation.

Museum of the American Revolution Outright: $100,000
[Exhibitions: Implementation]
Project Director: Philip Mead
Project Title: When Women Lost the Vote: A Revolutionary Story, 1776–1807
Project Description: Implementation of a temporary exhibition, educational materials, a
website, and related public programs exploring women’s citizenship and voting rights in
the early Republic.

Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. Outright: $75,000
[Historic Places: Planning]
Project Director: Linnea Grim
Project Title: New Interpretative Plan for Monticello
Project Description: Planning a new exhibition and three new tours exploring the lasting
impact of the Declaration of Independence and its founding principles of freedom and
equality.

All the winners are listed here.

National Endowment for the Humanities Announces Grant Awards

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Read the press release here.  A few awards that caught my eye:

  • Azusa Pacific University: A residential bridge program for first generation students that incorporates an introductory humanities course and complementary labs and field trips focused on the ideas, arguments, and points of view contained in the Declaration of Independence.
  • Amanda Baugh (University of California–Northridge): Research and writing leading to a book about the environmental values of Latinx Catholics in Los Angeles and the history of American environmentalism.
  • Santa Clara University: Development of an augmented reality and virtual reality experience to explore the history of the Santa Clara de Asís mission.
  • Flordia Atlantic University: Development of a multiformat project on the history of Mitchelville, South Carolina, the first Freedman’s town in the United States during the Civil War.
  • Anne Arundel Community College: A three-year partnership to incorporate the study of primary sources into community college courses and establish transfer pathways for students.
  • Anne Rubin (University of Maryland): Research leading to a book about the impact of food shortages on food culture in the Civil War South.
  • Timothy Shenk (Johns Hopkins): Research and writing leading to a book on the history of the concept of the modern economy in the United States.
  • National History Day: A three-year cooperative agreement that would extend and expand NEH’s partnership with National History Day, in response to NEH’s “A More Perfect Union” initiative.
  • Eric Gardner (Saginaw Valley University): Research and writing of a book on Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825–1911), African American author, orator, abolitionist, suffragist, and civil rights leader.
  • Katherine Gerbner (University of Minnesota): Research and writing leading to a book on the development of  ideas about religion and religious freedom in colonial America as they were shaped by slavery and the criminalization of black religious practices.
  • Peter Mercer-Taylor (University of Minnesota): Preparation of an open-access digital anthology of almost 300 hymn melodies published in the United States before 1861 derived from European classical music.
  • Historic Hudson Valley: Prototyping of an interactive digital history on the New York Conspiracy trials (1741), in which both enslaved people and poor white New Yorkers stood accused of plotting to burn the city and murder its white inhabitants.
  • Jonathan Schroeder (University of Warwick): Research and writing leading to a biography of John S. Jacobs (1815–1875) and a critical edition of Jacobs’s 1855 autobiographical slave narrative.
  • Sharon Murphy (Providence College): Completion of a book on the relationship between banking and slavery in the antebellum South.
  • ETV Endowment of South Carolina Inc.: Production of an immersive website and mobile application exploring the impact and legacy of Reconstruction.

Click here for a list of all the winners.

The National Endowment for the Humanities Announces Grant Recipients

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Here are a few that caught my eye:

Stanford University 
Project Director: Clayborne Carson
Project Title: The Papers of Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968)

Elizabeth Fenn
University of Colorado, Boulder
Project Title: Sacagawea’s World: Window on the American West

American Historical Association
Project Director: Dana Schaffer
Project Title: History, the Past and Public Culture: An Exploratory Survey

Association of American Medical Colleges 
[Cooperative Agreements and Special Projects (Education)]
Project Director: Alison Whelan
Project Title: The Fundamental Role of the Humanities and Arts in Medical Education

Theresa Runstedtler
American University
Project Title: Black Ball: Rethinking the “Dark Ages” of Professional Basketball (1970s)

Jane Calvert
University of Kentucky
Project Title: A Biography of John Dickinson (1732–1808)

Endicott College
Project Director: Mark Herlihy
Project Title: The Salem Witch Trials: Their World and Legacy (Summer seminar for teachers)

Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, Inc. 
Project Director: Michelle LeBlanc
Project Title: Mapping a New World: Places of Conflict and Colonization in Seventeenth -Century New England (Summer workshops for teachers)

Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association
Project Director: Lynne Manring
Project Title: Living on the Edge of Empire: Alliance, Conflict, and Captivity in Colonial
New England (Summer workshops for teachers)

Plimoth Plantation, Inc. 
Project Director: Darius Coombs
Project Title: Beyond the Mayflower: New Voices from Early America, 1500–1676 (Summer workshops for teachers)

American Antiquarian Society 
Project Director: James Moran
Project Title: The News Media and the Making of America, 1730–1865 (Summer seminar for teachers)

New-York Historical Society 
Project Director: Marci Reaven
Project Title: Religion and the American West

University of South Carolina, Columbia
Project Director: Joseph Morris
Project Title: America’s Reconstruction: The Untold Story (Summer seminar for teachers)

Vermont Archaeological Society, Inc. 
Project Director: Angela Labrador
Project Title: Freedom and Unity: The Struggle for Independence on the Vermont
Frontier (Summer seminar for teachers)

University of Virginia
Project Director: Jennifer Steenshorne
Project Title: The Papers of U.S. President George Washington (1732–1799)

University of Virginia
Project Director: John Stagg
Project Title: The Papers of U.S. President James Madison (1751–1836)

Montpelier Foundation 
Project Director: Terry Brock; Mary Minkoff (co-project director); Matthew Reeves (coproject director)
Project Title: Understanding the Overseer: Using Archaeology to Examine Status and
Identity at James Madison’s Montpelier

Click here for an entire list of August 2019 winners.  Congratulations!

Anne-Imelda Radice is the New Director of the National Endowment for the Humanities

Anne Imelda Radice

Here is the press release:

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 12, 2018) — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is pleased to announce the appointment of Anne-Imelda Radice as the new director of NEH’s Division of Public Programs and as a special advisor to NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede.

“Having awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in federal cultural grants during her career, Anne brings a wealth of wisdom and experience to our agency,” said Chairman Peede. “We are delighted to have her as a colleague and mentor to staff.”

Radice brings more than forty years of experience in public humanities and federal service to the position. Since 2012 Radice has served as Executive Director of the American Folk Art Museum in New York, where she increased the museum’s profile by opening a second site and attracting financial support from the Ford Foundation, Mellon Foundation, and Luce Foundation. In addition, she instituted an apprenticeship program at the museum for underserved students from LaGuardia Community College.

Her most recent government position was as Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, where she served in both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. She has also served as Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Education, Chief Arts Advisor for the U.S. Information Agency, and Curator for the Architect of the U.S. Capitol.

Radice’s new position will be a return to NEH. In 2005 she served as the agency’s Acting Deputy Chairman and Special Advisor to the Chairman. In her tenure at NEH, she helped develop and oversee the agency’s 40th anniversary as well as its Picturing America initiative, which brought masterpieces of American art into schools and libraries. She has also served at NEH’s sister agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, where she was appointed Acting Chairman of NEA in 1992.

Radice has also served as Director of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. She is the recipient of the Presidential Citizen’s Medal, the Forbes Medal, and the NEA’s Chairman’s Medal.

She holds an MBA from American University, a PhD in art and architectural history with a specialty in Renaissance architecture from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, an MA from Villa Schifanoia School of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy, and an AB from Wheaton College.

P.S.  For my evangelical readers, Radice is a graduate of the OTHER Wheaton College.

William Livingston’s World

Liberty Hall

Liberty Hall Museum, the home of William Livingston

Today I am in Union, New Jersey working with the History Department at Kean University.  The department just received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to fund MakeHISTORY@Kean: William Livingston’s World.  It is a three-year project intended to develop  the Kean history curriculum around the concept of a History Lab.  The project incorporates the unique and untapped archival and historical resources of Kean University, Liberty Hall Museum, and the Liberty Hall Academic Center.  Undergraduates will generate a portfolio of original historical research to be shared with a broad public through talks, exhibits, websites, lesson plans, and other genres.

Initially, students will focus their work on the world of William Livingston, a brigadier general during the Revolutionary War, New Jersey’s first popularly elected governor (1776-1790), and signer of the U.S. Constitution.

The project also teaches history majors to think about how their work in the field of history intersects with a variety of career options in business, digital, and STEM to produce graduates who possess the communications and critical thinking skills employers need.

The “William Livingston World” program is already underway.  Students are working on a recreation of the 1772 marriage of Sarah Livingston and John Jay, which occurred in the Great Hall at Liberty Hall (on Kean’s campus).  Check out this video:

I will be talking with faculty and students today as the project’s “Public Humanities Consultant.”  It should be a great day and I am excited to learn more about this project.

Good News on the Humanities Front

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From the National Humanities Alliance:

Yesterday evening, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies released a draft bill that includes $155 million in funding for both the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for FY 2019. This represents not only another rejection of the administration’s efforts to defund the agencies but also a $2 million increase for each agency above FY 2018 funding levels. This proposed boost comes on the heels of increases in each of the past three years. 

The arts and humanities communities—including the National Humanities Alliance, the Federation of State Humanities Councils, and Americans for the Arts—have been pushing for at least $155 million in funding since the agency’s budgets were cut in 2010. This is the first time since then that the House subcommittee has met that request. We were heartened to see the enthusiasm for this funding level build in March when a record number of representatives (166 total) signed onto the Dear Colleague Letter requesting $155 million for the NEH.

Read the entire piece here.

It’s Happening Again

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From Publishers Weekly:

In its FY2019 budget proposal, unveiled today, the Trump administration has once again proposed the permanent elimination of the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, as well as the elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (and with it virtually all federal library funding).

The proposal comes just days after the president signed a two-year budget bill that will add as much as $400 billion in federal spending through the 2019 fiscal year, and it doubles down on Trump’s efforts to eliminate the agencies in his FY2018 budget—which the House of representatives ultimately rejected last September.

Read the rest here.  Time to write another letter and perhaps make a phone call.

National Endowment for the Humanities Announces New Grants

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Let’s hope that there will be more grants to come.

Here are a few of the recent NEH grants that may be of interest to readers of The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

University of California, Los Angeles Outright: $143,136
[Institutes for School Teachers]
Project Director: Carol Bakhos
Project Title: Religious Landscapes of Los Angeles

Telfair Museum of Art Outright: $150,000
[Historic Places: Implementation] Match: $100,000
Project Director: Shannon Browning-Mullis
Project Title: The Owens-Thomas House: Interpreting the Dynamics of Urban Slavery in the South

Trustees of Indiana University, Indianapolis Outright: $108,800
[Seminars for School Teachers]
Project Director: Edward Curtis
Project Title: Muslim American History and Life

Richard Bell Outright: $50,400
[Public Scholar Program]
University of Maryland, College Park
Project Title: Kidnapping and the Slave Trade in Post-Revolutionary America

St. Mary’s College of Maryland Outright: $240,000
[Collaborative Research]
Project Director: Julia King
Project Title: Indigenous Borderlands of the Chesapeake: The Lower Rappahannock
Valley Landscape, 200–1850 CE

Massachusetts Historical Society Outright: $350,000
[Scholarly Editions and Translations] Match: $200,000
Project Director: Sara Martin
Project Title: Adams Papers Editorial Project

Megan Nelson Outright: $50,400
[Public Scholar Program]
Project Title: How the West was Won—and Lost—during the American Civil War

University of Massachusetts, Lowell Outright: $166,748
[Institutes for School Teachers]
Project Director: Sheila Kirschbaum
Project Title: Social Movements and Reform in Industrializing America: The Lowell
Experience

Delta State University Outright: $189,387
[Institutes for School Teachers]
Project Director: Rolando Herts
Project Title: The Most Southern Place on Earth: Music, History, and Culture of the
Mississippi Delta

Cornell University Outright: $324,581
[Digital Humanities Advancement Grants] Match: $50,000
Project Director: Edward Baptist; William Block (co-project director)
Project Title: Freedom on the Move: Advancing a Crowdsourced, Comprehensive
Database of North American Runaway Slave Advertisements

CUNY Research Foundation, Graduate School and University Center
Outright: $165,118
[Institutes for College and University Teachers]
Project Director: Donna Thompson Ray
Project Title: The Visual Culture of the American Civil War and its Aftermath

Firelight Media, Inc. Outright: $800,000
[Media Projects Production]
Project Director: Stanley Nelson
Project Title: The Slave Trade: Creating a New World

Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Outright: $350,000
[Community Conversations]
Project Director: Susan Saidenberg
Project Title: Revisiting the Founding Era

Interfaith Center of New York Outright: $170,550
[Institutes for School Teachers]
Project Director: Henry Goldschmidt
Project Title: Religious Worlds of New York: Teaching the Everyday Life of American
Religious Diversity

University of South Carolina, Columbia Outright: $300,000
[Scholarly Editions and Translations] Match: $40,000
Project Director: Constance Schulz
Project Title: The Revolutionary Era Pinckney Statesmen of South Carolina, A Digital
Documentary Edition: Phase 3

University of South Carolina, Columbia Outright: $199,803
[Institutes for School Teachers]
Project Director: Joseph Morris
Project Title: America’s Reconstruction: The Untold Story

Brookhaven College Outright: $120,505
[Institutes for College and University Teachers]
Project Director: Paul Benson
Project Title: Slavery and the Constitution

University of Virginia Outright: $320,000
[Scholarly Editions and Translations] Match: $100,000
Project Director: William Ferraro
Project Title: Papers of George Washington

University of Virginia Outright: $266,000
[Scholarly Editions and Translations] Match: $75,000
Project Director: John Stagg
Project Title: The Papers of James Madison

University of Virginia Outright: $157,956
[Institutes for School Teachers]
Project Director: Lisa Reilly
Project Title: Thomas Jefferson: The Public and Private Worlds of Monticello and the
University of Virginia

University of Mary Washington Outright: $300,000
[Scholarly Editions and Translations]
Project Director: Daniel Preston
Project Title: The Papers of James Monroe

Carthage College Outright: $124,749
[Institutes for College and University Teachers]
Project Director: Stephanie Mitchell
Project Title: Women’s Suffrage in the Americas

Congratulations to all.

How To Fight Trump’s Cuts to the Humanities

 

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Here is a press release from the Organization of American Historians (published at History News Network);

The OAH strives to keep its members informed of issues that could affect the history profession and the humanities more broadly. As part of our effort, we periodically issue alerts to help our members take action.

On May 23, President Trump sent his proposed fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget request to Congress. As expected, it included devastating cuts to federal history and humanities funding including elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and Title VI/Fulbright-Hays international education programs at the U.S. Department of Education.

House Appropriations Committee subcommittees will be drafting their spending bills between now and the end of June. It is critical that you contact your members of Congress in support of these vital federal programs.

This year we are urging you to send your messages to Congress via email. The volume of calls congressional offices have received has grown exponentially since January and often the voice mail of staffers are full, making it difficult to leave messages.

Our colleagues at the National Humanities Alliance (NHA) have created a legislative action center that allows you to send multiple emails to Congress on NEH, NHRPC, IMLS, and education funding from a single website. Each alert includes a pre-written letter that you can personalize or send as is. The system uses your zip code to identify your House member and Senators.

If you prefer to make a phone call, members of Congress can be reached through the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202)224-3121. We suggest you use the letters found at the NHA’s legislative action center as talking points. You can find your representative on the House website. Contact information for your senators can be found here.

No matter which means of communication you choose, please personalize your message as to your background or interest in history. If you are employed in the field, mention the institution where you work in your state and congressional district.

Never before have federal history and archival programs been under attack to this extent. Members of Congress are under tremendous pressure to hold the line on spending, so you must make your voices heard today!

 

Storytelling and Humanities Funding

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From Douglas Sladen, “Oriental Cairo,” 1911, Wikipedia Commons

Over at the Huffington Post, Patrick Hicks, the Writer-in-Residence at Augustana College, reminds us of the importance of story as it relates to the funding of the humanities.

Here is a taste:

As far as we know, human beings are the only creatures that tell stories. Think about that for a minute. Let it sink in. To the best of our knowledge, we’re the only form of life in the whole universe that can imagine the future and chronicle the past.

We’re the only species that understands our planet’s infinitesimally small place in the great black void of space. For all we know, perhaps the reason for our existence is to tell stories. And oh, how we love to tell stories.

This aspect of being human is so much a part of our daily lives that we rarely stop to think about it. And yet, when we come home from work, the first question we are likely to be asked is this: “How was your day?” It is invitation to tell a story. In a similar way, after a funeral, we gather in a church hall to remember the deceased and we resurrect them through words…

We are hardwired for story.

All too often, storytelling is seen as somehow frivolous and unnecessary when it comes to governmental funding. Stories, however, offer identity and moments of learning and national mythology. Of all the great scientific wonders that rise up from any given age—of all the political rulings and wars that make up the vast catalog of the human experience—what lasts are the stories that are created…

If we want our voices to echo down through the ages, we need the humanities. Not only do the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanitiesoffer vital support for literary artists today, but these institutions also invest in the future. By supporting the creation and amplification of stories, we create time machines that allow future generations to understand our era better…

By supporting the Humanities, we benefit from stories that make us learn and grow. For me, this is the magic of storytelling. Words bring strangers together, and this includes strangers who are separated by centuries. While it’s noble to invest in new highways and bridges, what really matters are the invisible pathways that draw us together as human beings. That is worth investing in.

Stories offer us identity and hope. Stories help us to remember the past and imagine new futures. Stories make us human. Stories give us meaning. To cut funding is not only a denial of the essence of our species, but it erases our voice from the future.

Read the entire piece here.

Here is I wrote about story in Why Study History: Reflecting on the Importance of the Past:

The best historians tell stories about the past–stories that have a beginning, a middle, and an end.  Most stories end with a lesson or a “moral.”  While a historian may not explicitly preach the moral of his or her story, if told in a compelling fashion, the moral will always be evident to the reader.  We use narratives to make sense of our world.  It is how we bring order to our own human experiences and the human experiences of others.  Jonathan Gottschall, in his recent The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human, reminds us that the mind “yields helplessly to the suction of story.” If a quick glance at the New York Times best-seller list over the course of the last decade is any indication, the history books that have reached the largest audience are written by narrative historians.  Writers such as David McCullough, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and the late Stephen Ambrose have brought the past alive to ordinary readers through their gifted prose and storytelling abilities.  They have proved that a book about the past, in the hands of a skillfull historian-writer, can be a page-turnerThis is because, as historian William Cronon writes

As storytellers we commit ourselves to the task of judging the consequences of human actions, trying to understand the choices that confronted people whose lives we narrate so as to capture the full tumult of their world.  In the dilemmas they faced we discover our own, and at the intersection of the two we locate the moral of the story.  If our goal is to tell tales that make the past meaningful, then we cannot escape struggling over the values that define what meaning is.

The NEH Answers Your Questions About Its Fate Under the Trump Budget

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This is very helpful.  A taste:

Is NEH closed?

No. NEH is not closed. NEH is not in the process of shutting down. Using funds appropriated for the current fiscal year, NEH is continuing its normal operations and intends to award additional grants following the meeting of the National Council on the Humanities in July 2017.

For FY 2018, which begins on October 1, 2017, President Donald J. Trump has requested that Congress appropriate $42 million to NEH to meet matching grant offers and to cover administrative expenses for closure. The President’s proposed budget, however, is only the first step in a long budget process. Ultimately, Congress will decide whether and to what extent to fund NEH for FY 2018, and the President will decide to sign or veto the relevant appropriations bill.

Is NEH closed to new applications?

NEH will continue to accept grant applications for FY 2018 according to its established deadlines and will continue to operate as usual unless and until the President and Congress require otherwise. NEH staff are actively working with potential applicants and current grantees every workday. Please review upcoming grant deadlines on our website.

Can NEH ever advocate for its budget?

As an agency of the Executive Branch of the Federal government, NEH answers to the President and must support his proposed budget, including his request that Congress eliminate the agency.

Since Congress created NEH in 1965, the agency has issued more than 63,000 grants, totaling more than $5.3 billion. This public investment has led to the creation of award-winning books, films, museum exhibits, spurred innovative research and discovery, and ensured the preservation of significant cultural resources in all 50 states. Congress may well consider these achievements and seek additional information directly from NEH in considering the agency’s value and whether to fund the agency for FY 2018 and beyond.

What can NEH grantees, humanities organizations, and national service organizations do to share information about the agency’s value?

NEH partners can educate their communities on NEH’s impact by crediting the National Endowment for the Humanities:

  • Within any materials that describe an NEH-funded project
  • On signage and in remarks at an event or in a venue that promotes an NEH-funded project
  • In opinion editorials published in your local newspaper or other media outlets about your grant
  • By sharing and/or linking to NEH materials on your project website
  • By including @NEHgov when you tweet about an NEH-funded project

Read the entire press release here.

What Does the Trump Budget Mean for Civics, History, Archives, and Education?

make-america-great-againThe National Coalition for History sums it up pretty well:

On May 23, President Trump sent his proposed fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget request to Congress.  As expected, it includes devastating cuts to federal history and humanities funding including elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and K-12 history and civics grants and Title VI/Fulbright-Hays international education programs at the U.S. Department of Education. Click here for a link to a chart summarizing the proposed budget for these and other federal history-related programs. There will be an in-depth agency-by-agency analysis posted on the NCH website shortly.

“Powerlessness and the Politics of Blame”

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A couple of weeks ago I posted my tweets from Martha Nussbaum‘s Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities.  I am happy to report that the transcript of the lecture is now available on the website of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Here is a taste of “Powerlessness and the Politics of Blame:”

It might seem strange to compare King to Aeschylus, though it’s really not strange at all, given King’s vast learning in literature and philosophy. He’s basically saying the same thing: democracy must give up the empty and destructive thought of payback and move toward a future of legal justice and human well-being. King’s opponents portrayed his stance as weak. Malcolm X said sardonically that it was like coffee that has had so much milk poured into it that it has turned white and cold, and doesn’t even taste like coffee. But that was wrong. King’s stance is strong, not weak. He resists one of the most powerful of human impulses, the retributive impulse, for the sake of the future. One of the trickiest problems in politics is to persist in a determined search for solutions, without letting fear deflect us onto the track of anger’s errors. The idea that Aeschylus and King share is that democratic citizens should face with courage the problems and, yes, the outrageous injustices that we encounter in political and social life. Lashing out in anger and fear does not solve the problem; instead, it leads, as it did in both Athens and Rome, to a spiral of retributive violence.

Read the entire speech here.

 

The Federal Government Has Been Funding American History For a Long, Long Time

 

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Ebenezer Hazard

Over at the St. Louis Dispatch, Washington University English professor Abram Van Engen reminds us, in the wake of possible cuts to the National Endowment of Humanities, that the United States has always been in the business of funding the study of history.

 

Here is a taste of his piece:

The first ever federal grant for historical research was recommended by the Continental Congress in 1778. The United States had declared its independence two years before, but it was still fighting to make it stand. In the midst of the American Revolution, with plenty on their minds, Sam Adams, William Duer and Richard Henry Lee approved a $1,000 grant to a man named Ebenezer Hazard to collect, edit, introduce and publish American historical papers.

Founding Fathers lined up to support Hazard. Thomas Jefferson praised his project as “an undertaking of great utility to the continent in general.” When Hazard created a subscription for his collection in 1791, it was signed by the most notable figures of the day, beginning with President George Washington and including the vice president, Cabinet members, senators, representatives and others.

In recommending the grant, Continental Congress determined that Hazard’s “undertaking is laudable, and deserves the public patronage and encouragement, as being productive of public utility.” That was a common view in those days. A good knowledge of history (both American and otherwise) gave people perspective and enabled them to use their liberty well and prosper the republic. The Founding Fathers and the early republic considered history a “practical” subject essential for citizenship. It doesn’t take much looking in the writings of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and many others to find them praising the good of history.

Jefferson, for example, believed that knowledge of history would enable citizens to resist the encroachments of tyranny. In illuminating “the minds of the people at large,” especially with “a knowledge of those facts, which history exhibiteth,” Americans would “be enabled to know ambition under all its shapes, and prompt to exert their natural powers to defeat its purposes.” Historical studies were the best way to understand how societies rose and fell, providing real life moral and political lessons. A study of history was necessary for the defense of liberty.

Read the entire piece here.

Tweeting the 2017 NEH Jefferson Lecture

This morning I wrote a post on this lecture.

Martha Nussbaum’s Jefferson Lecture offered a stinging critique to those who believe democracy can flourish, or justice can be obtained, through retributive anger.

Here are some my tweets:

Martha Nussbaum on the Humanities

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Last night in Washington D.C., University of Chicago philosopher delivered the 2017 National Endowment for the Humanities Jefferson Lecture.  Several Messiah College students and faculty were in attendance.

I did some delayed tweeting of the talk last night @johnfea1.  I used the #jefflec17 hashtag.

If you don’t have time to watch the lecture or check the tweets, you may want to read Nussbaum’s interview with NEH chair Williams Adams in Humanities magazine.  Here is a taste:

WILLIAM D. ADAMS: Your book Not for Profit made the case for the importance of the humanities in American democratic life. Have things changed substantially since it was published in 2010?

MARTHA C. NUSSBAUM: Data on humanities majors is still a source of concern, but there’s been a big increase in total enrollments in humanities courses in community colleges. And in adult education, too, there’s been a huge upsurge. The preface to the new edition of my book gives data and sources on all this.

We are lucky in the United States to have our liberal arts system. In most countries, if you go to university, you have to decide for all English literature or no literature, all philosophy or no philosophy. But we have a system that is one part general education and one part specialization. If your parents say you’ve got to major in computer science, you can do that. But you can also take general education courses in the humanities, and usually you have to.

ADAMS: Yet I’ve sensed some weakening of our resolve to support the liberal arts. What should we be doing to reinforce your way of thinking about higher education?

NUSSBAUM: There are three points you can make. The one I think should be front and center is that the humanities prepare students to be good citizens and help them understand a complicated, interlocking world. The humanities teach us critical thinking, how to analyze arguments, and how to imagine life from the point of view of someone unlike yourself.

Secondly, we need to emphasize their economic value. Business leaders love the humanities because they know that to innovate you need more than rote knowledge. You need a trained imagination.

Singapore and China, which don’t want to encourage democratic citizenship, are expanding their humanities curricula. These reforms are all about developing a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

But the humanities also teach us the value, even for business, of criticism and dissent. When there’s a culture of going along to get along, where whistleblowers are discouraged, bad things happen and businesses implode.

The third point is about the search for meaning. Life is about more than earning a living, and if you’re not in the habit of thinking about it, you can end up middle-aged or even older and shocked to realize that your life seems empty.

Read the entire interview here.

And here is a shot of the Messiah College contingency in Washington, courtesy of Pete Powers’s Facebook page:

Pete

Episode 21: Why We Need More Historians in the Silicon Valley

podcast-icon1The liberal arts vs. STEM. A degree in the humanities vs. a degree in business. The current conversation around higher education consistently pits the study of history, philosophy, or English against more “practical” pursuits like engineering or computer science. But both data and the insights of business leaders tell us that this is a false dichotomy. Host John Fea and producer Drew Dyrli Hermeling discuss the value of the liberal arts within both the current economic and political climate. They are joined by venture capitalist Scott Hartley (@scottehartley), author of The Fuzzy and the Techie: Why the Liberal Arts will Rule the Digital World.

The Rise of U.S. Power Corresponds to the Growth of Its Educational Institutions

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Anthony Eames gets it.  He is a nuclear historian working on a Ph.D at Georgetown University.  His piece “The New Know-Nothings” makes a historical connection between the United States’s investment in education and the nation’s security.

Here is a taste of Eames’s piece at War on the Rocks:

President John F. Kennedy steered the United States through the most dangerous moments of the Cold War during the Berlin and Cuban Missile Crises. Afterwards, he made a special appeal to Congress, arguing, “For the nation, increasing the quality and availability of education is vital to both our national security and our domestic well being.” Kennedy insisted that the cultivation of the American intellect through federal funding for education must be a security priority in an increasingly dangerous world. Kennedy’s wisdom appears to be lost on President Donald Trump. The new president offers policy proposals that suggest he fails to see how education and intellectual capital contribute to the safety of the United States.

Trump has unapologetically proposed an immigration ban targeted at Muslim countries and a $54 billion increase in defense spending that purportedly “advances the safety and security of the American people.” However, these policies come at the cost of cutting funds to federal agencies — such as the State Department (28.7 percent) and the Department of Education (13.5 percent) — that support critical education and research programs. As such, these proposed policies will jeopardize U.S. security by neglecting the educational and intellectual growth necessary to sustain American power. Historically, the federal government nurtured the American intellect through investment in education at all levels, funding cultural and humanities programs and embracing foreign intellectual talent. These initiatives have reinforced American security by contributing to diplomacy and strategic thinking, the development of military technologies and tactics, and the pace of economic innovation. Given this context, cutting important education funds and limiting immigration undermines the intellectual development imperative to U.S. power and influence.

The rise of U.S. power corresponds to the growth of its educational institutions. In the early years of the Civil War, Southern officers proved strategic superiors to most of their Union counterparts. Recognizing these deficiencies, Rep. Justin Smith Morrill advocated for the 1862 Land-Grant College Act in Congress by embedding military training into the curriculums of institutions of higher education funded by the federal government, creating a network of nurseries for educating military officers across the United States. In turn, Land-Grant colleges promoted regional diversity in the military and bridged social divides by connecting far-flung territories with urban centers through a web of academic contacts.

The American university boom in the early 20th century was a direct result of the Land-Grant College Act. This boom created an institutional gravitational pull that drew in some of the brightest minds fleeing violence and fascism in Europe. Thanks to the initiatives of American universities, an infusion of intellectual capital transformed the United States into the global scientific power that it is today. Émigré scientists built up the scientific infrastructure in the U.S. that was critical in developing superior technologies during World War II and the Cold War. In constructing the first atomic bomb, Enrico Fermi’s lab at the University of Chicago produced the necessary nuclear chain reaction. Émigré scientists like Hans Bethe, John Von Neumann, Joseph Rotblat, Eugene Wigner, and Stanislaw Ulam drew up bomb designs at the Los Alamos Laboratory under the stewardship of the University of California system.

Read the entire piece here.

Thanks to Jennifer Bryson of Center for Islam & Religious Freedom for bringing this piece to my attention.

NEH Announces New Grant Recipients

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The National Endowment for the Humanities just released its most recent list of grantees. Here are a few that caught my eye:

Ford’s Theatre Society Outright: $40,000 [Exhibitions: Planning] Project Director: Sarah Jencks Project Title: Ford’s Theatre Society Exhibition on Changing Historical Memory

Michael McVicar Outright: $6,000 [Summer Stipends] Florida State University Project Title: A History of Religious Activism and Intelligence Gathering in the U.S. after the Civil War

Berea Berea College Outright: $99,998 [Humanities Connections] Project Director: Jason Cohen Project Title: Engaging the Humanities Across Appalachia

Allison Lange Outright: $6,000 [Summer Stipends] Wentworth Institute of Technology Project Title: The Visual Politics of the Woman Suffrage Movement from American Independence through the Nineteenth Amendment

Edward Cahill Outright: $6,000 [Summer Stipends] Fordham University Project Title: Benjamin Franklin and Upward Mobility in British America

Rochester Institute of Technology Outright: $91,018 [Humanities Connections] Project Director: Lisa Hermsen Project Title: Community, Memory, and a Sense of Place

Honor Sachs Outright: $6,000 [Summer Stipends] Western Carolina University Project Title: The Life of Bartholomew Fenton: A Story of Revolution, Transformation, and Violence in Early America

County of Beaufort Outright: $50,000 [Historic Places: Planning] Project Director: Page Miller Project Title: The First Civil Rights Movement: The Epic Story of Reconstruction in Beaufort County, SC and Nationwide

Evan Haefeli Outright: $6,000 [Summer Stipends] Texas A & M University, College Station Project Title: Religious Toleration in America, 1660-1714

University of Virginia Outright: $100,000 [Media Projects Production] Project Director: Andrew Parsons Project Title: BackStory with the American History Guys: Finding the American Way (Supplement)

Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture Outright: $40,000 [Humanities Collections and Reference Resources] Project Director: Karin Wulf Project Title: The Georgian Papers Programme: Transatlantic Access and Discovery Planning Stage