NEH announces $24.7 million for 208 humanities projects nationwide
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced $24.7 million in grants for 208 humanities projects across the country. Among these are grants to support Oakwood University’s creation of a living history museum, based on the life of Dred Scott, and the digitization of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century North American climate and weather data, including daily meteorological observation records kept by Thomas Jefferson from 1776 to 1826.
“These NEH grants will support educators and scholars in enriching our understanding of the past and enable cultural institutions from across the country to expand their offerings, resources, and public programming, both in person and online,” said NEH Acting Chair Adam Wolfson. “We look forward to the many new insights and discoveries that these 208 exemplary projects will make possible.”
Thirteen new NEH Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants, which leverage federal funds to spur nonfederal support for cultural institutions, will enable projects such as the preservation and repurposing of seven historic buildings in San Antonio, Texas, for a humanities programming and resources center focusing on the history and cultures of immigrant communities in San Antonio’s Westside neighborhood. Other grants will support digital infrastructure upgrades at the Chapman Center for Rural Studies at Kansas State University to ensure the sustainability of the center’s digital humanities research projects on Great Plains history, and assist with the relocation of the Hamm Archives, documenting the history of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, to a new facility to provide public access to the collection.
Several projects apply new technologies and digital methods to innovative humanities research and public programs, such as the development of a digital archive of Cherokee manuscripts and lexical resources to facilitate collective translation and study of the Cherokee language, and the creation of a multimedia civics and history education gaming experience to teach middle and high school students about the history of the Supreme Court and its landmark cases. Other newly awarded grants will underwrite an assessment of the impact of Open Access editions of scholarly books on print sales at university presses and support an interactive storytelling website based around a collection of postcards published and mailed during the 1941–44 Siege of Leningrad.
In the field of conservation science, NEH Preservation and Access Research and Development Grants will advance research on biomolecular identification of chia seed oil, which was widely used as a binder in Mexican lacquerware and painting from the sixteenth through the nineteenth century, and support the development of a risk assessment matrix for public art collections to address essential needs in conservation and emergency planning. Additional grants will provide training in the digital preservation of cultural heritage materials to Indigenous community groups in Alaska, Hawai’i, and Maine, and fund workshops for staff of small museums, libraries, and archives on preserving and providing access to born-digital materials.
NEH Fellowships and Awards for Faculty will support humanities scholars in noteworthy research and writing projects: a book on Frederick Douglass’s work as the editor of four influential antislavery newspapers; an economic history of working people and the poor in the Roman empire; a study of Louchébem, a secret slang spoken by French butchers since the thirteenth century that was used by members of the Resistance during the Nazi occupation of France; and a history of the African-American GIs who reopened the Burma Road, creating a pipeline to transport Lend-Lease Act supplies to China during WWII.
Thirty-three NEH Humanities Initiatives grants will enable curricular innovations and enhance educational resources at colleges and universities. These include the formation of a minor in Asian-American studies at Chapman University, the development of an undergraduate Book Studies lab and courses on global print and manuscript cultures at the University of Iowa, and an interdisciplinary curriculum project at the University of Chicago focused on Chicago’s Oak Woods Cemetery and the roles of the Great Migration and Eastern European immigration in shaping the city.
This grant cycle also includes the second round of awards made under the NEH/AHRC New Directions for Digital Scholarship in Cultural Institutions program, a joint initiative between NEH and the U.K.’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), to advance digital scholarship at museums, libraries, and archives. These awards will fund international teams of U.S. and British researchers working on projects including the development of a model for collaborative digital curation of Indigenous heritage materials and the digital identification and analysis of patterns in book illustrations published between 1750 and 1940.
A full list of grants by geographic location is available here.
In addition to these direct grant awards, NEH provides operating support to the agency’s humanities council partners, which make NEH-funded grants throughout the year in every U.S. state and territory.
Grants were awarded in the following categories:
• Awards for Faculty
Support advanced research in the humanities by scholars, teachers, and staff at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities.
25 grants, totaling $1.3 million
• Digital Humanities Advancement Grants
Support the implementation of innovative digital humanities projects that have successfully completed a start-up phase and demonstrated their value to the field. Digital Humanities Advancement Grants receive partial funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
15 grants, totaling $2.2 million
• Digital Projects for the Public Grants
Support projects such as websites, mobile applications, games, and virtual environments that significantly contribute to the public’s engagement with humanities ideas.
11 grants, totaling $1.4 million
Support advanced research in the humanities by college and university teachers and independent scholars.
73 grants, totaling $3.9 million
• Fellowships for Advanced Social Science Research on Japan
A joint activity of the Japan–United States Friendship Commission (JUSFC) and NEH. Awards support research on modern Japanese society and political economy, Japan’s international relations, and U.S.–Japan relations.
3 grants, totaling $155,000
• Humanities Initiatives Grants
Strengthen the teaching and study of the humanities in higher education through the development or enhancement of humanities programs, courses, and resources. Grant programs are offered for colleges and universities, community colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities.
33 grants, totaling $4.7 million
• Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants
Leverage federal funding to strengthen and sustain humanities infrastructure and capacity-building activities at cultural institutions.
13 grants, totaling $5.2 million
• NEH/AHRC New Directions for Digital Scholarship in Cultural Institutions
A joint initiative between NEH and the U.K.’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to advance digital tools and methods used by museums, libraries, and galleries to bring the humanities to global audiences.
12 grants, totaling $1.2 million
• NEH-Mellon Fellowships for Digital Publication
A joint initiative between NEH and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support digital research and publication in the humanities.
9 grants, totaling $470,000
• Preservation and Access Research and Development Grants
Support projects that address major challenges in preserving or providing access to humanities collections and resources.
6 grants, totaling $1.5 million
• Preservation Education and Training Grants
Help the staff of cultural institutions obtain the knowledge and skills needed to serve as effective stewards of humanities collections. Grants also support educational programs that prepare the next generation of conservators and preservation professionals, as well as projects that introduce the staff of cultural institutions to recent improvements in preservation and access practices.
8 grants, totaling $2.7 million
National Endowment for the Humanities: Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.