Wabash Professor Among NEH April Grant Recipients

Wabash College political science professor Dr. Lorraine McCrary was included among the 245 recipients in the National Endowment for the Humanities $33.17 million worth of grants earlier this week. Dr. McCrary’s grant, worth $6,000, will go towards her project entitled “Disability, Community Care, and Agency in Geel, Belgium,” leading to a book in political theory on the inclusion of disabled communities and the notion of a just society.

These grants also include support for work on a new museum at the University of Buffalo to house the world’s largest collection of materials by and about James Joyce, and enable production by the Center for Independent Documentary of a documentary examining the history and legacy of the landmark Eyes on the Prize public television series on the civil rights movement, first broadcast in 1987.

“NEH is proud to support these exemplary education, media, preservation, research, and infrastructure projects,” said NEH Chair Shelly C. Lowe (Navajo). “These 245 projects will expand the horizons of our knowledge of culture and history, lift up humanities organizations working to preserve and tell the stories of local and global communities, and bring high-quality public programs and educational resources directly to the American public.”

This funding cycle includes 23 new NEH Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants, which leverage federal funds to spur nonfederal support for cultural institutions. Among these are awards to upgrade the digital infrastructure of Hawai’i’s Bishop Museum to improve access to digitized collections documenting Hawaiian and Pacific history and culture; stabilize and repair Pittsburgh’s Carrie Blast Furnaces site, one of the last surviving landmarks of the city’s preeminent role in the twentieth-century steel industry; and create outdoor classroom spaces for education programs on Lakota cultural traditions at the Pine Ridge Reservation’s Oglala Lakota Artspace in South Dakota.

Several grants awarded today will help preserve and expand public access to important historical and cultural collections, including a project at the New-York Historical Society to digitize wire reports from Time-Life News Service correspondents from 1930 to 1960, giving access to raw reportage on major events of the twentieth century such as the Great Depression, World War II, and the civil rights movement. Other grants will support the development of protocols at the College of Saint Benedict in collaboration with tribal communities, for digitizing and sharing records related to Native American boarding schools and make available online videos of performances, master classes, lectures, and oral histories from Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival from 1992 through 2010. A “Mapping Chicagoland” project led by the University of Chicago will digitize, georeference, and make accessible online a collection of more than 4,000 maps of the city published before 1940.

Other funding will support the creation of media, exhibitions, and public programs that bring the insights of the humanities to wide audiences. These include grants to produce the first major documentary on Caribbean-American writer Jamaica Kincaid by Women Make Movies; a film by UnionDocs tracing the evolution of First Amendment law in the 50 years since attorney Floyd Abrams represented the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case; and a documentary by the Fort Ross Conservancy about the Kashia-Pomo, a displaced Native Californian tribe, and their efforts to recover ancestral lands along the California coast. NEH Public Humanities Projects grants will fund a traveling exhibition that tells the story of Ethiopian art from antiquity to the present at the Walters Art Museum, underwrite a new permanent exhibition at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum that guides visitors through the tenement home of Joseph and Rachel Moore, an African-American couple who lived in Lower Manhattan in the 1860s, and bring the American Library Association’s “Great Stories Club” reading and discussion program for underserved youth to 100 small libraries across the country.

Education grants for curriculum innovation in the humanities and interdisciplinary partnerships between humanities and non-humanities fields of study will fund an integrated ethics curriculum project at Salisbury University led by faculty in the university’s philosophy, psychology, and biology departments. Other projects include the creation of a minor in business humanities at Seton Hall University; development of an undergraduate certificate program in civics literacy and civic engagement at the University of Northern Iowa; and implementation of a health humanities certificate program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

New NEH Dialogues on the Experience of War grants will support a veterans discussion program led by the Chinese Historical Society in the San Francisco Bay area on the experiences of Chinese-American veterans in wars from WWII to the present, and a project at Bowie State University to train ROTC cadets and student veterans to lead a discussion series for local veterans exploring themes of service, sacrifice, and reintegration in relation to the Civil War and Vietnam War.

Awards made through NEH’s Archaeological and Ethnographic Field Research grant program will support archaeological investigation by researchers at the University of Illinois of shrines and sweat lodges dating from 1050 AD at the ancient Native American center of Cahokia outside modern-day Saint Louis and an archaeological and ethnohistorical study by the University of Louisville of over-burying practices at the historic Eastern Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky.

NEH Summer Stipends for scholars will enable archival research for more than 100 publications, including books on topics such as portrayals of libel on the English stage in the 1590s, newly discovered charcoal graffiti at Pompeii, and how Victoria-era fascination with the “lost orchid” led to the rise of middle-class consumerism and collecting.

Eight NEH Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions grants will fund fellowships for humanities scholars at libraries, museums, and centers for advanced study such as the Consortium for History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, New-York Historical Society, American Institute of Indian Studies, and the Linda Hall Library Foundation. And seven new NEH Documenting Endangered Languages grants, administered in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF), will fund research, fieldwork, and the preparation of linguistic resources that document languages at risk of extinction. Among these are an award to the Fort Sill Apache Tribe to restore, transcribe, translate, and conduct linguistic analysis of the critically endangered Chihene Apache dialect, captured in archival recordings of Apache prisoners of war seized with Geronimo in 1886, and a researcher fellowship to document the Meskwaki language as it is spoken today by tribal members in central Iowa.