Tag Archives: NEH

NY Council for the Humanities Funding Threatened


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800px-US_Capitol_SouthThe House of Representatives Appropriations Committee has scheduled a markup of the 2014 fiscal year Interior Appropriations bill for this Wednesday, July 31, 2013.

The New York Council for the Humanities is urging friends of the humanities to write today, to increase awareness of the potential consequences of proposed deep cuts (nearly 50%) to the National Endowment for the Humanities.

They’ve collected 129 letters of support and have a goal of gathering 150 letters by tomorrow, Wednesday. They have yet to receive letters the the following legislators: Bishop, Meeks, Meng, Nadler, Rangel, Serrano, Engel, Hanna and Slaughter. Continue reading

Positions in Public Humanities Grants Available


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grants-landing-pagePositions in Public Humanities, part of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH) America’s Historical and Cultural Organizations (AHCO) grant program, are intended to reinvigorate the interpretation of the humanities at museums and historical organizations.

As part of an AHCO grant request, organizations are invited to request a supplement for a Position in Public Humanities. This program supports two-year, entry-level positions at museums, historical societies, and historic sites for recent graduates of public humanities programs (MA or PhD) whose expertise is critical to a project’s success. Continue reading

CCNY Early-Career Historians Win NEH Awards


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Dr. Gregory Downs, associate professor of history, and Dr. Emily Greble, assistant professor of history at The City College of New York are recipients of faculty research awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The grants, announced by NEH December 9, will support book projects currently in development.

“The NEH fellowships are extremely competitive; only eight percent of applicants are successful. To have two early-career faculty members in the same department come up winners is remarkable,” said Dr. Geraldine Murphy, acting dean of humanities and the arts at CCNY, in congratulating them.

“Our department has undergone significant growth because The City College administration made a commitment to bring in energetic scholars and teachers,” said Professor Downs, who serves as department chair. “We’ve hired eight new faculty members in nine years and we are seeing that faith pay off.”

“We seem to have become a hotbed of new and innovative scholarship,” added Professor Greble. “We see the product of this intellectually stimulating environment in so many areas of departmental life, from the number of students we have been placing in top doctoral programs to the rigorous publication record of our faculty, to the winning of top academic fellowships like the NEH and the Rome Prize.”

Four Class of 2011 history majors are now in PhD programs at Yale University, Princeton University and University of Michigan. Associate Professor of History Barbara Ann Naddeo received the Rome Prize in 2010 for her scholarship on the city of Naples, Italy. Assistant Professor of History Adrienne Petty is conducting an oral history project on African-American farm owners in the South in collaboration with Professor Mark Schultz of Lewis University supported by an NEH award.

Professor Downs’ project, “The Ends of War: American Reconstruction and the Problems of Occupation,” examines the transition from Civil War to Reconstruction and asks why former slaves, loyal whites, Freedmen’s Bureau agents and northern émigrés became disillusioned. The problems emanated not as much from free-labor ideology or racism as from a sharp reduction of military force in the region, which resulted in a power vacuum, he contends.

At the end of the Civil War, the U.S. government, fearing budget deficits, demobilized at such a rapid pace that within 18 months only 12,000 troops remained in the former Confederacy. As the military withdrew from different areas, hundreds of small wars broke out between former Confederates and organized freedmen.

Professor Downs attributes the situation to a naïve belief among elected officials in Washington that they could expand voting rights in the South at the same time that the federal government was reducing its presence there to cut the budget. “What was needed was not an expansion of democracy, but an expansion of enforcement,” he says. “Both sides figured out that violence was the logical conclusion. By the time they had mobilized it was too late for the government to act.”

The project grows out of an earlier monograph, “Declarations of Independence: The Long Reconstruction of Popular Politics in the South, 1860 – 1908,” published in 2011 by University of North Carolina Press. However, Professor Downs says his thinking has been influenced by recent U.S. experience with occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Seeing how difficult it is to change social power, create new lines of authority and disrupt societies makes me wonder why we were so confident we could do it in the post-war South. Rights need enforceability to make them real,” he adds, pointing to the intervention by federal troops in the Little Rock Central High School in 1957 as an example.

Professor Greble’s project, “Islam and the European Nation-State: Balkan Muslims between Mosque and State, 1908 – 1949,” examines how South Slavic Muslims adapted to six significant political shifts over a 41-year period. In each instance new governments sought – in their own way – to limit, secularize and shape Muslim institutions as the region went from Ottoman to Habsburg control, to liberal nation-states, to authoritarian monarchs, to fascist regimes and to socialist regimes.

Her initial research suggests Muslims proactively adapted the norms and customs of their faith to define Islam in their own terms. Additionally, they sought to become part of the international community of Muslims to confront being dispossessed of property, Sharia law, institutional autonomy and the right to define Islam.

To assert their influence, some Muslims formed political parties and cultural societies that promoted Muslim cultural agendas. More conservative members of the community sought to strengthen and protect local Muslim networks through codification of Sharia law and Islamic society. Others engaged in clandestine activities such as underground madrassas.

Much of Professor Greble’s research will examine the changing role of Sharia courts. Under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, these were codified and given jurisdiction over Muslim socio-religious affairs, such as marriage, divorce and inheritance. Muslim parts of the Balkans, particularly Yugoslavia, retained this legal autonomy between the two world wars and during Nazi and fascist occupation, but lost it after communists came to power and shut down the Sharia courts in 1946.

Revolution Exhibit Funded For Travel


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The New-York Historical Society has announced that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded it a grant of $400,000 to support a traveling program and educational initiatives surrounding its new exhibition Revolution! The Atlantic World Reborn.

Revolution! is the first museum exhibition to explore the revolutions in America, France and Haiti as a single grand narrative from 1763 to 1815, tracing their cumulative transformation of politics, society and culture across the Atlantic world. It will also be the first major history exhibition to be presented by the New-York Historical Society when it fully re-opens its galleries on November 11, 2011, after a three-year, $65 million renovation.

“The New-York Historical Society is deeply grateful to the National Endowment for the Humanities for this very generous endorsement of our mission, which is to engage the broadest possible public in the enjoyment of learning about history,” said Louise Mirrer, President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society. “Through this grant, we will be able to extend the reach of Revolution! and make it accessible to a much wider audience.”

The NEH has awarded the grant through its “America’s Historical & Cultural Organizations Implementation Grant” program, which supports museum exhibitions, library-based projects, interpretation of historic places or areas, websites and other project formats that excite and inform thoughtful reflection upon culture, identity and history.

Revolution! traces how an ideal of popular sovereignty, introduced through the American fight for independence, soon sparked more radical calls for a recognition of universal human rights and set off attacks on both sides of the Atlantic against hereditary privilege and slavery. Among the astonishing, unforeseen outcomes was an insurrection on the French possession of Saint-Domingue, leading to the world’s only successful slave revolt and the establishment in 1804 of the first nation founded on the principles of full freedom and equality for all, regardless of color.

K-12 Teachers Invited to Summer Residential Program


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Niagara University is now accepting applications from K-12 teachers nationwide for a summer program entitled Crossroads of Empire: Cultural Contact and Imperial Rivalry at Old Fort Niagara. The week-long residential sessions, which take place July 11-15 and July 18-22, 2011 at Old Fort Niagara and Niagara University, have been made possible by funding obtained from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Directed by Thomas A. Chambers, Ph.D., chair of Niagara University’s history department, the workshops are focused on the vital history that emanated from Old Fort Niagara, one of most significant and well-preserved 18th century historic sites in North America. Fort Niagara served as an important crossroads between the empires of Great Britain, France, the Haudenosaunee (the native people who inhabited what is now much of New York state and surrounding areas), and, later, the United States as they battled each other for control of the North American continent. The Fort threatened American territory during the Revolution, was occupied by both sides during the War of 1812, and then a peace treaty secured the Fort and region for the United States.

This workshop will immerse NEH Summer Scholars in the world of 18th century life, from both the Native American and European perspective. Participants will interact with historic interpreters, clamber about ramparts dating to the 1700s, handle beaver pelts and trade goods like fishhooks and beads, and perhaps even fire a musket. One unique feature will be an overnight stay at the French Castle, the three-story stone fortress and trading post perched above the crashing waves of Lake Ontario that dates back to 1726. By week’s end NEH Summer Scholars will understand the perspective of the Iroquois people who first inhabited this region, as well as the struggles of ordinary European soldiers who bled and died to control Fort Niagara.

Teachers of grades K-12 at schools in the United States or its territorial possessions, or Americans teaching in foreign schools where at least 50 percent of the students are American nationals, are eligible for this program.

Teachers selected to participate as NEH Summer Scholars will receive a stipend of $1,200 at the end of the residential workshop session. Stipends are intended to help cover travel expenses to and from the project location, books, and ordinary living expenses.

The deadline for applications is March 1, 2011.

For eligibility and application information, call 716.286.8091, e-mail crossroads@niagara.edu or visit neh.niagara.edu.

Niagara University is located 11 miles south of Old Fort Niagara.

Historic Saranac Lake Gets Preservation Grant


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Historic Saranac Lake (HSL) was recently awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation Assistance Grant. The grant will support the services of a professional consultant and the purchase of storage materials for the HSL collection.

Eileen Corcoran, of Vergennes Vermont, will conduct a general preservation assessment and to help draft a long-range plan for the care of the HSL collection. She will also provide on site training to staff in methods and materials for the storage of collections, best practices for cataloging collections, and proper methods for the arrangement and description of archival collections.

Historic Saranac Lake houses a collection of letters and manuscripts, photographs and objects pertaining to the early scientific research of tuberculosis and care of TB patients in Saranac Lake, as well as a variety of items relating to the architecture and general history of the community. A number of these items are rare survivors of the many, many examples that once existed, such as an inspection certificate, or a record of patient treatments. They tell the story of a community of healing.

The Historic Saranac Lake collection is used for exhibitions, educational programs and by researchers. Historic Saranac Lake currently maintains two exhibitions at the Saranac Laboratory Museum. The main laboratory space is a model of a very early science lab. Visitors explore and gain an appreciation for the history of science by observing artifacts and letters on display such as early microscopes and laboratory equipment, early scientific journals and photographs of important men in the history of science.

An alcove in the laboratory has been arranged as an exhibit on patient care, another important facet of Saranac Lake’s TB history. Items from the collection are displayed such as a cure chair, photos of cure cottages, letters from patients, sputum cups, a pneumothorax machine for collapsing the lung, and items made by patients in occupational therapy. Visitors gain an understanding of the patient experience taking the fresh air cure in Saranac Lake.

The main floor meeting space contains another exhibition, “The Great War, WWI in Saranac Lake.” This exhibit includes letters from local soldiers, medals, photos, and a complete WWI uniform and supplies such as a gas mask and mess kit. The exhibit interprets this important time period in history and how it impacted Saranac Lake.

Historic Saranac Lake is a not-for-profit architectural preservation organization that captures and presents local history from their center at the Saranac Laboratory Museum. Founded in 1980, Historic Saranac Lake offers professional knowledge and experience to the public in support of Historic Preservation, architectural and historical research and education. HSL operates the Saranac Laboratory Museum and an online museum of local history at hsl.wikispot.org.

NEH is an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions—such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities—improve their ability to preserve and care for their humanities collections.

Adk Museum Receives NEH Planning Grant


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The Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, New York has been awarded a grant in the amount of $40,000 by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The funds will be used in the planning and development phase of the museum’s new long-term exhibition “Mining in the Adirondacks,” scheduled to open in 2013.

NEH has designated the Adirondack mining exhibit a National Endowment for the Humanities “We the People” project. Support comes in part from funds the agency has set aside for this special initiative.

The goal of the “We the People” initiative is to encourage and strengthen the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture through the support of projects that explore significant events and themes in our nations history and culture, and advance knowledge of the principles that define America.

The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States.

The Endowment accomplishes its mission by providing grants for high-quality humanities projects in four funding areas: preserving and providing access to cultural resources, education, research, and public programs.

NEH grants typically go to cultural institutions such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television and radio stations, and to individual scholars.

Photo: Garnet miners at Barton Mines, North River, N.Y.: ca. 1915.


NEH Seeks Proposals National Digital Newspaper Program


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The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is soliciting proposals from institutions to participate in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). NDNP is creating a national, digital resource of historically significant newspapers published between 1836 and 1922, from all the states and U.S. territories, published in English, French, Italian or Spanish. This searchable database will be permanently maintained at the Library of Congress (LC) and be freely accessible via the Internet. See the website, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers – http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/.

Maritime History Focus of Summer NEH Institute


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“The American Maritime People” will be a six-week college and university teacher institute for 25 participants on American maritime history from the colonial era to the present June 21st to July 30, 2010 at The Frank C. Munson Institute of American Maritime Studies, Mystic Seaport, CT.

The purpose of the “American Maritime People” NEH Institute at Mystic Seaport is “to provide college teachers… with the opportunity to enhance course offerings by studying the influence of maritime activities on U.S. history and culture.” This, the third such NEH Institute, will build on the latest research in studies of the sea, which has recently been the focus of increasing scholarly interest. In a series of seminars, “The American Maritime People” will employ interdisciplinary perspectives on American maritime studies, with an emphasis on the most recent social, cultural and ecological approaches.

The campus for the six weeks of study will be Mystic Seaport, the Museum of America and the Sea. As the largest maritime museum in the nation, Mystic Seaport includes 17 acres of riverfront property, 60 historic buildings, 500 traditional watercraft, 1,000,000 manuscript pieces, and over 1,000,000 artifacts. While the seminar hall will be the focus of the institute, Mystic Seaport, and the maritime region of which it is a
part, will be used to inform further study through tours and exploration.

Mystic, Connecticut is located in the southeastern corner of the state where the waters of Long Island Sound meet the North Atlantic. As such, the greater Mystic area has a long history of maritime activity, from colonial shipbuilding, fishing, whaling, and merchant trade to the current presence of nuclear submarine construction and operations. The University of Connecticut’s maritime campus and the US Coast Guard
Academy are a short drive away.

The stipend for NEH Fellows is $4,500, for the six-week institute. These funds should comfortably cover travel expenses, housing and food for the summer session. Books and other resources are also to be purchased with stipend monies.

Faculty will include: Co-Directors Glenn S. Gordinier and Eric Paul Roorda as well as James T. Carlton, Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, John B. Hattendorf, John Odin Jensen, I. Roderick Mather, Matthew McKenzie, Lisa Norling, Marcus Rediker, Helen Rozwadowski, Daniel Vickers, James O. Horton and W. Jeffrey Bolster.

Eligibility: These projects are designed primarily for teachers of American undergraduate students, but other qualified scholars and graduate students may apply.

Completed applications should be submitted to the address below and should be postmarked no later than March 2, 2010.

Dr. Glenn S. Gordinier
Attn: The American Maritime People
Munson Institute
Mystic Seaport
75 Greenmanville Ave.
Mystic, CT 06355-0990
glenn.gordinier@mysticseaport.org

Historians Win 2008 National Humanities Medals


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AHA Today has noted that a number of historians were among the recipients of the 2008 National Humanities Medals and National Medals of Arts which were awarded last week. The NEH site devoted to the winners is here.

Gabor S. Boritt, director and founder of the Civil War Institute and professor of history at Gettysburg College received one of the National Humanities Medals. Dr. Boritt, recognized “for his scholarship on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War era,” is a member of the AHA. Albert Marrin, emeritus professor of history at Yeshiva University, received the award as well, for his work in using children’s books to open “young minds to history and made the lessons of the past come alive with rich detail for a new generation.” Also receiving medals were Richard Brookhiser, popular biographer of the Founding Fathers; Abraham Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer; journalist Myron Magnet, “who…combined literary and cultural history with an understanding of contemporary urban life to imagine new ways of relieving poverty and renewing civic institutions;” Milton J. Rosenberg, radio host and emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Chicago; philanthropists Thomas A. Saunders III, Jordan Horner Saunders, and Robert H. Smith; the John Templeton Foundation; and the Norman Rockwell Museum. More information on all the winners can be found on the NEH web site.