On July 28, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) released $30 million in funding for 238 humanities projects. This was the final grant release for FY 20 and came shortly on the heels of the release of NEH CARES grants in June.
The July grant release will fund professional development for faculty and school teachers, media projects, scholar-written books for the public, and the preservation of our cultural heritage.
Grants for professional development:
The NEH awarded grants for professional development in several categories. Four Institutes for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities will support scholars as they acquire new skills to advance their research agendas. These institutes include a program developed by the University of Arkansas on spatial archaeology and another, hosted by the University of Minnesota, that will help scholars plan for crowdsourced transcription projects.
Additionally, next summer the NEH will support 47 Seminars, Institutes, and Landmarks of American History workshops. Among other topics, college and university teachers will be able to delve deeply into the New Deal’s Federal Writers Project and the life and works of Zora Neale Hurston. School teachers will be able to study the history of the Trail of Tears, the Civil Rights Era, and Asian Pacific Americans in the Northwest.
Grants for media projects:
The NEH is supporting nine media projects, including a 60-minute documentary on the 1849 Astor Place Riot, a four-part series on the history of American tourism, and a 90-minute film on Puerto Rico’s first democratically-elected governor, Luis Muñoz Marin. Grants for short documentaries will support films on the Rosenwald Schools of North and South Carolina and poetry in America.
Grants for Public Scholars:
Twenty-three grants to public scholars will support the writing of well-researched books for public audiences. Topics include African Americans who fought in World War II, the 1871 murder trial of Laura D. Fair, and biographies on artist Roy Lichtenstein, poet Robert Frost, author E.L. Doctrow, food editor Judith Jones, Taiwanese chef Fu Pei-mei, and David George, an enslaved man who pursued freedom during the Revolutionary Era.
With six grants, the NEH will support digital newspaper projects in Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, and New Jersey. Sixty-eight will support preservation initiatives at small and mid-sized institutions. And nine grants will support larger-scale initiatives to sustain cultural heritage collections. The Chicago Film Archives will be able to purchase freezers and refrigerators to preserve deteriorating films. The National Cambodian Heritage Museum and Killing Fields Memorial will purchase shelving and supplies to store its collections. Three grants to the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture will continue to help the organization recover from the effects of Hurricane Maria in 2018. And five grants to tribal councils will help support the preservation of indigenous cultural heritage.
Thumbnail image: Image courtesy of the Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University.
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