National Humanities Alliance Blog

Big Wins for the Humanities in the FY 23 Omnibus

Jefferson Lecture Essay Contest Winners Announced

In October, the National Humanities Alliance (NHA) collaborated with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) to support teachers and high school students in attending the NEH's 2022 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, delivered by Andrew Delbanco and entitled “The Question of Reparations: Our Past, Our Present, Our Future.” Andrew Delbanco is an author, professor of American studies at Columbia University, and president of the Teagle Foundation.

Expanding Access to History at JMU: A First Case Study

For the past year, NHA has been researching strategies that are succeeding in expanding access to undergraduate humanities education. These include a broad range of initiatives and interventions that have attracted more first generation, BIPOC, and/or low-income students. Some of these efforts have been very intentional about engaging students from specific underrepresented groups, while others have succeeded in expanding access through strategies aimed at the broader student population. In this blog post, we feature an example of the latter. The full report will be launched at the 2023 NHA Annual Meeting and Humanities Advocacy Day to be held in Washington D.C. March 19-21.

NHA on the Hill: NEH Funding for Revitalizing Indigenous Languages

On July 19, the National Humanities Alliance held on a briefing on how the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) supports Indigenous American languages. Titled “The National Endowment for the Humanities: Revitalizing Indigenous American Languages,” the event featured leaders in the field of language preservation who spoke about the projects they had undertaken with NEH funding. Support for language revitalization spans the NEH’s grantmaking programs, and includes a partnership with the National Science Foundation specifically focused on Documenting Endangered Languages.

Senate Releases FY 2023 Appropriations Bills

Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee released their versions of the FY 23 draft appropriations bills. In general, the bills included increases for all of our priorities albeit smaller ones than the House draft bills.

Documenting Impact: Public Humanities Lab at Middlebury College

In 2021, the Axinn Center for the Humanities at Middlebury College received a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation to launch their Public Humanities Lab (PHL) initiative. Led by Axinn Center co-directors Febe Armanios and Marion Wells, the initiative offers courses that integrate humanities skills, content, and expertise into public facing projects, often done in partnership with a Vermont-based community organization. The National Humanities Alliance partnered with the Axinn Center to document the impact of these courses through surveys of students taking the courses and the faculty who taught them.

FY 2023 Dear Colleague Letter Successes

Each year, NHA works with our advocacy partners and allies on the Hill to cultivate sign-ons to  Dear Colleague Letters requesting increased funding for various humanities programs. These letters are led by specific Representatives and Senators, and we encourage additional members to sign on, lending their support to the appropriations request.

Pontchartrain Park Pioneers: Incorporating Oral Histories into Humanities Curricula

As part of our NEH for All initiative, NHA worked with Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) to document the impact of a program they implemented in 2021. Titled Pontchartrain Park Pioneers: An Oral History of New Orleans’s Civil Rights Era Segregated Black “Suburb in the City,” this program integrated local oral histories collected by the project director, Dr. Clyde Robertson, into six existing courses. Southern University at New Orleans is a Historically Black College located in the northwest corner of Pontchartrain Park—the first neighborhood in the city that was developed, financed, designed, and constructed by African Americans for African American residents. The oral histories integrated into the humanities courses at SUNO are those of some of the initial residents of Pontchartrain Park and reflect the social and cultural changes that they went through as this area was developed.

Biden Administration Requests Big Increases for the Humanities

Yesterday, the Biden administration released its FY 23 budget request. Congress will now begin its appropriations process, ultimately drafting and passing bills that will fund the government in FY 23.

"Arts and Humanities: Don’t Leave College Without Them" Resource Launches

This past month saw the launch of a helpful new resource for articulating the practical value of undergraduate humanities education and addressing student concerns about career prospects: Arts and Humanities: Don’t Leave College Without Them. The image-rich, 350-page e-book is chock full of essays from students, recent graduates, and mid-career professionals that articulate opportunities for applying humanities knowledge and skills in today’s workforce.