On May 15, 2019, Remembering Emmett Till by Dave Tell of the University of Kansas will be published by the University of Chicago Press. The book is the product of both publicly engaged scholarship—the Emmett Till Memory Project (ETMP)—and years of research and writing supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Tell’s experience shows how public engagement and publishing can go hand in hand.
As we celebrate Black History Month, it is important to remember not only storied civil rights leaders, but the countless courageous “foot soldiers” who made the Civil Rights Movement happen. Since 2004, the NEH and the Alabama Humanities Foundation have supported a summer workshop, Stony the Road We Trod, which introduces K-12 teachers to surviving veterans of the movement. In doing so, the workshop ensures that their stories—of extraordinary courage by ordinary people—will reach students in classrooms across the country for years to come.
At the University of Illinois at Chicago, Ömür Harmanşah asks his students to review the Humanities for All website in his “The Politics of Archaeology and Heritage in the Middle East” course. The goal is to provide an overview of the publicly engaged humanities and to reflect on the role of the humanities in addressing pressing global issues. At the University of Pittsburgh, Dan Kubis assigns the Humanities for All website in his “Public Humanities Seminar.” Exploration of the site served as the basis for a virtual meeting with NHA Deputy Director Beatrice Gurwitz and Humanities for All Project Director Daniel Fisher, discussing publicly engaged humanities work and how to make the case for the humanities in higher education.
As the partial government shutdown moves into its fourth week, the National Endowment for the Humanities remains closed. We have had a number of conversations with NEH grantees and applicants who are concerned about the status of the agency and upcoming deadlines. At this point, here is what we know:
As the possibility of a partial government shutdown looms, we want to shed some light on which humanities programs will be affected if the government cannot reach a funding agreement by midnight tonight. While FY19 funding for some agencies has already been passed by Congress and signed by the president, those agencies whose funding has not yet been finalized will be shut down, including the NEH and several other humanities programs.
On the evening of December 10, Newest Americans released the seventh issue of its multimedia digital magazine. The innovative publication tells the stories of Newark’s diverse residents who live, work, and study together on and around the campus of Rutgers University-Newark. The latest issue explores these stories with a characteristic richness, including a photo essay on domestic workers and a short film on the country’s oldest Portuguese-language newspaper. As is always the case for Newest Americans, the media was produced at Rutgers-Newark by and with communities beyond the campus.
This past November, the National Humanities Alliance traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana for the National Humanities Conference. While there, we had the opportunity to explore NEH-funded work currently being undertaken in the city:
In Puerto Rico and the Caribbean islands, cultural organizations are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria. In Brazil, curators and historians are only beginning to reckon with the damage caused when its National Museum burned last September. Disasters and the corresponding damage to historical and cultural collections are inevitable—but they can also be predicted and prepared for. This work is undertaken by the Alliance for Response (AFR), a network of cultural organizations that is supported by the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artist Works (FAIC) and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.