National Humanities Alliance Blog

Shelly Lowe Confirmed as Next NEH Chair

NEH Grant Release: January 2022

On January 11, the National Endowment for the Humanities announced 208 grants for humanities projects totaling $24.7 million. Notably, the grant release included grants from two recently-developed grant programs.

Introducing Humanities for All’s Public Humanities Newsletter

With the new year we are pleased to announce the launch of Humanities for All’s Public Humanities Newsletter. Since 2018, Humanities for All has been working to connect scholars and practitioners interested in the publicly engaged humanities to create a national community of practice dedicated to advancing community partnership through the humanities.

NHA on the Hill: Building Community Through Conversation

On November 9, the National Humanities Alliance produced a virtual briefing on how NEH funding for public humanities discussions enriches our communities. The briefing focused specifically on the International Storytelling Center (ISC) in Jonesborough, Tennessee, with whom NHA had partnered to document the impact of their program, “Freedom Stories: Unearthing the Black Heritage of Appalachia.” Cecily Hill, director of community initiatives, was joined in discussion by Kiran Singh Sirah, the president of the International Storytelling Center; Alicestyne Turley, the Freedom Stories project director; and Adam Dickson, the Supervisor of the Langston Centre in Johnson City, Tennessee, and current Town Alderman of Jonesborough. The event was an opportunity for congressional staff and others to hear about the data we’ve collected on this program attesting to its tremendous value. Those involved in the project spoke about how it built space for dialogue and learning, and about how the discussions offered participants the chance to explore our rich histories and come together across differences.

Documenting Impact: GWU-Spelman East Asia Partnership

As part of our efforts to document the impact of public humanities initiatives across higher education, we partnered with the East Asia National Resource Center (EANRC) at The George Washington University (GW) to conduct a focus group with undergraduate students participating in its professional development program. Acting on its mandate as a Title VI Center to expand accessibility of East Asian Studies resources to wider audiences, the EANRC has partnered with Spelman College to offer the program to their students. Through the annual program, Spelman students participate in professional development and learning opportunities about East Asia in Washington, D.C. In a typical year, the program involves bringing Spelman undergraduate students and a faculty member to GW for onsite and offsite visits with East Asian studies experts, scholars, and policymakers. Last year, the program was held virtually and consisted of a series of online lectures, workshops, and events throughout fall 2020 and spring 2021.

Call for Proposals: The Routledge Companion to Publicly Engaged Humanities Scholarship

Humanities for All project director Michelle May-Curry is working alongside Daniel Fisher-Livne, assistant professor at Hebrew Union College and research affiliate with the National Humanities Alliance, to find contributors for a new edited volume on theories and practices of the publicly engaged humanities. The volume will be published in 2023 by Routledge.

Senate Releases FY 2022 Appropriations Bills

The Senate Appropriations Committee released the remaining nine appropriations bills for FY 22 yesterday afternoon.

Press Review: Articulating the Value of Undergraduate Humanities Education for Confronting the Crises of the Moment

Our Study the Humanities toolkit includes collections of compelling articles published in popular publications on the value of the humanities, offering humanities advocates a set of ready-made, accessible arguments to share with prospective students and those who influence their decision-making. We update these article collections periodically, taking stock of trends in coverage of undergraduate humanities education in the popular press.

NHA on the Hill: Funding Diverse Histories and Civics in K–12 Education

On September 15, the National Humanities Alliance produced a virtual briefing that discussed NEH funding for diverse histories and civics in K–12 education. Since 2018, NHA has worked with over 20 NEH-funded professional development programs for K-12 educators to survey their impacts. Cecily Hill, director of community initiatives, was joined in discussion by four of the project directors we’ve worked with: Alice Nash, Rolando Herts, Stacey Greer, and Ray Locker. The event was a fruitful opportunity for congressional staff and others to hear about the data we’ve collected on these programs over the past 3 years that attest to their tremendous value, and to hear directly from project directors about how these programs offer crucial professional development to our nation’s educators, illuminate diverse histories, and support civic education in our nation’s classrooms.

A Look Back at Our Summer Webinars on Undergraduate Recruitment Strategies

This summer we delved into recruitment strategies featured in our new report, Strategies for Recruiting Students to the Humanities: A Comprehensive Resource, through a four-part webinar series. Each virtual event explored a range of approaches featured within a particular chapter of the report: (1) Articulating Career Pathways, (2) Curricular Innovations, (3) Cultivating a Marketing Mindset, and (4) Fostering Humanities Identity and Community. Panelists representing a wide range of institutions and roles shared how they built successful programs, distilled lessons they learned along the way, and answered questions from the audience. Check out the event page for a full list of presenters.