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University of Puerto Rico granted $70,000 for humanities projects

By on December 27, 2017

SAN JUAN — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), an independent federal agency, recently announced the awarding of $12.8 million to support 253 humanities projects across the United States.

Four million dollars in NEH fellowships and awards for faculty will support advanced research on topics such as the role of medieval hospitals as centers of religion, literature, and civic affairs; the activities of the U.S. Army during peacetime; and an effort to trace ancient economic networks by mapping the circulation of coins minted under Alexander the Great.

For the latter, Etienne Helmer, of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), Río Piedras campus, was given a $33,600 faculty award for a project titled “Ancient Greek Philosophers on Economics,” which entails the preparation of a book-length study.

A $40,000 Digital Humanities Advancement Grant was also given to the UPR, for a project titled “Migration and the Caribbean Diaspora: A Panorama of Caribbean Carnival Practices.” Project Director Nadjah Rios-Villarini and co-project director Mirerza González-Vélez are  planning to explore migration and the Caribbean diaspora “through the lens of cultural practices” and will produce a website for public audiences and a white paper,” according to the NEH.

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The grants will also supplement private and public funding to underwrite a virtual exhibition of more than 90 pieces of New Deal art from the town of Gallup, New Mexico, the conservation of fragile books from the personal library of author C. S. Lewis, archival research for a book on the Nazi plunder of musical instruments and manuscripts during World War II, and hundreds of other projects.

NEH grants will expand the range of humanities-based resources and educational opportunities in underserved communities and institutions. Funded projects include the documentation of Blackfeet language and storytelling traditions for use in liberal arts courses at Blackfeet Community College in Montana, as well as the extension of an award-winning national family literacy program, Prime Time Family Reading, into Kentucky public schools.

The grants will enable production of an educational digital game for middle and high school students that explores the history of the ratification of the United States Constitution, and will fund the creation of an interactive mobile app that incorporates archival footage, maps, music, and interviews with historians to examine the impact of Reconstruction in South Carolina.

Other grants will provide for the development of a video-based web platform allowing scholars to publish papers in sign language, and a new tool that uses digital analysis of architectural floor plans to show how Frank Lloyd Wright’s structures changed over time.

Community digitization projects will preserve historic materials held by the congregations of African-American churches in Georgia and German-American heritage items from residents of 17 rural counties in Missouri. NEH On the Road grants will bring NEH-funded art exhibitions to small institutions in North Dakota, South Carolina, and Wyoming.

NEH funding also helps preserve important objects and collections representing America’s cultural heritage. A grant to researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois will enable development of conservation tools to monitor and prevent deterioration of oil paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe.

The 76 NEH Preservation Assistance Grants will help the Knoxville Jewish Alliance protect archives documenting the history of Jewish culture in the South and will preserve the U.S.’s maritime past at the State University of New York, Maritime College.



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