NEHC

UConn Humanities Institute Awarded Mellon Grant to Expand the Faculty of Color Working Group

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a three-year grant of $750,000 to the University of Connecticut for the Humanities Institute to expand the New England Humanities Consortium (NEHC) Faculty of Color Working Group (FOCWG). The thirteen member institutions of the Consortium support programming in humanities fields such as history, politics, language, art, literature, and philosophy.

Following a 2018 Mellon Foundation $100,000 grant that permitted a pilot phase, faculty of color at NEHC member institutions created and led the Faculty of Color Working Group (FOCWG) for the purpose of increasing mentorship, community building, and dedicated time for scholarly production among faculty of color. Coupled with the development of the NEHC’s social media and publicity, through cross-institutional networks, research and teaching mentorship, and fellowships, the Mellon Foundation grant enables FOCWG to bolster faculty success across schools in the region and the nation.

The Principal investigator for the program is Michael P. Lynch, director of the UConn Humanities Institute, director of NEHC and Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, Philosophy. Co-principal investigators are Melina Pappademos, director of the UConn Africana Studies Institute, associate professor of history, and director of the Faculty of Color Working Group; and Alexis L. Boylan, director of academic affairs of the UConn Humanities Institute and associate professor of art and art history and Africana Studies.

“With generous support from the Mellon Foundation, this initiative recognizes the environmental obstacles and, at times, outright hostilities to professional advancement that faculty of color face at predominantly white institutions. FOCWG seeks to address these institutional failures by enabling scholarly productivity and professional relationships, even self-care, as safe-guards for aggregated individual success,” says Pappademos. “The FOCWG challenges institutions to dismantle rather than uphold their inflexible structures designed and defended to advantage some faculty members over others.“

In addition to UConn, the consortium includes Amherst College, Colby College, Dartmouth College, Northeastern University, Tufts University, University of New Hampshire, University of Rhode Island, University of Vermont, Wellesley College, and Wheaton College.

The FOCWG provides an urgently needed pathway for faculty of color to navigate the particular challenges they face in academic life. As part of a large network of institutions, the FOCWG grant will develop collaborative fellowship and mentoring opportunities to produce outcomes unachievable by any single institution.

The core activities made possible by the grant include:

  • Organizing an annual conference for faculty of color that will be the centerpiece of activities and outreach, which will include crucial professional dialogues on panel topics such as publishing, tenure and promotion and the challenge of transitioning into administrative roles. The conference will include pre-conference and post-conference interviews and surveys.
  • Development of a mentorship program to identify and train senior faculty mentors throughout the New England Humanities Consortium to offer a resource for faculty of color at all stages of their careers, including those holding administrative positions, in the region.
  • Establishment of The Mellon Faculty of Color Fellowship program, that will create opportunities for faculty to spend a year as a research fellow at another Consortium institution’s humanities institute or center contributing to crosspollination across the Consortium while furthering faculty’s individual research.

There will also be increased support for NEHC administrative functions including a separate FOCWG website, expanded social media presence and creation of an Instagram account to attract younger generation students and scholars, particularly those who attend liberal arts institutions.

Faculty of Color Workshop 2019
The summer 2019 symposium of the Mellon-funded Faculty of Color Working Group at Wheaton College.

NEHC Announces 2020 Seed Grant Awardees

The New England Humanities Consortium (NEHC) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Requests for Proposals. These are competitive seed grants for research initiatives in the humanities that seek to capitalize on the collaborative network of the consortium.

Curation at a Distance

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Principal Investigator

Lisa Crossman 
Curator, Mead Art Museum
Amherst College

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Collaborator

Dina Deitsch
Chief Curator, Tufts University Art Galleries
Tufts University

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Collaborator

David E. Little
Chief Curator, Mead Art Museum
Amherst College

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Collaborator

Diana Tuite
Curator, Colby College Museum of Art
Colby College

Read more about “Curation at a Distance”

Curating at a Distance is a working group composed of curators at the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, Tufts University Art Galleries, and Colby College Museum of Art that will research and pilot innovative solutions for presenting artworks and virtual exhibitions online that go beyond digital renderings of physical exhibitions. Through the convening of technical experts in the field and the gathering of ideas from museum colleagues, faculty, academic educators, and artists, the group will develop creative and collaborative pedagogical tools that will become resources for the NEHC.

The group’s convenings will result in a set of guidelines to create cross-institutional virtual exhibitions and meaningful engagement with artworks that speak to contemporary issues relevant to students today. Participating curators will develop a model for the co-creation of valuable teaching resources with input from humanities faculty and will create content collaboratively that will implement the group’s findings.

Working Group:

Lisa Crossman, Curator of American Art and Arts of the Americas, Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst, MA

Dina Deitsch, Director and Chief Curator, Tufts University Art Galleries, Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Medford and Boston, MA

David E. Little, John Wieland 1958 Director and Chief Curator, Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst, MA

Diana Tuite, Katz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Colby College Museum of Art, Colby College, Waterville, ME

Shade: Labor Diasporas, Tobacco, Mobility, and the Urban Nexus

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Co-Principal Investigator

Jason Oliver Chang 
Associate Professor, History & Asian and Asian American Studies
University of Connecticut

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Co-Principal Investigator

Fiona Vernal
Associate Professor, History & Africana Studies
University of Connecticut

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Collaborator

Jorell Meléndez-Badillo
Assistant Professor, History
Dartmouth College

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Collaborator

Sony Coranez Bolton
Assistant Professor Latinx and Latin American Studies
Amherst College

Read more about “Shade: Labor Migration, Tobacco, Mobility and the Urban Nexus”

Shade: Labor Migration, Tobacco, Mobility and the Urban Nexus is an interdisciplinary collective of humanities scholars investigating the ways that U.S. imperialism, colonization, corporate industry, and white settler normativity have evolved and matured in the Connecticut River Valley. The Shade Collective engages interdisciplinary collaborations to center the history and culture of the region’s local communities and global labor diasporas. While migration and labor histories associated with the valley’s tobacco industry remain politically invisible, laborers continue to shape the rural and urban spaces of the region in the course of giving their life meaning. Tobacco laborers attached their own meaning of place and space to their memories and their imaginations of the Connecticut River Valley.

Undisciplining Performance

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Co-Principal Investigator

Lilian Mengesha 
Fletcher Foundation Assistant Professor of Dramatic Literature
Tufts University

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Co-Principal Investigator

AB Brown 
Assistant Professor of Contemporary Performance
Colby College

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Co-Principal Investigator

Kareem Khubchandani 
Mellon Bridge Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre, Dance, & Performance Studies
Tufts University

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Co-Principal Investigator

Christine Mok 
Assistant Professor, Department of English
University of Rhode Island

Read more about “Undisciplining Performance”

The 2021 summer seminar “Undisciplining Performance” investigates the role that performance theory and practice play in troubling disciplinary boundaries that perpetuate hierarchies of value around bodies of knowledge and their attendant social formations. Researchers will conduct a 20-day seminar that combines “distance” and “face-to-face” collaboration. The seminar has three missions: the first is to support our interdisciplinary research and teaching, the second is to foster and strengthen intellectual and pedagogical collaboration across consortium member institutions, and the third is to build a regional conversation about the critical role of performance studies for the future of the humanities. As junior faculty from Colby, Tufts, and URI, we are eager to build on the NEHC mission and model of exchange and collaboration to further humanist knowledge of history and theory using performance.

Journal of a Plague Year

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Co-Principal Investigator

Victoria Cain 
Associate Professor, History
Northeastern University

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Co-Principal Investigator

Natalie Valdez 
Assistant Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies
Wellesley College

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Collaborator

Hilary Moss 
Professor of History and Black Studies
Amherst College

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Collaborator

Kristen V. Luschen 
Lewis-Sebring Visiting Professor of Education Studies
Amherst College

Read more about “A Journal of a Plague Year”

A Journal of a Plague Year is a crowdsourced digital archive that aims to create a lasting historical record of the global experience of COVID-19. This archive is an open repository: anyone can explore its holdings, gather and add items, or curate exhibits, maps, and stories based on its collections. The archive is committed to preserving diverse voices in order to represent the breadth and depth of experiences during this uncertain time. Victoria Cain, in association with Natali Valdez, will create course modules designed to help faculty and students use the archive. These modules will promote primary source literacy, an inclusive understanding of local history and narrative, and more sophisticated understandings of ethical archiving and data-inflected storytelling. Students will contribute to the archives in meaningful ways, ensuring the stories of all people, including underrepresented communities, are heard now and in the future.

Maintaining Accessibility and Developing Resources for Keeping It 101: A Killjoy’s Introduction to Religion Podcast

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Principal Investigator

Ilyse Morgenstein-Fuerst 
Associate Professor of Religion and Associate Director, Humanities Center
University of Vermont

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Collaborator

Megan P. Goodwin 
Director for Sacred Writes and Visiting Lecturer, Philosophy and Religion Department
Northeastern University

Read more about “Keeping it 101: A Killjoy’s Introduction to Religion”

Keeping it 101: A Killjoy’s Introduction to Religion is the podcast that helps listeners make sense of religion. Why religion? Well, if you read the news, have a body, exist in public, or think about race, gender, class, ability, or sexuality, you likely also think about religion — even if you don’t know it yet. Hosted by Megan Goodwin and Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst, two professors whose research and teaching intersect around race, gender, nationalism, imperialism, and religion, Keeping it 101 shows listeners why religion is both a lot more important and a little easier to understand than you might think. Each episode has a topic: a core idea we’re trying to get the audience to think through. We’ve got critique on critique, gender, race, sexuality, and imperial theory. Also jokes. Many jokes.

Public Memory, Place, and Belonging: Unearthing the Hidden History of the Native and African American Presence on Block Island

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Co-Principal Investigator

Amelia Moore 
Professor of Sustainable Coastal Tourism and Recreation
University of Rhode Island

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Co-Principal Investigator

Jessica M. Frazier 
Assistant Professor, Departments of History and Marine Affairs, and the Gender & Women's Studies Program
University of Rhode Island

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Co-Principal Investigator

Kevin McBride 
Associate Professor of Anthropology
University of Connecticut

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Collaborator

Kendall Moore 
Professor, Harrington School of Communication and Media
University of Rhode Island

Read more about “Public Memory, Place, and Belonging”

Our team grant will support fieldwork and planning that will lead to the development of a temporary, traveling exhibition, opening in July 2022, titled “Public Memory, Place, and Belonging: Unearthing the Hidden History of the Native and African American Presence on Block Island.” In collaboration with members of the Gobern family of Block Island and East Providence, scholars at the University of Rhode Island (URI) and University of Connecticut (UConn) are working with the Tomaquag Museum and a number of local museums with an interest in hosting this exhibit, which will include audiovisual content created by award-winning documentarian, Kendall Moore, Native and colonial cultural artifacts, archival and contemporary photographs and images, written records, and interpretive materials designed to provoke audience engagement and reflection. After its initial display at a number of regional museums, the exhibit will eventually find a permanent residence at the Gobern family homestead on Block Island, the future site of a Manissean community center. 

Reactivating and Reshaping Humanities Communities: Collaborative Humanistic Inquiry inNineteenth-Century Britain and Today

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Co-Principal Investigator

Christie Harner 
Lecturer in Department of English and Creative Writing
Dartmouth College

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Co-Principal Investigator

Winter Jade Werner 
Assistant Professor of English
Wheaton College

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Collaborator

Sarah Alexander 
Associate Professor, Department of English
University of Vermont

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Collaborator

Carolyn Betensky 
Professor, Department of English
University of Rhode Island

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Collaborator

Patricia Burdick 
Assistant Director for Special Collections
Colby College

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Collaborator

Carolyn Dever 
Professor, Department of English
Dartmouth College

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Collaborator

Hilary Moss 
Professor of History and Black Studies
Amherst College

Read more about “Reactivating and Reshaping Humanities Communities”

"Reactivating and Reshaping Humanities Communities: Collaborative Humanistic Inquiry in Nineteenth-Century Britain and Today” takes nineteenth-century communities of humanistic inquirers (working men’s clubs, libraries, natural history museums, the first mass distance learning program, the Boy Scouts) as inspiration to rethink humanities education. What institutions, in the nineteenth-century and today, complicate or help to redefine the function of the humanities? How might public humanities projects, specifically those engaged with nineteenth-century Britain, reactivate learning communities within and beyond the university: on campus, in local organizations, and online? What humanistic projects do participants want to pursue? What histories of humanistic inquiry might we find in the records of our communities? Building to a Spring 2021 symposium, the project involves identifying colleagues and partners across NEHC institutions who can guest lecture in classes (sharing expertise and bringing in new definitions of the humanities) and collaborating with off-campus partners to broaden definitions of humanities social impact. 

NEHC Request for Proposals – Applications Closed

Guidelines and Application

 

NEHC Mission and Overview

The New England Humanities Consortium (NEHC) promotes and strengthens intellectual collaboration, interdisciplinary exchange, and innovative educational, intercultural, and curricular programming among New England Humanities centers and institutes, and the faculty, students, and regional, national, and global communities they serve. NEHC includes: Amherst College, Colby College, Dartmouth College, Northeastern University, Tufts University, the University of Connecticut, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Rhode Island, the University of Vermont, Wellesley College, and Wheaton College. The Humanities Institute of the University of Connecticut (UCHI) in Storrs, Connecticut is currently the executive and administrative hub of the NEHC.

Award Description

The New England Humanities Consortium (NEHC) is offering competitive seed grants for research initiatives in the humanities that seek to capitalize on the collaborative network of the consortium. Applications seeking to sustain, and build on, previously funded NEHC initiatives that demonstrated success are also welcome. Awards of up to $5000 will be made. (For projects whose total budgets exceed $5000 applicants must list additional committed funding sources and amounts.)  Priority will be given to applications demonstrating concrete plans for consortium membership involvement. Such involvement can take different forms, but will typically involve, e.g. direct collaboration between two or more member institutions and/or active and solicitation of faculty, staff, or students exclusively from member institutions. Applications are welcome from individuals or teams, but the PI must be on the faculty of a NEHC member institution. Potential areas of funding interest include the following (this list is by no means exhaustive):

  • Collaborative research projects
  • Summer Seminars
  • Study or working groups
  • Shared speakers across institutions
  • Collaborative course design
  • Exhibitions

Please submit materials electronically in pdf or Word docx to YOUR HUMANITIES CENTER or INSTITUTE DIRECTOR BY MAY 15, 2020. They will then pass along the proposal to the NEHC board.

Application Procedure and Timeline

Applications for the NEHC RFP must include the following:

  1. Cover page (1 page) stating
  • Title of the project
  • Name, department/program/school location, and NEHC school representation of PI(s)
  • Requested NEHC funding amount (Awards of up to $5000)
  1. Project narrative (2 pages, single spaced, 1” margins, 12pt font) detailing:
  • The goals of the project
  • How those goals address those of NEHC
  • Plans for involving NEHC member institutions and which institutions in particular will be involved
  • How those goals will be pursued
  • Names and roles of participants
  • Expected outcomes and/or deliverables
  • External funding sources, if any
  • Project timeline describing completion of project goals and outcomes
  1. CV (2 page) of Principal Investigator(s)
  2. Budget and Award Period:
  • Total budget. (For projects whose budgets exceed $5000, please list additional committed funding sources and amounts, as validated by an attached letter of support.)
  • The award period will typically not exceed one (1) calendar year and must be stated in the application timeline.

The awardees will be required to submit a detailed summary of the project at the end of their funding term.

Reporting Requirements

All PIs will be required to submit a two-page report no more than one (1) month after the end of the award period specified in the award letter. The report should detail and substantiate progress on the following elements of the project:

  • The extent to which project goals have been met
  • Specific indicators or signs of success
  • Outcomes and/or deliverables achieved
  • Number of NEHC member institutions (and faculty/students) involved

Questions and requests for more information are encouraged and should be directed to UCHI (uchi@uconn.edu).

Colby College Launches Race and Identity Matters (RIM) Initiative

With generous support from the New England Humanities Consortium (NEHC), and from the Provost’s Office at Colby College, the Colby Center for the Arts and Humanities is proud to launch Race and Identity Matters (RIM), which seeks to build a mutually supportive, intellectually stimulating network between scholars working on race and identity across all eleven NEHC campuses. The first step to launching this network is a:

 

One-Day Symposium
University of Connecticut
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, February 29th, 2020

 

At this first RIM meeting, the focus is on highlighting the range of work on race and identity at NEHC schools, and allowing individual scholars to recognize potential areas for collaboration. To that end, 10 of the accepted scholars will be invited to prepare a 5-10-minute presentation on their current or proposed research project. Each presentation will be followed by 15 minutes of discussion where the audience discusses the research idea/plan (it will not be possible for more than 10 people to make presentations, but we hope that others will be happy to join in the conversation and forge links with like-minded researchers). Click here to apply for this symposium. Application deadline is December 6, 2019. 

Subsequent steps following the symposium include the RIM Summer Institute and a RIM Scholarship in NEHC classrooms project. Click here for more detailed information about the RIM symposium, summer institute, and the scholarship.

 

 

UNH Center for the Humanities Announces Summer Institute in Public Humanities Seed Grant Winners

University of New Hampshire Center for the Humanities announced the names of its 2019 Summer Institute in Public Humanities seed grant winners. The seed grant was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In addition to two awardees from Howard University, winners also include 14 graduate students and faculty members from member institutes of the New England Humanities Consortium (NEHC), including Colby College (1), Dartmouth College (1), Tufts University (1), University of Connecticut (3), University of New Hampshire (3), University of Rhode Island (1), University of Vermont (1), Wellesley College (2), and Wheaton College (1):

 

UNH Mellon Winners

 

Elena Creef, Wellesley College
“Reenacting and Remembering the Battle of Greasy Grass, aka The Battle of Little Bighorn”
A public humanities podcast and digital archive project to facilitate a cross-cultural meetup
Community Partners:30-40 Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho riders

 

Kabria Baumgartner, University of New Hampshire
Stories from the Archives: African Americans in Essex National Heritage Area
An annotated resource guide to collections and resources as well as organizations and individuals from the seventeenth century up to the present
Community Partners:National Park Service units, including curators and park historians, the Organization of American Historians, student researchers

 

Catherine Besteman, Colby College
Freedom and Captivity
A series of events and art exhibitions, podcasts, short videos, an art book, and linked courses at Maine’s colleges and universities
Community Partners:faculty at several Maine colleges and universities, a theater company, art institutions, artists, poets, scholars, activists, lawyers, playwrights and others whose work interrogates captivity as a corollary to freedom and engages with alternatives to incarceration

 

Mohamed Camara, Howard University
Interfaith Dialogue and Peacebuilding in West Africa
A forum on Interfaith Dialogue and Peacebuilding along with a digital archive, podcast, and documentary to disseminate the knowledge
Community Partners:West Africa Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) and West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP)

 

Emilie Coppinger, University of New Hampshire
Strengths Narrative Art Program (SNAP)
Art therapy program for children who have been abused or neglected and are in need of channels through which to process past experiences and feelings
Community Partners:(tentative) Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program, Institutional Review Board (IRB), art therapists, children who have experienced abuse and neglect

 

Tyler Doggett, University of Vermont
Public Philosophy Week
Diversity of formats, including readings, group discussions, lectures, movie screenings, and tastings
Community Partners:Will vary from year to year depending on themes but may include police officers, food specialists, doctors and other professionals, comedians, documentary makers, and others

 

Megan Fountain, University of Connecticut
The Guatemala-Connecticut Community History Project
Documenting and archiving oral histories of Guatemalan immigrants and their families in Guatemala
Community Partners:A committee of Guatemalan immigrants and community activists including Unidad Latina en Accion (ULA), a grassroots organization; a team of public historians and New Haven Public Schools teachers; Columbia Center for Oral History Research; and Groundswell: Oral History for Social Change.

 

William Mason, Wheaton College
Untitled
Two concerts in Portland, Maine showcasing the music, dance, stories, and history of Somali refugees who have resettled in Maine
Community partners:high school students, Somali refugees, performers, Somali-Mainer Youth Network, residents who helped Somalis resettle in Maine

 

Jennifer Musto, Wellesley College
Wellesley College-SMCC Co-Learning Collaboratory
A Faculty Speaker Series and team-taught micro seminar program where faculty members facilitate interactive lectures with South Middlesex Correctional Center participants based on their research interests
Community Partners:Public Leadership & Action (PPLA) at Wellesley College, staff at SMCC and current and former SMCC participants who receive DOC permission to contribute

 

Tracy Perkins, Howard University
Saving Ward Valley
Conducting interviews to help tell the story of the Ward Valley anti-nuclear waste landfill campaign, creating both a digital archive and a multimedia storytelling and educational website
Community Partners:
Fort Mojave tribal chairperson, activists from the Ward Valley Campaign, Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, Aspiration, an NGO that specializes in helping activists, nonprofits and foundations use internet technology for social justice purposes

 

Hesamedin Sharifian, Tufts University
’Banned’ Stories
Devised theatre production which will reach out to Iranian citizens to share their stories of pain and separation in the wake of Muslim ban
Community Partners:a theatre director and devised theatre specialist, legal attorneys, theatre

staff, a group of Iranian students and scholars who are willing to will share their stories and embody characters on stage

 

Roberta Stewart, Dartmouth College
From Troy to Baghdad: Reading Communities and Public Humanities
Trainings in methods for harnessing world lit to create community for US Veterans engaging in “radical reading” to come to terms with service and impact of war, eventual published volume documenting experiences
Community Partners:mental health providers; veteran readers; Center for Suicide Prevention; various Vet centers, including Lowell Mass Vet Center and Student Veteran Services; (tentative) Society for Classics Studies, Women’s Classical Caucus, Classics and Social Justice, community colleges, prisons… and more

 

Fiona Vernal, University of Connecticut
A Caribbean Museum
Community-based archival collecting to lead to an oral history initiative including one-week traveling pop-up exhibits, a migration exhibit to launch the Caribbean Museum, and salons (panel discussions) about public housing, mobility, and migration
Community Partners:
Connecticut Humanities Council (CHC), The Hartford History Center at the Hartford Public Library, The West Indian Social Club (WISC), and El Instituto: The Institute of Latino, Caribbean and Latin American Studies (ELIN) at UConn, Hartford Public Schools, CREC (Capital Region Education Council)

 

Rob Widell, University of Rhode Island
Documenting Rhode Island initiative of the Oral History Lab at URI
The facilitation of a series of workshops and an open and accessible ongoing archive to document and preserve stories of activism and community organizing across Rhode Island and the surrounding region
Community Partners:George Wiley Center’s Social Movement History Project and The Collective, a woman-owned “bookstore, infoshop, lending library, reading room and community meeting space in Peacedale, Rhode Island

 

Leah Woods, University of New Hampshire
Prison Outreach Program (POP)”
To outfit a new wood shop with tools and equipment for the NH Women’s Correctional Facility so women will have the opportunity to learn marketable skills and flex their creativity through furniture making led by female instructors/mentors
Community Partners:New Hampshire Furniture Masters, NH Women’s Correctional Facility, female woodworkers

 

Walter Woodward, University of Connecticut
Doing Public Humanities: An Audio Field Guide
A multi-episode web-based podcast as an audio roadmap into how to practice engaged public humanities
Community Partners:case history participants (faculty doing public humanities)

Northeastern Humanities Center Year in Review Features NEHC

Our colleagues at Northeastern University Humanities Center had quite the productive 2018-2019 academic year, including funding residential fellowships, and sponsoring and hosting various events and programs, the latter of which included events funded or sponsored by the New England Humanities Consortium (NEHC). With generous support from the Mellon Foundation, NEHC and its member institutes, including Northeastern, hosted a number of events as part of the Time’s Up: What Now? series, which explored current expressions of the “Time’s Up” movement, sexism, misogyny, and romance. Northeastern was also among three NEHC-member institutes to host Laurie Essig, professor of Gender, sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Middlebury College. Her visit was part of an alternative Valentines’ Day activity to discuss “feminist perspectives on online dating and romance.” Finally, Northeastern professor of history, Martin Blatt, received $9,500 in funding from the NEHC toward his project “William Apess’ Eulogy on King Philip – Public Reading and Panel Discussion.” Read about these and much more on the Northeastern Humanities Center Website.

 

Northeastern Book Images