MLA Members Receive August 2018 National Endowment for the Humanities Grants

The Modern Language Association congratulates the seven MLA members who were awarded National Endowment for the Humanities grants in August 2018. Their various projects include a seminar for higher education teachers on nineteenth-century western New York writers and a study of a 1970s African American women’s writing group.

Public Scholar Program

Devoney Looser, Arizona State University
Project Title: Biography of Sisters Jane Porter (1775–1850) and Anna Maria Porter (1778–1832), 19th-Century British Novelists
Description: Research and writing of a book on British sister novelists Jane Porter (1775–1850) and Anna Maria Porter (1778–1832), contemporaries of Jane Austen.

Courtney Thorsson, University of Oregon
Project Title: The Sisterhood: A Black Women’s Literary Organization
Description: Research and writing leading to publication of a book on a circle of African American women writers and how they supported one another’s work and careers. The group, which included Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and Audre Lorde, met regularly in New York in the 1970s.

Seminars for School Teachers

Lori Branch, University of Iowa
Project Title: Religion, Secularism, and the Novel
Description: A three-week seminar for sixteen college and university faculty members examining the history of the novel as it relates to theses about the secularization of society or the continuing hold of religion on society, to be held at the University of Iowa.

John Jordan, University of California, Santa Cruz
Project Title: Reimagining the Literary Classic: Teaching Literature through Adaptations
Description: A three-week seminar for sixteen school teachers on adaptations of literary works.

Shirley Samuels, Cornell University
Project Title: Situating Democratic Writers in Western New York: Tocqueville, Cooper, Stanton, and Douglass
Description: A two-week seminar for sixteen college and university teachers to study the works of significant nineteenth-century writers in the historical and literary context of western New York.

Institutes for College and University Teachers

Liesl Olson, Newberry Library
Project Title: Making Modernism: Literature and Culture in Chicago, 1893–1955
Description: A four-week institute for twenty-five college and university teachers to study modernist literary and artistic expression through the collections of the Newberry Library and sites in Chicago.

Scholarly Editions and Translations

Sandra Spanier, Penn State University, University Park
Project Title: The Letters of Ernest Hemingway
Description: Preparation for publication of volumes 5, 6, and 7 of a scholarly edition of six-thousand surviving letters of the American author Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961).