MLA Members Receive 2018 NEH Grants

Congratulations to the twenty-two MLA members who are among the winners of National Endowment for the Humanities grants announced in December 2018. The projects recognized include a book-length study on how United States technology companies and the Chinese government are changing global relationships and a project to digitize the archives of the Bethel Literary and Historical Association, an important early African American literary and cultural society.

Digital Projects for the Public: Discovery Grants

Deanna Shemek, University of California, Santa Cruz

Project title: Virtual Studiolo

Project description: The design and production of a 3-D environment re-creating Isabella d’Este of Mantua’s (1474–1539) art and music “studiolo” for use with virtual reality headsets, laptops, and visualization walls.

Jonathan Zwicker, University of California, Berkeley

Project title: Tokyo’s Long Nineteenth Century: A Cultural Atlas of the City, 1787–1923

Project description: Development of an online cultural atlas of the city of Edo/Tokyo in the years 1787–1923.

Fellowships

Angela Bennett, University of Nevada, Reno

Project title: Manuscript Orientations: Mediation, Meditation, and the Movements of Piers Plowman

Project description: Preparation of a digital publication that compares and analyzes the over fifty manuscript versions of the Middle English poem Piers Plowman (c. 1370–90).

Hall Bjornstad, Indiana University, Bloomington

Project title: The Crowning Example: Louis XIV and the Crisis of Royal Exemplarity

Project description: Research and writing leading to publication of a book on the French king Louis XIV (1638–1715), showing how the concept of absolute monarchy gave way to the modern understanding of the individual and of individual rights.

Martha Cutter, University of Connecticut, Storrs

Project title: The Lives and Afterlives of Henry Box Brown, the Slave Who Mailed Himself to Freedom

Project description: Completion of a book-length study on the life and abolitionist legacy of the nineteenth-century performer and slave Henry Box Brown (d. 1897).

Scott Herring, Indiana University, Bloomington

Project title: The Aging of American Modernism

Project description: Completion of a book-length study on American modernism and the late-life work of prominent avant-garde figures Djuna Barnes (1892–1982), Tillie Olsen (1912–2007), and Charles Henri Ford (1908–2002); and lesser-known figures Samuel M. Steward (1909–93), Ivan Albright (1897–1983) and Mabel Hampton (1902–89).

Nathalie Hester, University of Oregon

Project title: Inventing America in Baroque Italy: Columbus, Vespucci, and New World Epic

Project description: Research and writing leading to publication of a book on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italian epic poems about the Spanish conquest of the Americas.

Aynne Kokas, University of Virginia

Project title: Border Patrol on the Digital Frontier: China, the United States, and the Global War over Data

Project description: Research and writing leading to a book-length study on how United States technology companies and the Chinese government are changing the global relationships among individuals, governments, and markets.

Josephine Lee, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Project title: Blackface and Yellowface: American Theater and Racial Performance

Project description: Research and writing of a book-length study on the relationship between yellowface and blackface acting and representation in nineteenth- and twentieth-century American theater.

Michael LeMahieu, Clemson University

Project title: Reconstructing Civil War Memory in American Literature after Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

Project description: Completion of a book-length study on literary representations of the Civil War after Brown v. Board of Education (1954).

L. Lerner, Franklin and Marshall College

Project title: Italy Out of the Ghetto: A Catholic Nation in the Jewish Mirror, 1789–1910

Project description: Writing leading to the publication of a book-length study of the role religion and politics played in the formation of Italian national identity in the nineteenth century.

Sarah McKibben, University of Notre Dame

Project title: Tradition Transformed: Bardic Poetry and Colonialism in Early Modern Ireland, 1560–1660

Project description: Completion of a book-length study on Irish bardic poetry and British colonialism in Early Modern Ireland.

Anne-Helene Miller, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Project title: The Formation of a Francophone Identity in Fourteenth-Century Literature

Project description: Research and writing leading to publication of a book on the development of fourteenth-century French literary culture.

Elizabeth Miller, University of California, Davis

Project title: Mining, Ecology, and Literature, 1830–1930

Project description: Research and writing leading to a book-length study of mining and extraction in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century literature.

Whitney Trettien, University of Pennsylvania

Project title: A New History of the Book in Seventeenth-Century England

Project description: Preparation of a digital publication analyzing seventeenth-century English books that were assembled from texts and images of other printed sources.

Travis Wilds, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Project title: Empire of Exactitude: Life, Literature, and the Physical Sciences in Post-Enlightenment Paris

Project description: Writing leading to the publication of an intellectual history of how the sciences triumphed over the humanities in the Paris academy (1780 to 1815).

Humanities Initiatives: HBCUs

Dana Williams, Howard University

Project title: Reviving the Bethel Literary and Historical Association in the Twenty-First Century

Project description: A project to digitize the archives of an important early African American literary and cultural society and to carry forward its legacy through interdisciplinary public lectures and forums.

Sherida Yoder, Felician University

Project title: Interdisciplinary Humanities Program on the History and Culture of Paterson

Project description: The development of an interdisciplinary and place-based humanities minor that focuses on the writers, musicians, and artists of Paterson, New Jersey.

Awards for Faculty

Nathaniel Cadle, Florida International University

Project title: American Literature, the Romantic Revival, and the Rise of Modernism

Project description: Preparation for publication of a book about the relationship between United States literary modernism and the Romantic Revival (c. 1880–1920), with consideration of works by Edith Wharton, Henry James, and W. E. B. Du Bois.

Cooperative Agreements and Special Projects (Challenge Grants)

Holly McBee, Dickinson State University

Project title: Theodore Roosevelt Honors Leadership Program Endowed Chair at Dickinson State University

Project description: An endowed chair of the Theodore Roosevelt Honors Leadership Program at Dickinson State University.

Common Heritage

Rhondda Thomas, Clemson University

Project title: Digitizing African-American Heritage in the Greater Clemson, South Carolina, Community

Project description: A two-day digitization event to collect materials regarding the underdocumented contributions and stories of African Americans at Clemson University and from the surrounding community.

Rachel Price, Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound

Project title: Digital Video Rescue

Project description: The development of procedures and tools designed for the preservation of digital video (DV) recordings, a highly fragile format used widely in the mid-1990s through 2000s, documenting local heritage, oral histories, arts performances and a variety of other cultural events and activities.