MLA Members Receive 2021 NEH Grants

Congratulations to the twelve MLA members who are among the winners of the National Endowment for the Humanities grants announced in August 2021. Their projects include a free online resource for teaching Spanish to heritage learners; a digital publication of the notes of Viola Muse, a writer who took part in the Florida Federal Writers Project; a two-week institute on transcendentalism and social reform; and much more.

Wendy Belcher, Princeton University

Project Title: African Humanities Folkloric Project: Written Medieval Stories on Healing and Justice from Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, and Ethiopia Project

Description: Preparation for digital publication of 180 African Marian stories preserved in parchment manuscripts, which will be cataloged, transcribed, and translated from Ge’ez (classical Ethiopic) into English.

Project Title: Increasing Access to and Developing Digital Tools for Early African Literature

Project Description: The creation of a web-based platform and tools to enable scholars to search and engage with a unique online collection of African literature.

Robin Bernstein, Harvard University

Project Title: The Trials of William Freeman (1824–1847): A Story of Murder, Race, and America’s First Industrial Prison Project

Description: A history of incarceration in Auburn, New York, through the story of William Freeman, who was convicted of a quadruple murder in 1846.

Margaret Boyle, Bates College

Project Title: Identity and Multilingualism through Picture Books

Project Description: A two-week, hybrid institute for twenty-nine elementary school teachers to develop equitable teaching strategies using picture books.

Janine Fitzgerald, Fort Lewis College

Project Title: Yo Soy Porque Tú Eres: recursos para el aprendizaje de Español en contexto (Resources for Teaching Spanish in Context)

Project Description: Development of a free online OER (open educational resource) for teaching Spanish language using humanities collections to heritage learners.

Lauren Goodlad, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Project Title: Unboxing Artificial Intelligence: An International Collaboration Bringing Humanities Perspectives to AI

Project Description: Planning of an international collaboration on the topic of bringing humanities perspectives to the creation of artificial intelligence.

Laura Heffernan, University of North Florida

Project Title: Documenting Black Jacksonville: The Viola Muse Digital Edition

Project Description: Preparation for digital publication of the interview notes of Viola Muse (1891–1981), a writer who took part in the Florida Federal Writers Project from 1936 to 1940.

Casey Kayser University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Project Title: Pandemics in History, Literature, and Today

Project Description: A two-week, residential institute for thirty-six middle and high school educators that would provide comparative perspectives on the 1918 and 2020 global pandemics.

Lauren Klein, Emory University

Project Title: Data by Design: An Interactive History of Data Visualization

Project Description: The creation of a born-digital publication documenting and analyzing the history of data visualization from the eighteenth century to the present.

Sandra Petrulionis, Thoreau Society, Inc.

Project Title: Transcendentalism and Social Reform: Activism and Community Engagement in the Age of Thoreau

Project Description: A two-week, residential institute for twenty-five college and university faculty members on transcendentalism and social reform.

Lynn Ramey, Vanderbilt University

Project Title: Immersive Global Middle Ages Institute for Advanced Topics

Project Description: A 28-month initiative for fourteen participants to learn about the use of immersive digital technologies for teaching and learning about the global Middle Ages through in-person and virtual workshops hosted by the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and Vanderbilt University.

Charles Stivale, Purdue University

Project Title: Translation of the Seminars of French Philosopher Gilles Deleuze

Project Description: Preparation for online publication of English translations of seminar lectures delivered by French philosopher Gilles Deleuze (1925–95).

Miriam Udel, Emory University

Project Title: Children’s Literature and Modern Jewish Culture

Project Description: Writing a book examining Jewish identity as constructed in Yiddish-language children’s literature.