INDIANAPOLIS — The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded $690,000 to three Indiana University research and learning projects.
The NEH grants will fund a summer training program for university and college faculty interested in exploring the cultures of African and African diaspora cities; a workshop series on applying digital methods to issues in Native American and Indigenous studies; and the Santayana Edition’s ongoing publication of writings of American philosopher George Santayana.
The three IU projects — two on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus and one at Indiana University Bloomington — are among 212 projects sharing $36.6 million in recent NEH funding.
“The grant projects represent the very best of humanities scholarship and programming,” NEH Chairman William Adams said. “NEH is proud to support programs that illuminate the great ideas and events of our past, broaden access to our nation’s many cultural resources, and open up for us new ways of understanding the world in which we live.”
The IUPUI projects, both housed in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, are:
“The Digital Native American and Indigenous Studies Project,” $249,817 for a series of three workshops on teaching new digital methods and exploring issues of digital cultural heritage in Native American studies, to be directed by IUPUI assistant professor of history Jennifer Guiliano. Yale University, Arizona State University and IUPUI will in turn host a three-day workshop for 35 participants.
“The Works of George Santayana,” directed by associate professor of philosophy Martin Coleman, which involves the preparation for print and digital publication of American philosopher George Santayana’s “Three Philosophical Poets” (Vol. 8), “Winds of Doctrine” (Vol. 9) and “Scepticism and Animal Faith” (Vol. 8) and the beginning of work on “Realm of Being,” (Vol. 16). A three-year grant of $225,000 and $23,623 in matching funds to the Santayana Edition will provide salaries for an editor and graduate student interns who will contribute to the production of the printed and electronic texts.
Indiana University Bloomington received $191,592 for “Arts of Survival: Recasting Lives in African Cities,” a three-week seminar for 25 college and university faculty who will study the arts and culture of Accra, Lagos, Nairobi, New Orleans and Port-au-Prince. The project is led by Eileen Julien, director of IU’s Institute for Advanced Study.
“Arts of Survival” will take place on the Bloomington campus in July. The seminar will host high school and college educators and graduate students and will feature presentations by faculty who teach at IU Bloomington and in South Africa. Participants will also spend a weekend in New Orleans to experience first-hand an urban culture examined in the classroom.
“We aim to enable seminar presenters and participants to develop a deeper understanding of the lives of individual cities, their challenges and possibilities, and a broad view of the richness, complexity and diversity of contemporary urban experiences across Africa and Africa’s Atlantic diaspora,” said Julien, who is also a professor of comparative literature at IU Bloomington.
Organizers believe the IUPUI Native American studies project is the first workshop specifically focused on digital humanities that encourages participants in the development of a more systematic approach to integrating digital technologies within and throughout academic institutions, cultural organizations and tribal communities.
“While tremendous work has been done around the preservation and access of analog materials within Native American communities, there has been much less attention paid to the ways in which digital objects, practices and methods function within Native communities and through Native American studies scholarship,” Guiliano said.
The international reputation and broad appeal of Santayana justifies the Santayana Edition’s aim of preserving and disseminating Santayana’s thought in reliable and accurate texts. This will be published as “The Works of George Santayana” so readers can research, evaluate and appreciate Santayana’s role in shaping American letters, Coleman said.