Six key OU humanities programs receive $ 500,000 NEH award

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Six key humanities programs at the University of Oklahoma will receive a $ 500,000 award from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the largest total grant ever awarded by the NEH to the OU. The funding comes from the US bailout, intended to help humanities organizations across the country that have been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Kimberly J. Marshall, Director of the OU Arts and Humanities Forum and Associate Professor of Anthropology, led the New Stories from the West, for the West grant team. She said the humanities funding provided through the US bailout is proof of the value of the arts and humanities and recognition of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted work. humanist.

Among all the other things the US bailout has done, it recognized that the humanities sector is an essential component of economic and civic life in the United States, and that this sector has been negatively impacted by the pandemic. “

Kimberly J. Marshall, Director, OU Arts and Humanities Forum

Noting that the ARP: Humanities Organization grants program specified that they would only accept one application from each humanities entity, Marshall said their first challenge at the OU was to coordinate all the varied needs of the different entities. and humanities projects on campus in one compelling story.

Janet Ward, Senior Associate Vice President for Research and Partnerships, knew the Arts and Humanities Forum was ideally placed for such coordination and asked Marshall to lead the grant team. Marshall organized the coordination, writing and submission of the application as the principal principal investigator.

“Since the forum is a Provost-Direct center and serves units across campus, Dr. Marshall was ideally placed to lead the initiative for this app,” said Ward. “We are extremely proud of the success of his team.

The OU humanities entities funded by the grant are the OU Press, the OU Native Nations Center, the OU Arts and Humanities Forum, World Literature Today, the Oklahoma Weather Community Oral History Project, and the Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair.

According to Marshall, each of the six public projects receiving NEH funding “reinforces OU Press’s core mission of documenting and studying the history of the West, but also carries the energy of the Native Nations Center to extend authorship and spreading this story beyond those who traditionally controlled and accessed it. “

She added, “A land of vast space, new possibilities, self-reliance, and both natural and social extremes, the West holds a unique place in American history. Understanding the diverse voices that have shaped this region, particularly those of indigenous North America, and engaging a wider range of participants in a dialogue about the growing meanings of this region will help establish a history of the region. America that better reflects both the complex past of this nation and its idealism for the future. “

Specifically, the grant provides the general funding needed for OU Press, one of the world’s leading publishers in the history of the American West, which has been negatively impacted by the pandemic at all stages of book production, from recruiting authors for editing and editing, marketing and sales of books. The funding will also allow the press to extend the authorship and dissemination of Western history by supporting some of the most influential humanities entities at the OU. Foremost among these is the OU Native Nations Center, which will use this funding to work with OU Press to establish a community-based OU Press “Indigenous Nations Center Footprint”.

Dale Bennie, Director of OU Press, said of the award, “The University of Oklahoma Press is pleased and honored to receive funding from the NEH ARP to support our nearly century-long commitment to the scholarly edition in the humanities with much needed operational support and with funding to launch a new edition in collaboration with the Native Nations Center at the University of Oklahoma. “

The OU Arts and Humanities Forum will use grant funding to establish OUAH.FM – a podcast to promote, celebrate and communicate the excellence of OU’s faculty and humanities programming at a wider audience across the state. World Literature Today, an international literature and culture magazine published in OU will use the funding to update its digital interface to ensure that its substantial collection of literary publications continues to be accessible to the magazine’s nearly one million readers each year.

The Oklahoma Meteorological Community Oral History Project will use the funding to launch a digital portal that traces the history of Oklahoma’s meteorological community, from storm chasers to world-renowned meteorologists, accessible to researchers, Kindergarten to Grade 12 educators and the public. Language Fair for Oklahoma Native American Youth will use the funding to meet the need for additional staff to host the annual event, which impacts thousands of Oklahomians every year from pre-K through 12e participating students, their families, schools and tribal nations, members of the OU community and the general public.

Marshall observed that grants of this magnitude, while relatively common in the hard sciences, are rare in the humanities. “The most prestigious awards in the humanities – the NEH scholarship, the ACLS scholarship – are in the order of $ 60,000. Larger grants are only open to humanists when we think collaboratively and work through organizational structures like the ORS, ”she said.

“Winning an award of this magnitude proves that the humanities work we do here at the OU is on par with our ambitious peers and peers nationwide. And it also shows that the OU Arts and Humanities Forum is uniquely positioned to help our excellent OU Humanities Faculty realize big picture visions for Oklahoma Humanities Scholarships. “

In addition to Marshall, members of the New Stories from the West, For the West grant team are Dale Bennie, director of OU Press; Brian Burkhart, Acting Director of the OU Native Nations Center and Associate Professor of Philosophy; Robert Con Davis-Undiano, Director of World Literature Today and the English teacher Neustadt; Hunter Heyck, director of the Oklahoma Weather Community Oral History Project and professor of history of science; and Raina Heaton, Curator of the Native American Languages ​​Collection at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and Associate Professor in the Department of Native American Studies at Dodge Family College of Arts and Sciences.


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