Cal Humanities

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

New Awards Announced from National Endowment for the Humanities

Twelve California-based projects are a part of the latest round of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)’s grant awards, which were announced this week. $2.1 million in NEH grant awards will support the California-based projects, with a total of $30.9 million allocated nationwide.

California Humanities also receives support from the NEH to support the public humanities statewide through our grants and programs. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020, signed into law on December 20, 2019, increased funding for the NEH to $162.25, a $7.25 million increase over the previous year. The announcement marked the largest increase in the NEH budget in a decade. California, along with 55 other state and territorial humanities councils, stewards funds from the NEH made through the Office of Federal/State Partnership.  This office was altogether awarded a total of $50 million, an increase from last year.

We are so very grateful to the NEH and representatives in Congress for their support of the humanities. Their support affirms what we know—that the work we and hundreds of humanities practitioners across the state and country do to connect people to the human experience is valuable and deserving of support.

Below, check out the list of the 12 NEH grants awarded in California, and please join us in thanking the NEH for their support over social media: @NEHgov.

Azusa Pacific University
Humanities Initiatives: HSIs
Outright: $99,991
Project Director: Theodore Szeto
Project Title: A Summer Bridge Engaging GEN1 Scholars
Project Description: A residential bridge program for first generation students that incorporates an introductory humanities course and complementary labs and field trips focused on the ideas, arguments, and points of view contained in the Declaration of Independence.

University of California, Berkeley
Research and Development
Outright: $239,370 Match: $67,000
Project Director: Deborah Anderson
Project Title: Universal Scripts Project
Project Description: The preparation of eight scripts—six historical and two modern—for inclusion in the international Unicode standard, to aid research using materials in historical scripts and to promote communication in minority language communities.

Association of Moving Image Archivists, Hollywood
Preservation Education and Training
Outright: $271,584
Project Director: Laura Rooney
Project Title: Audiovisual Collections Care in Tribal Archives
Project Description: A continuing-education program in preservation of audiovisual collections for tribal archives, libraries, and museums that includes establishment of five regional hubs (across the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii), delivery of six regional workshops for approximately 140 participants, development of preservation plans for select audiovisual collections, and development of educational resources, such as toolkits, guides, protocols, and templates for film inspection and digitization.

Patricia Cleary, California State University, Long Beach
Awards for Faculty
Outright: $60,000
Project Title: The Destruction and Afterlife of the Indian Mounds of St. Louis, Missouri
Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on the history of the Indian mounds in the area now occupied by the city of St. Louis, Missouri, showing how they shaped and were shaped by the city’s development.

Maya Maskarinec, University of Southern California 
Outright: $60,000
Project Title: Domesticating Saints in Medieval and Early Modern Rome
Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on how prominent families in late medieval and early modern Rome appropriated Christian saints and hagiography into their own histories to further their moral and political authority.

Unicode Consortium, Mountain View
Digital Humanities Advancement Grants
Outright: $99,990 [] Project Director: Gabrielle Vail Project Title: Classic Maya Text Repository Project Description: The development of an open-access, online collaborative platform and repository of Maya hieroglyphic texts for use by scholars and descendent communities. This project contributes to the longer-term endeavor to expand the international Unicode Standard repertoire to include the Maya script.

Amanda Baugh, California State University, Northridge
Awards for Faculty
Outright: $60,000
Project Title: Rethinking Religious Environmentalism
Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book about the environmental values of Latinx Catholics in Los Angeles and the history of American environmentalism.

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants
Match: $750,000
Project Director: Kathryn Kanjo
Project Title: La Jolla Campus Expansion Project Project Description: Construction expenses and campaign fundraising costs for the expansion of the museum’s La Jolla campus, creating capacity for display of the permanent collection alongside temporary exhibitions.

Bay Area Video Coalition, San Francisco
Preservation Education and Training
Outright: $291,661
Project Director: Morgan Morel
Project Title: Community-Based Preservation Education and Training
Project Description: The development of online training modules, two onsite two-day training programs, and a one-year fellowship, all of which are focused on educating diverse practitioners in audiovisual preservation skills, techniques, and practices.

Mona Damluji, University of California, Santa Barbara
Awards for Faculty
Outright: $60,000
Project Title: A History of Oil, Culture, and Infrastructure in Iraq
Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on the relationship between the oil industry and cinema culture in Iraq between 1920 and 1958.

Santa Clara University
Digital Projects for the Public
Outright: $24,997
Project Director: Amy Lueck
Project Title: Remembering Mission History
Project Description: Development of an augmented reality and virtual reality experience to explore the history of the Santa Clara de Asís mission.

Rina Benmayor, California State University, Monterey Bay
Awards for Faculty
Outright: $15,000
Project Title: Emotion and the Pursuit of Restorative Citizenship: The Case of Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi Descendants
Project Description: Writing an article about the role of emotion in the Sephardi dual citizenship laws passed by Spain and Portugal in 2015.

Please join us in thanking the NEH for their incredible support for the humanities in California over social media: @NEHgov.


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