UNH Receives Mellon Foundation Grant to Take the Humanities to the Public

May 30, 2018

Thompson Hall

The University of New Hampshire has received a three-year $724,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which will be used by the Center for the Humanities to host residential summer institutes that will train humanists to work in the public realm and embrace community engagement.

“We’re thrilled to have this support from the Mellon Foundation,” said Burt Feintuch, director of the UNH Center for the Humanities and professor of folklore and English. “The humanities help us think about how to live good lives in complicated times. This work is critically important in public life, and our week-long boot camps will help faculty and students think about how to contribute to the public good, how to reflect on social issues, how to think about the present in the context of the past, how to figure out what matters in the face of massive change. Our goal is to help humanities faculty develop innovative and meaningful ways to connect to civic life and for students to think about real-world applications of their classroom experiences and about possible career paths.”

The New England Humanities Consortium, a network of academic humanities centers and institutes in the region, will co-sponsor the boot camps. Member institutions will nominate participants and the boot camps will also include faculty and students from Howard University, building on a history of successful collaboration between UNH and Howard.

“The humanities are vital to our democracy and for addressing the grand challenges of our age, such as health care, urbanization, food sovereignty and the role of technology in human relations and discourse,” said Heidi Bostic, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “We have a well-established history of engaged scholarship and the summer boot camps are a natural next step for the university in the evolution of our public-facing trajectory. We are grateful for the support of the Mellon Foundation as we continue to prepare our students for professional success and meaningful lives that support the wider society.”

This grant is part of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s continued support for academic institutions as they endeavor to demonstrate, through counter-narratives offered by public humanities programs and initiatives, the essential relevance of the humanities to productive civic dialogue.

Post written by Erika Mantz.


Public Humanities

November 9, 2017

photo of six panelists at table

Six College of Liberal Arts faculty members presented on UNH’s innovative public humanities fellows program at the National Humanities Conference, held Nov. 2-5, 2017, in Boston, Mass.

The UNH Center for the Humanities annually awards up to three fellowships of $5000 each for publicly engaged humanities projects. The awards enable individual humanities scholars or teams to undertake collaborative projects, partnering with community or other public organizations, bringing humanities scholarship to bear in the context of advancing democracy, civic life and the public good.

Learn about the projects funded by the public humanities fellows program.

The faculty presenting at the Conference, pictured above, left to right, were Eleanor Harrison-Buck (anthropology), Christina Ortmeier-Hooper (English), Alecia Magnifico (English), Burt Feintuch (English and the Center for the Humanities), Nick Smith (philosophy) and Svetlana Peshkova (anthropology).

The conference, co-hosted with the Federation of State Humanities Councils, was the second in a series of three joint national meetings that bring the humanities community together as whole to consider how, by leveraging strengths, they can achieve broader public impact and showcase the fundamental role the humanities play in addressing both local and global challenges.

Nick Smith presenting

Professor Nick Smith

Svetlana Peshkova presenting

Professor Svetlana Peshkova


To address the Anthropocene, engage the liberal arts

July 20, 2017

journal cover with globe

Heidi Bostic, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and Meghan Howey, associate professor of anthropology, have teamed up to write an article for the journal Anthropocene. They argue for early and frequent collaboration between the geosciences and liberal arts disciplines when trying to understand our current era of human geologic impact, called the anthropocene. Interdisciplinarity is key to successfully addressing the grand challenges of our era, which include sea-level rise, food insecurity, and global health issues, among others.

The full text of the article is available for a limited time.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE: Anthropocene


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