Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Quick Call for Comment - NEH Summer Seminars

UPDATE - 10/07/2014: I am still collecting comments focused on how being abroad in an NEH seminar or institute made a difference to your teaching and scholarship. I am now waiting on FOIA requests to be delivered and am sticking on this story as long as I can. If the comment page doesn't work for you, email me at lollardfish@gmail.com

COMMENT MODERATION IS ON. I will publish your remarks ASAP.


The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) sponsors summer seminars that bring groups of scholars from all stages of their careers together. They meet in an appropriate setting, engage in discussions, hear lectures, work on their own projects, and engage in what we call "experiential learning" of various sorts. For medievalists and early modernists, the people I know best, there's also usually plenty of time in the archives.

In the past, they have been hosted around the world. But here's a surprise in the current call for proposals [my emphasis].
Prospective applicants to direct a Summer Seminar or Institute in the summer of 2016 (application deadline, February 24, 2015) are now encouraged to submit to program staff an optional preliminary sketch of their proposals (deadline, December 15, 2014). You can find the form for the preliminary sketch (in MS Word) under "Program Resources" in the sidebar on the right. NEH staff will also continue to provide feedback on partial or full application drafts (deadline, January 24, 2015). Both opportunities for receiving feedback are optional.
Please note also that projects outside the U.S. and its territories are no longer supported.
I am writing a piece about the consequences of closing off the world. I think it reinforces prestige culture and is based on this criticism from Senator Sessions, a man who is not fond of the humanities in any context.

If you have a comment on why the programs are important to you, please leave it here, on Facebook, on twitter, or via email. Email me at lollardfish@gmail.com if you want anonymity or have trouble with the comment system. Please let me know who you are as I may choose to quote you directly in my piece [Still writing!].

UPDATE - Here's the letter sent out to some past program directors last week.