A PBS documentary on the 400-year history of Shakespeare’s plays, a New York Public Library summer program for educators on efforts to ensure equitable access to education in 20th-century Harlem, and the research for a book on the history of red hair are among 226 recipients of new scholarships from the National Endowment for the Humanities announced Tuesday.
The grants, which total $31.5 million and are the third round awarded this year, will support projects at museums, libraries, universities and historic sites in 45 states and Washington, D.C., as well as Canada. , England and the Netherlands.
These projects include a documentary, to be co-produced by Louisiana Public Broadcasting, about the Colfax massacre – named after the city and parish where dozens of former slaves were killed during reconstruction. Another, at Penn State, uses computational methods to analyze clouds in John Constable’s landscapes and to trace the adoption of his realist techniques by other 19th-century European artists. The funding will also go towards researching a book examining how different cultures have viewed Jesus, both in his day and throughout history, by Elaine Pagels, a historian of religions at Princeton University.
Shelly C. Lowe, president of the endowment, said in a statement that the projects, which include educational programs for high school and college students, “will foster the exchange of ideas and increase access to knowledge, resources and experiments in the human sciences”.
In New York, 31 projects from cultural organizations across the state will receive $4.6 million in grants. The funding will support the creation of a new permanent exhibit exploring 400 years of Brooklyn history at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, as well as books about St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City at the height of the AIDS crisis and the Hospital of the Innocents, a 600 year old child care institution in Florence, Italy.
The funding will also go towards the development of a podcast about the Federal Writers’ Project, a US government initiative that provided jobs for writers out of work during the Great Depression, by Washington-based Stone Soup Productions. Another grant will benefit a history of the Cherokee nation co-authored by Julie Reed, historian at Penn State, and Rose Stremlau, historian at Davidson College in North Carolina.
The grants will also benefit the Peabody Collections, one of the nation’s oldest African-American library collections, Hampton University, and a book by John Lisle about a 1980s lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency for his Cold War-era MK-Ultra program. , which involved mind control experiments.