News From the Center

National Humanities Center Receives Grant to Support Research Fellowships for HBCU Faculty

HBCU professor

The National Humanities Center (NHC) is pleased to announce a $1,147,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a new initiative that will provide residential fellowships for a dozen scholars from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) over the next three years. Beginning with the 2019-20 academic year, these fellowships will allow four HBCU scholars per year to pursue individual research projects and take part in the Center’s intellectual community.

“The National Humanities Center has supported over 1,400 scholars from institutions across the United States and other countries,” said NHC Vice President for Scholarly Programs, Tania Munz. “These scholars have benefitted from the Center’s dedicated research support as well as the time away from teaching and other demands at their home institutions to focus on their research and exchange ideas with scholars from other disciplines.”

Fellowships provided through the HBCU-Mellon initiative will be awarded through the Center’s regular fellowship selection process. The Center will begin accepting applications for the 2020–21 academic year on July 1, 2019 with a deadline of October 10, 2019. Details about NHC fellowships, including application instructions, are available here.

Munz notes, however, that only a handful of HBCU faculty have been able to take advantage of the Center’s offerings in the past. “Humanities faculty at HBCUs often must negotiate structural challenges that make it more difficult for them to take time away from their home institutions to focus on research. We are hopeful that this new program will make it possible for more scholars from HBCUs to take advantage of the Center’s fellowship program.”
Besides providing support for HBCU humanities scholars themselves, the Mellon Foundation grant also provides monies to help defray the cost of hiring replacement faculty at the scholars’ home institutions.
“Over the past forty years, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has consistently been one of the National Humanities Center’s leading supporters,” said President and Director Robert D. Newman. “We are continually grateful for the support we’ve received and especially gratified that they’ve chosen to fund this important initiative addressing a crucial need. Historically Black Colleges and Universities have played a critical role in our nation’s history and they continue to serve a vital role in the research and educational landscape of our country.”

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The National Humanities Center is the world’s only independent institute dedicated exclusively to advanced study in all areas of the humanities. Through its residential fellowship program, the Center provides scholars with the resources necessary to generate new knowledge and to further understanding of all forms of cultural expression, social interaction, and human thought. Through its education programs, the Center strengthens teaching on the collegiate and pre-collegiate levels. Through public engagement intimately linked to its scholarly and educational programs, the Center promotes understanding of the humanities and advocates for their foundational role in a democratic society.