The National Endowment for the Humanities Wednesday announced $14.8 million in grants to support 253 humanities projects in 44 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, including $12,000 for the San Diego Historical Society to collect and digitize local history materials in two communities in the South Bay region.
The Historical Society’s project, titled “Border Dwellers/Los de la Frontera,” focuses on Old Town National City and San Ysidro, where a majority of residents are of Spanish-speaking descent, many with family roots in the area dating before the 1848 border demarcation.
The NEH awarded $60,000 to University of San Diego faculty member Thomas Barton to write a book on the Christianization of Islamic landscapes in pre-modern Europe.
Barton’s project focuses on the reestablishment of two bishoprics in southern Catalonia after the end of Muslim rule in 12th century Spain and the complex Christianization efforts in the contested multi-ethnic territories.
Other grants awarded to Southern California scholars include $60,000 to UC Riverside history professor Steven Hackel to research, write and eventually publish a book about early settlers to California; $30,000 to UCR’s Jody Benjamin for a book-length study about the history of textile commerce and consumption in western Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries; and $100,000 to Santa Monica College’s Briana Simmons to oversee a three-year curriculum development project on the art and architecture of Santa Monica and west Los Angeles County.
“From cutting-edge digital projects to the painstaking practice of traditional scholarly research, these new NEH grants represent the humanities at its most vital and creative,” said NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede. “These projects will shed new light on age-old questions, safeguard our cultural heritage, and expand educational opportunities in classrooms nationwide.”
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the NEH supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation.
— City News Service
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