Wabash Receives NEH Grant for Humanities

by Ryan Horner

June 22, 2020

Wabash College has received a $150,600 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of a new program that distributes CARES Act funding to cultural nonprofits affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Recognizing that economic downturns often lead to cuts in the humanities first, the NEH CARES Act program aims to sustain humanities organizations and preserve jobs in the cultural sector by mitigating cuts to positions and programs.

At Wabash, the grant will retain Classics, Ethnomusicology, and History visiting faculty in positions threatened by the pandemic.

Together, the three faculty (Matthew Gorey in Classics, Savitri Kunze in History, and an incoming ethnomusicologist serving as sabbatical replacement for James Makubuya) will restore nine humanities courses to the fall semester curriculum. The course content will emphasize new, digital humanities experiences for virtual learning or hybrid courses.

“We are so pleased to be announced as recipients of this NEH grant,” says Senior Associate Dean of the College Jill Lamberton.

“I believe the National Endowment for the Humanities was drawn to our grant proposal because we are able to provide good jobs and benefits to three visiting assistant professors in the humanities during an economic downturn, and because the humanities are central to our educational mission here. At Wabash, interest in the humanities has never been higher—in 2019, 51.5% of our students graduated with a humanities major.”

Additionally, the flexibility provided by the NEH grant will allow Wabash to reconfigure the Wabash Liberal Arts Immersion Program (WLAIP)—canceled for July 2020 due to the pandemic—which is designed to retain first-year students who are traditionally underrepresented and underserved in higher education by introducing them to the broad support of the Wabash community and to the humanities disciplines.

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. 


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