CUNY Faculty and College Programs Win Federal Humanities Grants

Six CUNY professors and institutions have won prestigious grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support research, preserve historic materials and develop digital curricula.

The recently announced awards are among 295 humanities projects from across the country to win funding from the NEH, an independent federal agency that finances high-quality projects in fields such as history, literature, philosophy and archeology. The NEH announces awards three times a year for top-rated proposals that have been recommended by independent, external reviewers.

“The latest NEH awards show the extraordinary breadth of scholarly exploration at The City University of New York,” Chancellor James B. Milliken said. “Whether it’s the 20th century’s Holocaust, or a 19th century American actor’s experiences or centuries-old Arab trading relationships, CUNY’s humanities faculty produce outstanding inquiry into what builds and sustains the societies we live in.”
Here’s a look at CUNY’s winners for 2016:

Václav ParisVáclav Paris, assistant professor of English at City College, received a $25,000 Award for Faculty for research and writing of a book tentatively titled, “Epic after Evolution: Modernism’s National Narratives.” He explores how national identity played out in selected works of modernist prose written after World War I, when the old notion of linear evolutionary progress came into question. He considers works by Virginia Woolf, Marcel Proust, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, Jaroslav Hašek and Mário de Andrade.


Charlotte BrooksCharlotte Brooks, professor of history and chair of the Program in Asian and Asian-American Studies at Baruch College, received a $50,400 Fellowship for University Teachers to support her book-length study of the history of Chinese-Americans who migrated back to China in the first half of the 20th century and their contributions to the Republic of China. Her project is titled “Immigrants From America: The Chinese American Second Generation in China, 1900-1949.”


Mandana LimbertMandana Limbert, associate professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology at Queens College, received a $50,400 Fellowship for University Teachers to help prepare a book on changing notions of Arab identity. Her project is “Oman, Zanzibar and the Politics of Becoming Arab.” She explains that “Oman and Zanzibar have a long historical connection that dates back centuries and was shaped by a colonial and Indian Ocean trading network. This history and its contemporary implications raises many questions about how we understand the Middle East today, but also what it has meant to be Arab and for whom.”


Naomi StubbsNaomi Stubbs, associate professor of English at LaGuardia Community College, received an $8,400 Award for Faculty to continue preparing a scholarly edition of the diary of 19th-century American actor Harry Watkins (1825-1894). His diary, covering 1845 to 1860, is a rare source of firsthand information about the theater during the antebellum period. Working with associate professor Amy Hughes of Brooklyn College, Stubbs is creating both print and searchable digital editions with extensive annotations and indexes.


Ann LeonhardtNew York City College of Technology and the CUNY Research Foundation received a $99,998 Humanities Initiatives grant for a cultural history of digital technology. Associate professor of architectural technology Ann Leonhardt will direct an 18-month interdisciplinary faculty and curricular development project focused on placing digital technologies in cultural, historical and philosophical contexts.


Dan LeshemThe Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center at Queensborough Community College, led by its director, Dan Leshem, won a $5,500 grant for a preservation assessment of the center’s archives, which include some 200 distinct collections of materials on the Holocaust. Included are prints and photographs, letters, family albums, postcards, newspapers, magazines, sheet music, magazines, stamps, textiles, artifacts, and works of art – many of them family histories of Queens residents. The collections are used extensively for education and public events at Queensborough Community College community and by organizations interested in the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights.


About The City University of New York: The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847, the University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the CUNY Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY School of Public Health. The University serves more than 275,000 degree-credit students and 218,083 adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree. Nearly 3 million unique visitors and 10 million page views are served each month via, the University’s website.