NEH Announces $30.9 Million for 188 Humanities Projects Nationwide

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 14, 2020) — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced $30.9 million in grants to support 188 humanities projects in 45 states and the District of Columbia.

We congratulate the following projects in Middle East studies:

Mona Damluji [Awards for Faculty] University of California, Santa Barbara  
Outright $60,000
Project Title: A History of Oil, Culture, and Infrastructure in Iraq
Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on the relationship between the oil industry and cinema culture in Iraq between 1920 and 1958.

Amir Moosavi [Awards for Faculty] Rutgers University, Newark
Outright: $60,000
Project Title: Afterlives of the Iran-Iraq War in Arabic and Persian Literatures
Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on Arabic and Persian literature written in response to the Iran-Iraq War, from 1980 to 2018.

Michela Andreatta [Fellowships] University of Rochester
Outright: $45,000
Project Title: An Edition and Translation of Toffeh ‘Arukh (Hell Arrayed) by Moses Zacuto
Project Description: Research and writing the first English translation-edition of the 17th-century Hebrew poem Tofteh ‘Arukh (Hell Arrayed) by rabbi-scholar Moses Zacuto (1620–1697).

Leor Halevi [Fellowships] Vanderbilt University
Outright: $30,000
Project Title: Everyday Salafism in an Entangled World: The Saudi Spirit of Global Exchange in the Age of Bin Baz
Project Description: Research and writing a book on the effects of economic pressures on religious principles, specifically how Salafist Islam has adapted to economic growth and globalization.

Nora Barakat [Fellowships] New York University Abu Dhabi
Outright: $45,000
Project Title: Capitalism, Islamic Law and the Ottoman Legacy from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, 1870–1970
Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on the development of credit and mortgage markets in the Middle East in the 19th and 20th centuries.

St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN [Cooperative Agreements and Special Projects (P&A)]
Outright: $1,208,474 Match: $200,000
Project Director: Columba Stewart
Project Title: Developing Resources for Description of Manuscripts from Understudied Christian and Islamic Traditions
Project Description: The creation and enhancement of descriptive metadata for over 53,000 digitized manuscripts from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, along with work to expand recognized cataloging authorities for personal names, titles, and geographic locations in order to build out the international scholarly infrastructure for research on the history and culture of the Christian and Islamic world from the medieval period to the modern era.

University of Oregon, Eugene, OR [Scholarly Editions and Translations Grant]
Outright: $132, 266
Project Director: David Hollenberg, University of Oregon
Project Co-Director: Mushegh Asatryan, University of Calgary
Project Title: Recovering Early Nusayri Shiism: A Critical Edition and Translation of the Manhaj al-’ilm (The Method of Knowledge)
Project Desciption: The grant is for a critical edition and translation of Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ‘Ismat al-Dawla’s (d. ca. 450/1058) Manhaj al-‘ilm wa l-bayan wanuzhat al-sama’ wal-‘iyan (The Method of Knowledge and Clarification and the Pleasure of Auditing and Witnessing). The Nusayri doctrinal source, once thought lost, survives in a  nineteenth-century manuscript copied in Latakia, and held by the University of Pennsylvania's Van Pelt Library. The 418 page treatise transmits the legacy of over a century of thought and communal memory. When published, the Manhaj will be the longest and most substantial source available for early Nusayri history and thought.  

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Updated January 22, 2020

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