Director’s Message: February 2017

Dear colleagues and friends of CEAH,

When I last wrote in November, I noted how quickly the year was passing. We are now already well into the new year and the new semester, and the times are eventful, to say the least.

CEAH continues its work. We have already distributed awards of free registration to the Digital Humanities Summer Institute this summer. Names of winners will be posted to the center’s website soon. Also, the February 7 deadline for applications for our other spring grants is fast approaching. Please see the website for details on those.

We can also celebrate the achievements of two of our colleagues, Grant Arndt in World Languages and Cultures and April Eisman in Art and Visual Culture, in winning prestigious NEH fellowships for 2017/18. Both Grant and April are past winners of CEAH grants, and we like to think that our support helped them on their way to these major fellowships, although of course their own outstanding work is what won them these honors.

I have been thinking a good deal about the mostly individual nature of artistic and humanistic endeavor recently. Emphasis on collaborations, so important in STEM fields, is becoming increasingly prevalent in the arts and humanities as well, and the Center will be considering how it can best promote useful collaborations while at the same time continuing to support the individual work in which so many of us engage.

Looking forward, there will be challenges as well as opportunities. The NEH, along with the NEA, are once again in danger of being shuttered. In March I will travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in the National Humanities Alliance annual meeting. More than ever the Center needs to articulate the value that the arts and humanities bring to our immediate community at Iowa State and to the country. We will participate in conversations both local and national, and we will advocate at all levels for more recognition of the fundamental importance of what we do.

Best regards,

Michael Bailey