Two Professors Named NEH Fellows; UT Ranks in Top Ten for Fellows

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Two professors from UT have been offered National Endowment for the Humanities research fellowships for 2014-15, continuing a university tradition of being a national leader in NEH fellows.

Nancy Henry and Gregory Kaplan are being honored with the prestigious fellowship, marking thirteen in a string of NEH grants to UT faculty since 2004. This puts UT among the top ten institutions nationwide in the number of NEH grants awarded in the past ten years. Nationally only 7 percent of applicants received an award for over the past five years.

“These fellowships are highly competitive,” said UT Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “To have more than a dozen of our faculty receive these rare awards speaks to the quality and importance of the work they do.”

UT ranks eighth for fellows, tied with the University of Chicago. Only Notre Dame, Ohio State, University of Michigan, Harvard, Princeton, Washington University, and the University of Texas have won more NEH fellowships than UT during the past decade.

The fellowships support individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both.

Henry, a professor in English, will receive more than $50,000 for her book project, “Women and the Nineteenth-Century Cultures of Investment,” which will explore cultural responses to the democratization of the stock market in nineteenth-century Britain. The grant will help Henry complete the book which through the analysis of Victorian novels argues that investing was a distinctly modern way of thinking for women in Victorian Britain about independence, risk, global communities, and the future in general.

“I am honored to receive the NEH fellowship, which will enable me to complete a book project I have been developing over the past several years,” said Henry. “I am grateful to the UT English department for its support of my research and to the university for its support of the humanities.”

Kaplan, the Lindsay Young Professor of Spanish in Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures and director of UT’s Language and World Business program, will receive more than $25,000 for his book project, “Saul Levi Morteira, Spinoza’s Enlightened Rabbi: A Critical Edition of Obstaculos y oposiciones contra la religion christiana.” The project sheds new light on the intersection between Dutch Christian Hebraism and Jewish apologetic writing. The grant will enable Kaplan to produce a book-length study and a translation into English of an unedited manuscript that is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Collection at the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to work at UT, which encourages faculty to conduct pioneering research and to incorporate their research into their teaching and public service,” said Kaplan. “I’m also grateful for the support and assistance of the staff of the Ets Haim Library at the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam.”

The initiative to increase the number of faculty fellowship awards at UT is a joint effort of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of Research and Engagement.

The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent federal agency that aims to serve and strengthen the nation by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. The endowment accomplishes this mission by awarding grants for top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent external reviewers. For more information, visit www.neh.gov.

C O N T A C T :

Whitney Heins (865-974-5460, wheins@utk.edu)

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