CARES funding will support humanities faculty, online course development

Iowa State has received a $290,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support nine term faculty in the departments of English, history, and world languages and cultures (WLC). The funding will provide support for continuing instruction, as well as the development of online course materials during fall semester.

Iowa State's project, "Safeguarding Strategic Programs and At-Risk Faculty in the Humanities," was one of 317 recently announced by the NEH to support essential operations at cultural institutions across the nation. It was selected from among more than 2,300 applications. The project is being funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Additional information about the NEH CARES grant program is online.

Faculty receiving support through the grant will pilot innovative online materials in a variety of subject areas, including 14 courses in Arabic, Chinese, Italian and Russian language; literature; technical communication and history. The funding supports Iowa State's ongoing efforts to integrate the humanities into the undergraduate curriculum as an essential component in meeting the global challenges facing humanity.

The project co-directors, Chad Gasta, professor and chair of WLC; Simon Cordery, professor and chair of history; and Matt Sivils, professor and associate chair of English; have worked together with the goal of shielding humanities programs and term faculty from the immediate impact of potential cuts related to COVID-19, while strengthening these programs by developing course materials that are accessible online to a broader and more diverse audience.

"The grant is a great opportunity to showcase the work of our term faculty and the critical role they play in Iowa State's academic experience," said Dawn Bratsch-Prince, associate provost for faculty and principal investigator on the award. "The university is committed to offering the highest levels of quality, both for in-class and online instruction, and I very much appreciate how these colleagues are rising to the challenges created by COVID-19."

The National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation.