Mason among top 10 universities awarded NEH funding in the last 10 years

Andrew Weisberg and Jessica Campbell researched and built the digital exhibit George Mason University: A History which is powered by Omeka, a web publishing platform from the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media with funding from National Endowment for the Humanities. Creative Services file photo.

The Chronicle of Higher Education recognized George Mason University as the eighth highest recipient of funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities in the past decade, receiving funding for 37 projects amounting in a total of $5,801,343. ​

NEH funding has supported a wide variety of research projects lead by faculty in Mason’s College of Humanities and Social SciencesJohn Turner, for example, a religious studies professor, received an NEH Fellowship this year to finish his book on the history of the Plymouth Colony.​

“Coming Home: Dialogues on the Moral, Psychological and Spiritual Impacts of War” was led by Jesse Lee Kirkpatrick, interim director of Mason’s Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, and Andrew Peterson, assistant professor in the institute. ​

A significant portion of NEH’s funding to Mason, $5,083,943, was awarded to the Department of History and Art History. By itself, the department received more funding than the humanities portfolios at top research universities such as Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and the University of Texas, among many others, and would be ranked as No. 13 if listed based on its funding alone. ​

Grants to the Department of History and Art History’s faculty have funded research such as Sun-Young Park’s study of the history of the architectural accommodation of disability in modern France, and Suzanne Smith’s cultural history project examining African American funeral directing. ​

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, housed in the History and Art History Department, brought in $3,555,764, or 61 percent, of the NEH funding awarded to Mason over the last ten years. NEH’s most recent (2018) award to the center supports digital revitalization and content upgrades for World History Matters, an online education resource for teaching world history. The project is led by Kelly Schrum, associate professor in the college’s higher education graduate program. ​

“The 10-year total for NEH funding to CHSS faculty is a great example of how Mason has been ‘punching above its weight’ for many years in advance of our recent reclassification as a Tier 1 [R1] research university,” said Ann Ardis, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “This Chronicle story shines a very welcome national headlight on CHSS faculty’s distinguished research accomplishments.”