The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States and supports research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. The organization funds projects across a range of disciplines, including political science, through a diverse array of opportunities. This spring, NEH announced $21.1 million in funding for 248 humanities projects. Projects funded in this round include Enduring Questions Grants, which support development of an undergraduate course “that grapples with a fundamental question addressed by the humanities.”
Dr. Robin Turner, an associate professor of political science at Butler University, is a recipient of an Enduring Questions Grant. Her research, writing, and teaching span multiple fields, including political science, African studies, development studies, tourism studies, political ecology, and geography. Dr. Turner describes her NEH grant below.
The three-year NEH Enduring Questions grant supports development and teaching of a new Butler University undergraduate course centered on the question, What is Freedom? In creating an interdisciplinary course that challenges and complicates the conventional association of freedom with free market capitalism and the movement of people across national borders, my collaborators and I aim to stimulate student reflection on the idea of freedom, its meaning, and its importance. The course will be integrated into the core curriculum as a sophomore-level class, and thus will enroll students from across Butler’s six colleges. What is freedom? will be the first course in the Global and Historical Studies program to explore the transcontinental and transoceanic movements of people, ideas, and capital across Africa, the Americas, and Europe between the fourteenth century and the present. The grant will assist the four collaborators to expand our perspectives and knowledge beyond our individual disciplinary grounding in political science, English literature, and American history; to build a digital media project website; and to share our experience with other scholars, leading a workshop for other Butler faculty and presenting at academic conferences.