This message is intended for members in the US. Yesterday, President Trump’s budget blueprint was published. It calls for the elimination of many crucial educational and cultural agencies including the NEH, NEA, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Institute of Museum of Library Services (IMLS).
A brief survey of grants made by the NEH over the last seven years shows the potential impact on our field. The NEH has funded:
- Numerous research fellowships for individual scholars as well as the SCS-administered TLL Fellowship and the fellowship program at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.
- Digitization, publication, and editing of ancient coins, inscriptions, and papyri.
- Projects that explore the use of computational methods for analyzing ancient texts.
- Archaeological projects from Italy to Jordan.
- Initiatives run by the Aquila Theatre Company, Inc., state humanities councils, and scholars that are engaging veterans and members of the public in discussion and performance of ancient works that speak to modern experiences of war.
- Seminars on ancient literature, philosophy, and material culture for faculty in the higher education and K-12 sectors.
In short, NEH funding extends across our institutions of higher education, K-12 schools and beyond. The potential elimination of other agencies is equally disturbing. For example, the IMLS is a crucial source of funding for our nation’s libraries and museums. These institutions are often the very places where interest in the ancient world and its modern resonances is first ignited.
What can you do? It is essential that members of Congress in all 50 states hear strong voices from their constituents. The National Humanities Alliance, of which SCS is a member and sponsor, has made it easy for individuals to email or call their members of Congress in order to let them know that funding for the NEH and other agencies is essential. See this link for easy instructions: http://p2a.co/2CtKsqE
For those of you interested in a more intensive advocacy approach, see this article by Jason Rhody (a former NEH program officer) on the importance of local stories and local impact: