RESEARCH NOTICE: NEH Summer Stipends – Limited Submission

Brief Description:
Summer Stipends support individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to NEH Logohumanities scholars, general audiences, or both. Recipients usually produce articles, monographs, books, digital materials, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly resources. Summer Stipends support continuous full-time work on a humanities project for a period of two consecutive months. Summer Stipends support projects at any stage of development.

The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square
NEH invites projects related to its new initiative, The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square. This initiative seeks to connect the study of the humanities to the current conditions of national life. Many of today’s challenges require more than ever the forms of understanding and knowledge represented by the humanities. They require the broadest possible engagement of scholars and the public with the resources of the humanities, including but not limited to the study of language, literature, history, philosophy, comparative religion, and ethics. The study of the humanities can help illuminate the complexity of many contemporary challenges while enriching our understanding of the common good.

Summer Stipends may not be used for:
· projects that seek to promote a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view;
· projects that advocate a particular program of social action;
· specific policy studies;
· research for doctoral dissertations or theses by students enrolled in a degree program;
· the preparation or revision of textbooks;
· curriculum development;
· the development of pedagogical tools (including teaching methods or theories);
· educational or technical impact assessments;
· empirical social science research, unless part of a larger humanities project;
· inventories of collections;
· the writing of guide books, how-to books, or self-help books;
· the writing of autobiographies, memoirs, or works of creative nonfiction; or
· works in the creative or performing arts (for example, painting, fiction or poetry, or dance performance).

Award Amount:
Summer Stipends provide $6,000 for two consecutive months of full-time research and writing. Recipients must work full-time on their projects for these two months and may hold other research grants supporting the same project during this time. Summer Stipends normally support work carried out during the summer months, but arrangements can be made for other times of the year. NEH Summer Stipends are awarded to individuals, not to institutions. They do not require cost sharing and do not include indirect costs.

· Faculty members teaching full-time at colleges or universities must be nominated by their institutions.
· All applicants must have completed their formal education by the application deadline. While applicants need not have advanced degrees, individuals currently enrolled in a degree-granting program are ineligible to apply.
· Individuals who have been awarded a major fellowship or research grant or its equivalent within the three academic years prior to the deadline are ineligible. (Applicants who have held such fellowships or research grants are eligible only if their award period ended at least three years before the deadline for Summer Stipends applications.) . A “major fellowship or research grant”; is a postdoctoral research award that provides a stipend of at least $15,000. Sabbaticals and grants from an individual’s own institution and stipends and grants from other sources supporting study and research during the summer are not considered major fellowships. See Program details.
· Individuals who have received Summer Stipends may apply to support a new stage of their projects.
· See Program details for more specific information.

Each college and university in the United States and its jurisdictions (campus) may nominate two faculty members. Any faculty member teaching full-time is eligible for nomination.

The following individuals may apply online without a nomination or internal competition:
· independent scholars not affiliated with a college or university;
· college or university staff members who are not faculty members and will not be teaching during the academic year preceding the award tenure
· emeritus faculty; and
· adjunct faculty, part-time faculty, and applicants with academic appointments that terminate by the summer of the award tenure.

IUPUI Internal competition:
For consideration, submit the following documents electronically to Etta Ward, by July 1, 2015 for internal competition.

Format pages with one-inch margins and with a font size no smaller than eleven point.
The narrative should not assume specialized knowledge and should be free of technical terms and jargon.
The narrative limitation does not include references.
Limited Submission URL:

IU Internal Deadline: 7/1/2015
NEH Online Application Deadline: 10/1/2015

NEA Literature Fellowships: Prose, FY 2016 Applications Now Available

thThe Arts Endowment’s support of a project may begin any time between January 1, 2016, and January 1, 2017, and extend for up to two years. The NEA Literature Fellowships program offers $25,000 grants in prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) and poetry to published creative writers that enable recipients to set aside time for writing, research, travel, and general career advancement. Applications are reviewed through an anonymous process in which the only criteria for review are artistic excellence and artistic merit. To review the applications, the NEA assembles a different advisory panel every year, each diverse with regard to geography, race and ethnicity, and artistic points of view. The NEA Literature Fellowships program operates on a two-year cycle with fellowships in prose and poetry available in alternating years. For FY 2016, which is covered by these guidelines, fellowships in prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) are available. Fellowships in poetry will be offered in FY 2017 and guidelines will be available in the fall of 2015. You may apply only once each year. Competition for fellowships is extremely rigorous. We typically receive more than 1,000 applications each year in this category and award fellowships to fewer than 5% of applicants. You should consider carefully whether your work will be competitive at the national level.

Deadline: Mar 11, 2015 You must submit your application electronically through, the federal government’s online application system. The system must receive your validated and accepted application no later than 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on March 11, 2015.

Davis continues ‘telling stories’ in new novel with a twist to an old theme


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Thomas J. Davis’ third and latest novel brings something new to the age-old tale of a man selling his soul to the devil.

In The Devil Likes to Sing (Cascade Books), Davis, professor of religious studies and associate dean for academic programs in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, tells the story of Timothy McFarland, a failed theology student who begins writing fiction. Feeling he’s a hack, McFarland strikes a deal with Lucifer, who offers to shape him into a success.

“The book is a look at self-identity,” Davis said. “How we think of ourselves, who we are, whether or not we accept ourselves. Within all of us we have these self-doubts, thinking there is a way to change who we are that will make us more acceptable to others.”

Struggling with self-identity and self-doubt often opens protagonists up to searching for change.

“That’s where the notion of temptation comes in—at what price is one willing to make changes . . .” Davis said. “Once you hit the notion of temptation—especially for me, because I’ve spent my scholarly life studying the history of Christianity—the devil becomes an interesting tool by which to explore temptation because the devil as an image has the benefit of representing both an external force as well as something deeper, an internal struggle.”

Bringing something new to the age-old concept of the deal with the devil story was the author’s challenge. How could his devil differ from interpretations such as Milton’s Paradise Lost, the German myth of Faust, contemporary portrayals such as Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, and even Saturday Night Live?

Davis’ solution is a devil who can be funny, witty and enjoy sublime Anglican church music as well as American rock and roll.

“The character needed balance—a balance of lightheartedness and darkness, gravitas and humor, familiarity and distance, friendship and contempt,” Davis said. “That was the hardest thing to maintain while writing the devil. He had to appear almost friendly, almost helpful, almost fun while currents of evil still ran beneath him. That had to leak out around the edges, but not too much.”

The Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis professor wanted to be a storyteller long before his first foray into fiction, but he focused instead on his education and academic career. The professor’s jump into novel writing was eventually triggered by boyhood memories of stories told by his father.

“My father was grieving about the disappearance of a way of life in the north Georgia mountains that he had known as a boy,” Davis says. “He would tell stories about when he was a kid, and I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to capture my father’s sense of wonder in a novel and write about north Georgia through his perspective.’”

That exercise grew into his first novel, The Christmas Quilt (Rutledge Hill Press), a story about a 12-year-old boy and his grandmother’s final months of life. The book earned a Reader’s Choice award and was a selection in the Doubleday Book Club. “That book came from my need to pay homage to my ancestry,” Davis said.

Storytelling also plays a role in his classroom. “Much of what I teach is the history of Christianity, and it tends to be very narrative driven—I tell a lot of stories in class,” Davis said. “I’ve noticed that students tend to be drawn in with a good story.”

In Davis’ new novel, the devil also takes the storytelling approach, only he twists religious history to suit his needs. Davis warns that the epigraphs that open the book—selections from Milton, Blake, and the New Testament on the nature of the devil—are important for the reader. The book also ends with a warning that readers shouldn’t take the devil’s word on matters of Christian faith and practices at face value.

“He is, after all, somewhat biased,” Davis said.

Randa Jarrar, Award-Winning Novelist, Coming to IUPUI

A Map of HomeAs part of the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Symposium, the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute in collaboration with the IUPUI Library and the Rufus & Louise Reiberg Reading Series invites you to join us on the evening of November 17 for a presentation by Randa Jarrar.

Time: 7:00-8:30 pm
Date: November 17, 2014
Location: Basile Auditorium, Eskenazi Hall (Herron School of Art and Design)
Tickets are free, but registration is required.

Randa Jarrar is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, essayist, and translator. In 2010, a collaborative project between the Hay Festival, Beirut UNESCO’s World Book Capital 2009 celebrations, Banipal magazine and the British Council recognized her as a member of the Beirut39 — 39 of the world’s most promising Arab writers under the age of 39.

Jarrar grew up in Kuwait and Egypt, and moved to the US after the first Gulf War.  Her first novel, A Map of Home, has been published in half a dozen languages and won a Hopwood Award, an Arab-American Book Award, and was named one of the best novels of 2008 by the Barnes and Noble Review.

Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Utne Reader,, Guernica, The Rumpus, The Oxford American, Ploughshares, Five Chapters, and others. She has received fellowships from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Hedgebrook, Caravansarai, and Eastern Frontier.

About Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here at IUPUI

On March 5, 2007, in the middle of the Iraq war, a car bomb killed dozens and injured over a hundred people.  It also devastated al-Mutanabbi Street, a busy avenue of cafés and bookstores that had served as a meeting place for generations of writers and thinkers.  In response to the attack, San Francisco bookseller Beau Beausoleil rallied a community of international artists and writers to produce “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here,” a collection of letterpress-printed broadsides (poster-like works on paper), artists’ books (unique works of art in book form) and an anthology of writing focused on expressing solidarity with Iraqi booksellers, writers and readers.

“Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here” includes 260 artists’ books; a publication titled “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here: Poets and Writers Respond to the March 5, 2007, Bombing of Baghdad’s ‘Street of the Booksellers,'” plus 130 broadsides — one for every person killed or injured in the bombing.  Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will serve as one of only three repositories in the world to hold the complete collection.  It will also sponsor three biennial conferences to explore the themes and implications of the collection through papers, panels, posters and presentations with international scholars, artists and writers from a range of disciplines.