Effron Center faculty, executive committee members awarded 2022-23 Humanities Council grants

June 15, 2022

Nine Princeton faculty affiliated with the Effron Center as faculty or executive committee members are among the more than 50 recipients of grants for innovation and collaboration awarded by the Humanities Council for the 2022-23 academic year.

The grants include David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Grants to support ideas that break new ground intellectually and pedagogically and have the potential to change how the humanities are conceived and taught. Magic Grants are made possible thanks to the generosity of Lynn Shostack, in memory of her husband, David A. Gardner ’69.

The grants also include an Exploratory Grant in Collaborative Humanities and a Global Initiatives grant.

Brief descriptions of Effron Center faculty and executive committee member projects are below.

Magic Grants

  • Creative Ecologies
    Allison Carruth (American Studies, High Mountain Environmental Institute)

This grant will support the inaugural activities of an “Environmental Art and Media Lab,” which will foster art and storytelling experiments aimed at sparking new understanding of and solutions to the most pressing environmental crises of our present.

  • Food Studies Forum
    Anne Cheng (English); Allison Carruth (American Studies, High Meadows Environmental Institute); Andrew Chignell (Religion, University Center for Human Values); Tessa L. Desmond (American Studies); Hanna Garth (Anthropology); Daniel Rubenstein (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology); Shamus Khan (Sociology, American Studies)

This project brings innovative and inspiring scholars, artists, activists, and thought leaders to explore, imagine, and think critically about food studies. This grant will support a constellation of events including guest speakers, a spring public lecture, and a farm-to-table dinner.

  • High-Water Mark
    Carolyn Rouse (Anthropology); Jeff Whetstone (Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Visual Arts); Jeff Himpele (Anthropology)

This grant will support a series of guest lectures, which aim to introduce local New Jersey preservationists and community leaders to exceptional scholars, artists, and architects, and provide a new vocabulary and way of thinking about change and preservation.

  • Sites of Memory: Practice, Performance, Perception
    Autumn Womack (African American Studies, English); Kinohi Nishikawa (English, African American Studies)

This interdisciplinary symposium will examine the method and meaning of Toni Morrison’s archival practice in relation to her writing, teaching, and public intellectual work. The symposium complements the Spring 2023 Princeton University Library exhibition, “Sites of Memory: The Archival World of Toni Morrison.

  • Land and Story in Native America
    Tessa L. Desmond (American Studies); Sarah Rivett (English, American Studies)

This Spring 2023 AMS course will explore the relationship between land and story, emphasizing seeds as sources of sovereignty and repositories of knowledge across generations. The course will invite guest speakers, and work directly with the Munsee Three Sisters Farm and other community partners, as well as conduct archival research on seeds for Princeton’s Seed Farm.

  • Musical Theatre and Fan Cultures
    Stacy Wolf (Theater, American Studies); Betsy Armstrong (Sociology, SPIA)

Why do people love Broadway musicals? This Fall 2022 team-taught HUM course “Musical Theatre and Fan Cultures” examines the wider phenomenon of fan culture. This grant supports course enrichment, including guest lectures and course travel to form the experiential and intellectual backbone of the seminar.

  • Musical Theater and Storytelling in Italy
    Stacy Wolf (Theater, American Studies); Cara Reichel (’96); Peter Mills (‘95)

This grant will enrich the PIIRS Global Seminar “Musical Theater and Storytelling in Southern Italy,” where students will study history, culture and language in Gesualdo, Italy, in Summer 2022. This includes a student collaboration with professional artists from New York City and the Irpinia region of Italy.

Collaborative Humanities

  • Organizing Stories: Toward a Scholarly-Activist Praxis
    Autumn M. Womack (African American Studies); Monica Huerta (English, American Studies)

This ongoing student-driven project investigates the long history of anti-racist activism, racial justice organizing, and coalition-building as it relates to questions of narrative, storytelling, and humanistic study. By creating new avenues of exchange between Princeton University and community-based social justice work, students and activists will imagine new ways to support and amplify a scholarly-activist praxis.

Global Initiatives

  • Land, Language and Art
    Sarah Rivett (English, American Studies) with Simon Morrison (Music, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Fund for Canadian Studies); Bryan Just (Art & Archaeology); Laura Kalin (Linguistics, Humanities Council); Tessa L. Desmond (American Studies); Daniel Rubenstein (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)

This new three-year project, from the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative at Princeton, supports initiatives to foster new methodologies and modes of knowledge production in three areas of research and learning that are central to Indigenous studies: land, language, and art.


For more details and the full list of recipients, read the Humanities Council announcement: