For the NEH…

Historians Joan Kelly, Alice Kessler-Harris, Joan Scott, and Nell Painter, photographer Candacy Taylor, and filmmaker Mira Nair. What do these women have in common? All received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), a government-funded agency now more than a half-century old.

Operating under the banner “Because democracy demands wisdom,” the NEH provides funds to “cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television, and radio stations, and to individual scholars.” These funds help share photos depicting scenes from across an ocean and time (and art and artifacts from the North American continent too), bring books to life, engage young minds at the museum, disseminate knowledge to educators, and tell us what’s in the archives so we can find it later!

Even if you’re not a scholar, you may have come into contact with the NEH. It’s one of those things you might hear about on PBS (This programming is made possible by…). Personally, one of my favorite pieces of NEH work is “The Presidents” on PBS’s American Experience.

As a student, I have come across the work of or had some sort of connection to all the individuals I named above. Joan Kelly was one of the creators of the SLC Women’s History program. Alice Kessler-Harris, who once taught at SLC, was one of the women’s historians whose work I came across while browsing the library of the women’s center where I once worked. Joan Scott and Candacy Taylor’s works were among our readings in our first year as graduate students. Nell Painter presented the keynote address at our “Black Women in White America, Revisited,” conference this year. I wrote about one of Mira Nair’s projects in an undergraduate paper on women-directed films. It is exciting to think that NEH grants helped them on their way to success, on their way to students like us seeing their work and being inspired.

If you are a member of the American Historical Association (AHA) or a savvy observer of the news, you may have heard way back in January about imperiled funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities. Well, the President’s budget proposal is now out in the open, and the AHA has provided its analysis of the President’s proposal, which is basically to dissolve the NEH.

As a graduate student who wants my fellow classmates and my teachers to have opportunities for research and for the exhibition of their work to the public, I see the National Endowment for the Humanities as an important asset to this country. When grants that can, for example, help us protect our primary source documents or interpret history for techloving audiences are in danger, the professions to which many students aspire are also in danger. It’s important that we protect the NEH!

 

This article reflects the opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sarah Lawrence College or the SLC Women’s History program.

Planning Any Winter Break Travel?

While you’re on your winter break (if you’re a current student), you might have some free time to travel or just to visit a museum in town. I started making a list of some interesting things to see in the New York area over the break, but I soon wanted to expand it to include other interesting places!

I found quite a few art exhibitions that explore gender and other identit(y)(ies) and/or are created by artists (who happen to be women) that have something interesting to say. I have also included some “permanent” sites that offer perspectives of women’s history.

These sites are all located in the U.S., but I recognize that they may not be close to where you live. If you know of any interesting sites near you, please share them with us in the comments! You might also submit an essay about your experience at a historic site or museum related to gender (email revisionist [at] gm [dot] slc [dot] edu).

I haven’t visited these sites yet, but if you have, give us a shout!

 

The NEW National Museum of African American History & Culture

Where: 1400 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.

 

In Conversation: The Photographs of Alice Austen and Christine Osinski

When: Now – December 23, 2016

Where: Alice Austen House

2 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, NY

 

Vinok – An Exhibition by Ola Rondiak

When: Now – December 31, 2016

Where: Ukrainian National Museum of Chicago

2249 W. Superior St., Chicago, IL

 

Maria De Los Angeles Exhibition

When: Now-January 6, 2017

Where: El Museo Del Barrio

1230 5th Avenue, New York, NY

 

NO MAN’S LAND: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection

When: Now – January 8, 2017

Where: National Museum of Women in the Arts

1250 New York Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

 

Protests in Print

When: Now-January 18, 2017

Where: NYPL – Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

476 5th Avenue, New York, NY

 

Worshiping Women: Power and Devotion in Indian Painting

When: Now – March 26, 2017

Where: Asian Art Museum

200 Larkin St., San Francisco, CA

 

A Matter of Fact: Toyin Ojih Odutola – Art Exhibition

When: Now – April 2, 2017

Where: Museum of the African Diaspora

685 Mission St., San Francisco, CA

 

Unconscious Thoughts Animate the World – Art Exhibition

When: Now – May 7, 2017

Where: Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami

1301 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables, FL

 

Harriet Tubman Home

When: By appointment

Where: 182 South St., Auburn, NY

 

Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument

Where: 144 Constitution Avenue, NE, Washington, D.C.

 

Confluence Project Sites (designed by Maya Lin)

Where: Across Washington and Oregon states

 

Consult the web page of each site for information about cost of admission and open hours and days of the week!