UA Advocates For Humanities Research

March 15, 2019

A delegation of UA faculty members joined with colleagues from around the country in Washington D.C. this week for Humanities Advocacy Day.

Organized by the National Humanities Alliance, the Advocacy Day coordinates the growing number of humanities advocates from around the country in a day of visits to House and Senate offices to make a persuasive case for federal funding for the humanities.

Amy Kimme Hea, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Student Success in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Carine Bourget, professor of French, and Anita Huizar-Hernandez, assistant professor of Spanish, joined Julia Smith, UA Assistant Vice President for Federal Relations, in visiting Arizona’s congressional offices.

One of the goals of Humanities Advocacy Day is to encourage continued funding from federal agencies, including the National Endowment of the Humanities, or NEH, the Department of Education, and the Institute for Museum and Library Science.

“We advocated for increased funding for the NEH by highlighting some of the crucial work that it has been funding at the UA, including through the AZ Humanities as well as our three Title VI centers. This funding goes towards teaching and research, but also towards K-12 and community outreach,” Bourget said.

“Through sessions and networking, all the participants were prepared to visit our congress persons and discuss the invaluable work enabled by federal funding for the humanities,” Kimme Hea said. “NEH provides grants to support faculty research that aligns with the NEH’s mission to strengthen education, research, and preservation activities in the humanities. It was a privilege to be part of the UA delegation that spoke on the Hill.”

UA projects that have received humanities funding since 2016 extend across campus and disciplines, including the University of Arizona Libraries, Arizona State Museum, anthropology, architecture, Center for Creative Photography, Center for Educational Resources in Culture Language and Literacy, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, East Asian Studies, English, geography and development, information, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, Latin American Studies, linguistics, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, music, natural resources, Poetry Center, and Spanish and Portuguese.

Recent NEH funded projects include preserving anthropological photographs, developing an image-to-text conversion for Pashto and traditional Chinese, and documenting the endangered Native American language of Couer d’Alene.

The UA also recently received more than $4.8 million in Title VI grants from the U.S Department of Education that support teaching, reaching and outreach of critical world region and languages. The UA’s Title VI centers are the Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language and Literacy, or CERCLL, which is housed in the College of Humanities, and the Center for Latin American Studies, LAS, and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, CMES, which are housed in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.