A half-million dollar grant has been awarded to the College of Humanities and Sciences at the University of Montana in Missoula. The $499.000 fund is from the National Endowment for the Humanities and is named "Making the Humanities Public: Racial Justice, Death in a Time of COVID, and Sustaining Native Scholarship."

The money will make possible a postdoctoral fellowship, a summer course for high school students, along with a public lecture series on racial justice, death and Indigenous knowledge

Dr. Tobin Miller Shearer, UM professor of history and African-American Studies at UM's Humanities Institute said in a news release, "We are beyond ecstatic to have received this amount for the humanities. We had a compelling grant application thanks to the contributions of a stellar group of humanities scholars at UM who are continuing to do relevant and timely research and teaching."

Another program that benefits from the funding is in the Department of History, where history students have been collecting oral testimonies from people, businesses and organizations that have been affected by the pandemic. Kyle Volk, associate professor and chair of the Department of History, said, "This grant will bolster our ongoing effort to make history - and the humanities writ large - public: to bring research and programming to the wider western Montana community and to involve that wider community in our scholarly work."

The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent federal agency of the U.S. government, established by the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965. A detailed story is the this UM website.

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