By Sandi Cooper
The budget proposal that is being shaped in the White House promises to eliminate the National Endowment for the Humanities (as well as the National Endowment for the Arts). There are any number of groups such as The National Humanities Alliance, Change.org, and the International Association of Medieval Art which have online protests. Several professional organizations such as the American Historical Association have asked members to send letters supporting the Endowment.
The Endowment even survived the Reagan years (by some miracle) and is one of the few areas of federal spending that supports the kinds of scholarship which is not covered by STEM type grants.
NEH summer grants and full year grants provided many CUNY faculty with the means to conduct scholarly work in history, literature, philosophy, religion, linguistics, political science, etc. The NEH has survived politicization (its board in the 1980s. was largely filled with right wing academics) and has supported decades of younger faculty since its creation.
If you can contact your representatives in congress directly, that would be best.
Sandi Cooper is professor emerita of History at the College of Staten Island, and served as Chair of the University Faculty Senate from 1994-1998 and 2008-2010.
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