NEH Awards for the History of Science and Medicine

NHA Lauds Latest Round of NEH Grants 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Humanities Alliance released the following statement today from its  Executive Director Stephen Kidd on the December announcement of $33 million in grants from the  National Endowment for the Humanities to support 213 humanities projects nationwide: 

“With this announcement, the National Endowment for the Humanities is funding the first round of  grants made with the U.K. Arts and Humanities Research Council, aimed at encouraging digital  humanities collaboration between our two countries. Humanities Initiatives grants will support  humanities work in higher education institutions throughout the U.S., including at HBCUs, TCUs, HSIs,  and community colleges. And Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge grants will support large  projects at institutions from Alaska to Maine. 

“We are immensely proud of the NEH’s impact across the U.S. and will continue advocating for  increased federal support for future grants in 2021 and beyond.”


The following grants were awarded to HSS members:

Gabrielle Hecht

Outright: $60,000


Stanford University

Project Title: Inside-Out Earth: Residual Governance Under Extreme Conditions

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on the governance of mining waste and other residues in Africa.


Benjamin Breen

Outright: $32,500

[Awards for Faculty]

University of California, Santa Cruz Project

Title: Experimental Drugs, Cold War Science, and the Future that Never Arrived, 1945–1965

Project Description: Writing leading to a book on scientific and social scientific experimentation with mind- or body-altering drugs during the postwar era (1945–1965).


Lakshmi Krishnan

Outright: $60,000


Georgetown University

Project Title: The Doctor and the Detective: A Cultural History of Diagnosis

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on the intersection of medical diagnoses and detective literature in England, France, and the U.S. from the nineteenth century to mid twentieth century.


Bianca Premo

Outright: $45,000

[Awards for Faculty]

Florida International University

Project Title: The Smallest Subject: History, Science and Peru’s Youngest Mother in the World

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on the popular and scientific media coverage of Lina Medina, the youngest mother in the world, in mid twentiethcentury Peru.


Indiana University

Outright: $149,954

[NEH/AHRC New Directions for Digital Scholarship]

Project Director: William Newman; Joel Klein (co-project director); James Voelkel (coproject director)

Project Title: Digital Approaches to the Capture and Analysis of Watermarks, Using the Manuscripts of Isaac Newton as a Test Case

Project Description: A research project on identifying and analyzing watermarks in digitized collections using watermarks found in Isaac Newton’s manuscripts as a case study. The U.K. partner is the University of Cambridge.


Olivia Weisser

Outright: $60,000


University of Massachusetts, Boston Project

Title: Sex and Disease in Early Modern London

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on the medical and social history of venereal disease in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century London.


Ann Kibbie

Outright: $40,000


Bowdoin College

Project Title: Obstetrics and the Disabled Maternal Body in Nineteenth-century Great Britain

Project Description: Research and writing leading to a book on the medical dilemmas of treating pregnant women in Britain in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.


University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio

Outright: $149,445

[Humanities Initiatives: HSIs]

Project Director: Rachel Pearson

Project Title: The HIV Storytelling Project: Narratives from South Texas

Project Description: A collaborative project to collect and archive oral histories of the HIV epidemic, bringing together medical students, faculty, and members of the San Antonio community.