UNO Collaboration Awarded Prestigious Mellon Grant | College of Arts and Sciences
Four faculty members from the UN’s College of Arts and Sciences, supported by a grant from the Mellon Foundation, will highlight the role of literary imagination in creating and reshaping worlds and societies. The Tell All the Truth project aims to advance understanding across economic, racial, and ethnic differences in the metropolitan Omaha community by providing meaningful opportunities for shared truth-telling through diverse forms of literary expression grounded in the critical Analysis of the nation’s intersectional histories.
Kristin Girten, Ph.D., Associate Vice Chancellor for Arts and Humanities in the Office of Research and Creative Activities and Associate Professor of English, is the project’s principal investigator. Associates include Alecia Anderson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology; Danielle Battisti, Ph.D., Chair of the History Department; and Tanushree Ghosh, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English.
With an interdisciplinary team made up of English, history and sociology faculties, Girten says the project is strategically designed to take advantage of each area.
“We look forward to measuring the positive impact of our ‘Tell All the Truth’ project in the classroom and across the Omaha community so that others – both local and national – can relate to our project and what we are learning through it , can be inspired,” says Girten.
“In the history department, we are very excited to have the opportunity to deepen our relationships with members of the Omaha community,” said Battisti. “We also hope that this project will provide educators and students alike with the opportunity to follow public history projects. It is so important to all of us at UN to be able to share our work in the classroom with members of the community.”
Out of 280 applications to the Mellon Foundation’s Higher Learning Call for Concepts, the UNO project was selected as one of 26. The project is a perfect example of the UN’s metropolitan mission to be a university with strong academic values and meaningful relationships with our community that transforms and improves lives.
According to Ghosh, the Mellon Foundation grant will allow for more meaningful engagements with Omaha’s complex history and present-day realities. The humanities disciplines are uniquely positioned to present diverse perspectives, foster community dialogue and shape public cultures, she adds.
“As an educator, I am committed to the university’s collective mission to educate responsible citizens who think critically and rigorously while acknowledging their connection to local and global communities,” says Ghosh.
There are challenges and opportunities to demonstrate the enduring value of the humanities—and its importance to the common good—in the classroom and in our communities. Girten says that the humanities are “unparalleled in their ability to spark students’ intellectual curiosity while fostering their awareness of the ethical connections and dimensions of their learning.”
“This public humanities grant from the Mellon Foundation will allow us to expand the UN’s ability to fulfill that public promise by empowering students and community members to use the humanities to address injustices in our city through the creative storytelling of.” To explore and fight truths.” Girten says.
The Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts, culture and humanities, and the open call invited proposals from institutions exploring three distinct thematic categories.
Learn more about the Mellon Foundation and the other grantees.