Southeast Missouri State University Professor Christopher Rieger was awarded a $147,673 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
Dr. Rieger, a professor of English and director of the Center for Faulkner Studies, was awarded the grant for a project titled Teaching and Learning William Faulkner in the Digital Age. Rieger will co-direct the digital humanities project with Dr. Johannes Burgers, a professor at Ashoka University in India. Worthy Martin, an associate professor of computer science at the University of Virginia, will serve as the director of technology for the NEH-funded initiative.
“We are excited to have Southeast Missouri State University as the host institution for this groundbreaking project,” said University President Dr. Carlos Vargas. “This is another example of our top-level teaching and research at both the Center for Faulkner Studies and across the University.”
The 30-month project focuses on helping instructors from high schools, community colleges and four-year universities across the country to create digital learning modules using Digital Yoknapatawpha. The modules will be developed and piloted over a period of two-years and then made available for free to all teachers and students.
Digital Yoknapatawpha is a digital humanities database that reproduces crucial aspects of the fictional world of Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner through interactive maps, visualizations, archival documents, historical photographs and audio recordings. It was created by Stephen Railton, an international team of scholars and the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities with the support of a previous NEH grant.
“The aim of Teaching and Learning William Faulkner in the Digital Age is to make these materials more accessible to teachers and students through learning modules that cater to different educational institutions and contexts” said Rieger.
Dr. Burgers, co-director of the project added, “Through this grant a new generation of readers will get a fresh perspective on one of America's most anthologized authors while also exploring a new type of information literacy that poses critical questions about how we acquire, classify and represent knowledge in the digital age."
The NEH announced $24.7 million in grants for 208 humanities projects across the country on Jan. 11, 2022. It also published a full list of the grants by geographic location. Seven institutions in Missouri received a total of $682,611 in NEH grants. Southeast’s grant was the second highest awarded in the state.
The NEH is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. Grants by NEH are awarded for projects organized around a core topic or set of themes drawn from such areas of study in the humanities as history, philosophy, religion, literature, and composition and writing skills. Additional information about NEH and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov.