MHC Names Fall 2023 Faculty and Staff Grants

The Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center has announced the recipients of funding for the Fall 2023 Faculty Research Awards cycle. MHC Faculty Grants, adjudicated by a subcommittee of UMaine faculty across humanities disciplines, provide up to $5,000 to deserving UMaine faculty and staff (including lecturers and adjunct instructors) for financial support of research, community engagement, or innovative teaching in the humanities, broadly defined. This year’s grants will support projects proposed by Taylor Ashley, Ellie Markovitch, Kara Peruccio, Liam Riordan, and the team of Michael Socolow, Amelia Couture Bue, and Haley Schneider.

Taylor Ashley, Coordinator for Diversity and Inclusion at the UMaine Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), received an MHC grant for the proposal “Rivers, Cultures, and Their Cuisines,” which aims to educate students and UMaine community members about the variety of cultures and cuisines that originate from major rivers around the globe. This program will bring diverse community members together for a hands-on immersive experience presenting guests with an opportunity to learn traditional cooking techniques and commonly consumed dishes originating from various rivers and their cultures around the globe. Following the food preparation and subsequent meal, guests will learn about the cultures and their relationship to the river through a faculty-led presentation and hands-on activity following the meal.

Ellie Markovitch, lecturer in the Department of Communication and Journalism, has received an MHC grant related to her ongoing “Fermentation Fridays” project, which takes place in the UMaine Food Lab and involves developing recipes, facilitating cooking and storytelling workshops, and producing short videos. The Fermentation Fridays project engages with the local community, creating opportunities for skill sharing, the use of local food, and food rescue. At the core of Markovitch’s work is an exploration of the aesthetic of the quotidian and hospitality as art and community building.

Kara Peruccio, assistant professor in the Department of History and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, was awarded an MHC grant for her project, “Under the Same Flag: Transnational Feminist Activism in the Interwar Period, 1919-39.” The MHC will support Peruccio’s travel to the American Historical Association’s annual conference in San Francisco, for which she has organized a panel. Peruccio will be presenting a paper entitled “Unflattering Portraits: Mediterranean Women and the International Alliance of Women, Berlin 1929,” and will subsequently be traveling to give a talk on a related topic at Seattle University.

Professor of history Liam Riordan has received an MHC faculty grant related to his project ‘What We Know, What We Wish’: Maine Statehood, Historical Commemoration, and the Urgency of Public History.” “What We Know” is a co-edited interdisciplinary collection with nine chapters which grew out of the Maine Bicentennial and Statehood Conference, organized at UMaine in summer 2019. Pulitzer-Prize winning historians Alan Taylor and Laurel Thatcher Ulrich have written its foreword, and the volume is under contract with the UMass Press. MHC funding will support the inclusion of a detailed two-page map to be included in the volume.

Finally, a group proposal submitted by Michael Socolow, associate professor of Communication and Journalism and former MHC director, along with Amelia Couture Bue and Haley Schneider, both assistant professors of communication, was funded to invite the filmmakers behind the documentary “Eroding History” to campus February 5-6, 2024, for programming connected to the observation of Black History Month. The film “Eroding History” documents twin challenges facing the United States, and the world, in the twenty-first century: racism and climate change. “Eroding History” tells the story of two historic Black communities on Deal Island Peninsula, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and how sea level rise threatens the island and its residents. This project is supported also in part by a grant from the Cultural Affairs/Distinguished Lecture Series Fund.

McGillicuddy Humanities Center Faculty Grants, which are awarded twice per year in a competitive process, support faculty at all levels with research, community engagement, or innovative teaching proposals in the humanities, broadly defined. The next application deadline is March 17, 2024. For more information, visit or email