Grants & Scholarships
The Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center provides financial support for humanities initiatives through two grant programs.
- UMaine faculty and students can apply for MHC Sponsorship Grants of up to $250 to support public humanities and innovative teaching programs on-or-off campus. There is no application deadline, new applications will be considered as they are submitted. For more information about Sponsorship Grants, contact The Center Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Clement and Linda McGillicuddy Humanities Center Faculty Grant award applications are being accepted for maximum awards of $5000 to support faculty research, community engagement, or innovative teaching proposals. The funds are normally used for expense reimbursement and cannot be used as compensation for faculty time. Completed fall 2017 grant applications and budget forms should be emailed to Director jennifer.moxley@maine by December 1, 2017.
Laura Artesani (Music)
Joni Mitchell Tribute Concert
Having organized an annual Women Composers concert for over twenty years, Pianist and Music Education coordinator Laura Artesani decided that, for 2018, she’d pull out all the stops and plan something really special: A tribute concert in honor of nine-time Grammy award winner and beloved cultural icon Joni Mitchell. This sure-to-be swank event will have the added glamour of performances by singer-songwriter and UMaine alum Sara Hallie Richardson. Mark Tipton, director of the University of Maine Jazz Ensemble, will arrange some of Mitchell’s songs for Richardson. Dan Sonenberg, USM professor and Joni Mitchell expert (he wrote his dissertation on the Canadian legend) will enlighten us with a pre-concert lecture. Vocal groups Euphony, the Maine Steiners, and Renaissance will also perform. The tribute is scheduled for November 13, 2018 in Minsky Recital Hall. We here at MHC can hardly wait for what is sure to be a moving and memorable evening.
Ryan Dippre (English, Director of College Composition)
The History of Writing Instruction at UMaine
This is the third time we’ve awarded a grant to Writing Studies scholar Ryan Dippre. Why, you may ask? Well, we can’t help it. He keeps doing great work and making reasonable requests! He’ll be using this grant to give a presentation at the Council of Writing Program Administrators’ 2018 Annual Conference. His topic: a study of how we’ve been teaching college composition at the University of Maine for the past fifty years. Turns out, we’re pretty good at it, so good in fact that in 2017 UMaine’s College Composition program was awarded a Writing Program “Certificate of Excellence” from the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Dippre’s talk, titled “Incremental, Lasting Change: Transforming the Story of Writing at UMaine across the Decades,” will share the rich history of writing instruction at UMaine with leaders in the field. What’s not to support?
Elizabeth Downing (Music, Flute Instructor)
Woodwind Duet Performance
With the help of an MHC grant, Flutist Downing will be traveling to Ostend, Belgium to perform as part of Clarinet Fest 2018. There she will be joined by clarinetist and composer Beth Wiemann (who also just happens to be the head of the Music department at UMaine) as part of a duet. Downing and Wiemann are scheduled to perform David Feurzeig’s Bagatelles for clarinet and flute, a work these woodwind players regionally premiered in February 2017. Since last year, Feurzeig’s has revised Bagatelles in response to input from Wiemann and Downing, so the Belgium performance will be of a new version of this composition. The international music scene recognizes that UMaine’s musicians are world class.
Michael Grillo (Art History)
The Epistemology of Connoisseurship: Questions on Giottino’s Uffizi “Lamentation”
Humanists love a mystery—that moment when the evidence doesn’t sit right, and you lay awake puzzling out possible explanations. Concerning some troubling assertions about a gorgeous painting titled “Lamentation”—housed in the Uffizi in Florence— art historian and MHC faculty board member Michael Grillo is on the case. Does “Lamentation” date from the Trecento (14th century)? Or was it restored to look as though it does? Is it the work of Giottino? Or someone else? Who was behind what Grillo identifies as this work’s notable delicacy of line and the emotional expressiveness of its figures? Its almost photographic optical devices and tableaux vivant-like staging? In short, its Victorian-era feel? Did restoration alter the original in keeping with later aesthetics? Questions such as these take some serious archive digging and a trained eye to answer. Thus, with the help of an MHC grant, Grillo will travel to Italy to continue his detective work on the haunting mystery that is “Lamentation.”
Nancy Ogle (Music, Voice)
Staged Reading of Aristophanes’“Plutus”
In collaboration with the Honors College and the Department of Philosophy, Professor of music, voice, and opera Nancy Ogle has organized a public reading of Aristophanes’ “Plutus,” a little-known work about the god of wealth. Students in the School of Performing Art’s Opera Workshop will participate in the chorus, which is always so consequential in Greek drama. This event will take place on October 18, 2018. The following day, Wycliffe College (University of Toronto) philosophy professor David Butorac—an expert on “Plutus”—will give a talk in the Philosophy Department’s colloquium series. When Humanists work together across disciplines, our shared cultural past comes to life.
Beth Wiemann (Music, Composition, Department Chair)
Jeremy Huw Williams: Masterclass and Performance
Thanks to funding from MHC, as well as the Cultural Affairs “Distinguished Lecture Series,” and the School of Performing Arts, the acclaimed Welsh baritone Jeremy Huw Williams, who sings with “moving dramatic import” according to The Herald, will be adding a stop at the University of Maine to his East Coast tour. As a result, our voice students will have the unique opportunity to take a masterclass from an internationally acclaimed working singer. We can all then sit back and relax for a performance by the baritone, accompanied by his long-time collaborator Paula Fan in the elegant surrounds of Minsky Recital Hall. Stayed tuned for dates and details!
Fall 2017 Faculty Grant Awardees
Don Beith (Philosophy)
Affectivity and Imagination
Lecturer in Philosophy Don Beith combines resources from German Idealism and transcendental phenomenology to study the relationship between our affective, emotional lives and our imaginative faculties, habits, and possibilities. Following his new book The Birth of Sense, Beith’s new research challenges contemporary assumptions in cognitive science, biology, and psychology by showing how our imaginative and affective lives are deeply intertwined. Funding from MHC will allow Beith to present his important research at National conferences.
Susan H. Brawley (Marine Sciences)
Public lecture by Sylvia Earle.
Our friends over in Marine Sciences reached out for support to bring the accomplished marine biologist, Dr. Sylvia Earle to campus to give a large-scale public lecture at the Collins Center for the Arts. Noting that Earle is, in addition to a very accomplished scientist, a humanist—she has published children books as well as books about the strong link between humanity and the oceans—we were happy to support this outspoken ambassador for our oceans!
Susan Camp (Art)
Susan Camp—who has been teaching printmaking and sculpture at the University of Maine since 2001—pairs up with artist /middle school educator Adele Drake to help middle school students and community members to grow gourds in moulds made from casts of their faces. By creating organic, three-dimensional self-portraits to be used as serving vessels in a celebratory meal, students, educators, and community members open a dialogue about identity, nutrition, and food issues in relation to agriculture, food insecurity, history and cultural traditions. We are proud to join the Maine Arts Commission in supporting this important work
Ryan Dippre (English, Director of College Composition)
Funds from McGillicuddy Humanities Center will go to support a series of “Dine and Discuss” meetings for the Maine Council for English Language Arts (MCELA). These meetings will help Maine’s K-12 teachers keep up to date with pedagogical best practices and support community conversations.
Philip B. Edelman (Music and Music Education)
Professor Edelman’s MHC pre-performance lecture.
Assistant Professor of Music Education Philip B. Edelman’s research is working to raise UMaine’s profile in the field of music education, as he contributes to current practices in the fields of music education, pre-service teacher training, and music perception and cognition. With support from the School of Performing Arts and the McGillicuddy Humanities Center he will be traveling to Atlanta to present not one by three research projects at the 2018 conference of the National Association for Music Education.
Michael Howard (Philosophy)
Image credit to: Marc van der Chijs.
National coordinator for the US Basic Income Guarantee Network and co-editor of the international journal, Basic Income Studies, UMaine Philosophy professor Michael Howard continues to deepen his expertise on the increasingly compelling idea of a “universal basic income.” Last year he presented his research in Sweden with our support, this year he’s heading to Ontario to the North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress where he will chair sessions, introduce speakers, and speak on automation and basic income.
Zachary Rockwell Ludington (Modern Languages and Classics)
Modern Typography at Rare Book School
Ludington is an expert on the modernist avant-garde in Spain—specifically the poet-printers of the Generation of 1927 and Ultraism. Yet to deepen his understanding of the way these innovative writers used typography to make collages, violate “the Gutenbergian grid,” and mix various typefaces in a single poem, this summer he will travel to Charlottesville, VA to study “The History of 19th and 20th Century Typography” through the Rare Book School.
Susan Pinette (Modern Languages and Classic, Franco-American Programs)
The Story of Workers, Trees, and Communities.
Partnering with the Maine Folklife Center, community partners Claire Bolduc and Mark Hardison, New Media and others, this project will host a reunion of the Maine Woodsmen Association—a now defunct group that led an unprecedented strike in October 1975, shutting down the state’s paper industry for an entire two weeks. Many of the people involved in this labor action are now in their 70s and 80s. The reunion will serve as a “digitization day,” with the goal of gathering stories and materials relevant to the strike. Pinette and community partners, along with UMaine students, then plane to build a bilingual, sustainable online portal of primary source materials relevant to the study of the Maine Woodsmen’s Association. The website will host videos, transcribed notebooks, and digitized scrapbooks documenting this landmark moment, in hopes of encouraging scholarship on borderlands, labor, ethnicity, literary studies, French, and linguistics.
Liam Riordan (History)
Faculty Reading and Writing Group
Interdisciplinarity and collaboration are central to the Humanities. To that end, former Center director Liam Riordan has recruited faculty across several disciplines to read and discuss James C. Scott’s 2017 Yale UP book Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States—which explores how the human move from a hunter gatherer to an agricultural existence may have been predicated on subjugation and the control of reproduction. Faculty participants plan to author and share short writings that come out of this common reading experience.
Judith Rosenbaum (Communications and Journalism)
Social Media, Digital Culture, and Politics: Reaching Across Borders
Assistant Professor Rosenbaum—a new member of the Communications and Journalism faculty—is already an important scholar in the study of social media. If your curious about the impact of Facebook and Twitter on our culture, you may want to add her brand new book, Constructing digital cultures: Tweets, trends, race, and gender, to your Amazon shopping cart! With the aid of funds from the MHC Rosenbaum will travel to the Netherlands, where she did her doctoral work, to share her findings with faculty, graduate students, and interested members from the community through a series of symposia and research meetings dedicated to her work.
Philip Silver (Music)
James Simon – A Collaboration Concert in Amsterdam, Holland
Photo from Prof. David Bloch on the “Music and the Holocaust” website.
Through a concert performance—scheduled for March 12, 2018—Professor Silver will continue his effort to bring the works of composers whose lives and careers were catastrophically affected by Nazi racial policies to public attention. This concert of the music of Berlin-born composer, pianist, and lecturer James Simon, will be an historic event: the first devoted solely to his works. Trapped in Holland after the Nazi invasion, Simon survived under increasingly dire conditions. In early April 1944 he was arrested and sent to Terezin Concentration Camp north of Prague. Then, on October 12, 1944 Simon was transported to Auschwitz and murdered upon arrival. According to an article published in a German emigre newspaper in New York, a witness stated that while in the cattle car on the journey to “the East” he was seen, sitting on his suitcase, scribbling musical ideas on a piece of paper.
Tan Katotsanin—a Penobscot word being applied to the development and support of Native American Tribal Theatre Drama in Maine and the University of Maine communities. In order to facilitate this ongoing process, Yellow Robe and Lukens plan to invite working professional Native Tribal theatre artists to the region to share their expertise and experience. In April, Madeline Sayet, Mohegan playwright, director, and Shakespeare scholar, will visit and conduct workshops with students and local playwrights in the Penobscot community. She will also give a presentation the University of Maine community.
During the spring of 2017, the UMHC (now MHC) Executive Board members established a new scholarship fund for a humanities student.
Sandy Peters (English B.A.’69; MEd ’72) and her husband John Peters (Economics B.A. ’69; MA ’73) have shown exemplary generosity by establishing a new scholarship fund to be awarded to a deserving University of Maine first-year undergraduate coming from a Maine high school or college preparatory school who chooses to major in a humanities field (Art History, Communication and Journalism, English, French, History, Romance Languages, Spanish, or Philosophy) in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
The Sandra Merrill Peters and John G. Peters Humanities Scholarship Fund does the important work of supporting a student in the study of the humanities. It also sends the timely message that engaged and important members of our community value this choice. The Center is so very grateful to the Peters for their gift.
For more information about the Sandra Merrill Peters and John G. Peters Humanities Scholarship Fund contact the office of student financial aid.