July 20, 2016, BY Paula Cogan Myers

Vaughan Literature Building
Bucknell's Vaughan Literature Building. Photo by Jonathan McBride

Creative innovation in the humanities at Bucknell is getting new support through a recent $600,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Faculty in the humanities and administrative leadership pursued the grant to renew the humanities curriculum and generate new interdisciplinary relationships, model the integration of teaching and research, and promote the importance of the humanities to the greater Bucknell learning community.

The grant will fund the development of a Summer Humanities Teaching Lab, which will engage students in faculty research and explore connections between humanities scholarship and teaching. In the lab, students will work with faculty mentors to develop and implement upper-level seminars in the humanities, which will result in the establishment of new courses, inform the continued development of other humanities courses and engage students as teacher-scholars.

Workshops sponsored by the newly established Humanities Center will support faculty and student research teams and encourage a variety of models of student research in the humanities, including traditional scholarship projects, teaching-research projects and the emerging area of digital scholarship.

"We are grateful to the Mellon Foundation for their generous support of the humanities at Bucknell," said Provost Barbara Altmann. "Learning through the humanities is a central component of a Bucknell education. While these new initiatives will support the work of students and faculty in the humanities specifically, they will also enhance the education of students from all across campus as they develop their critical thinking, writing and presentation skills in humanities courses."

The grant will also support the establishment of a two-year Humanities Center faculty programming fellow position. Fellows will spend their first year doing research during sabbatical leave and their second as project coordinator for the center, organizing thematic events that emerge from their sabbatical research.

The inaugural programming fellow will be Professor Maria Antonaccio, religious studies, who plans to organize a series of campus events in 2017–18 related to her research on the ethics of sustainability.

WE DO, The Campaign for Bucknell University 

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's program in Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities supports select colleges, universities and research institutes to develop learning initiatives that support the social value of the humanities.

The Mellon grant is part of WE DO, The Campaign for Bucknell University. The most ambitious campaign in institutional history, WE DO recently surpassed $400 million on the way to its $500 million goal. || Learn more about opportunities to support the humanities