The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States and supports research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. The organization funds projects across a range of disciplines, including political science, through a diverse array of opportunities. This spring, NEH announced $21.1 million in funding for 248 humanities projects. Projects funded in this round include Enduring Questions Grants, which support development of an undergraduate course “that grapples with a fundamental question addressed by the humanities.”
Tell us more about your research project at the University of Oregon.
This is a collaborative NEH grant in which I will be working with T. Elizabeth Durden of Bucknell University and Robin Dale Jacobson of the University of Puget Sound. We are interested in understanding the varied politics of inclusion and exclusion experienced by U.S. immigrants in different states and localities. We hope our research helps answer the compelling question of why some states adopt policies that expand immigrant rights while others impose barriers to their integration. We also want to know how this uneven welcome in different places within our country influences the lives of immigrants and their families. This project, titled “States of Immigration,” will investigate these questions not only in contrasting states but also over time in order to track different pathways of inclusivity and hostility toward immigrants.
What are your next steps and plans for your research?
During the next two years, our blueprints call for field research in a variety of states. This research involves extensive archival research in each state under study, interviews with officials, movement leaders, and others, as well as state-level analysis of legislative action, group mobilization, economic and demographic conditions, and political discourse.
How will the NEH Grant help you accomplish those steps?
In the initial stages, we plan to present several conference papers to solicit critical feedback on our findings and early analytical claims. We also plan to produce a monograph and peer-reviewed journal articles, and also to write several essays and blogs for more popular audiences.
What advice do you have for young researchers/scholars?
My strongest advice for younger colleagues is not to get discouraged by early rejections when applying for grant and fellowship support. This successful NEH grant did not meet with instant success and had to be revised more than once, but we kept climbing back on the horse.