Council Awards Magic "Mini-Grants" for Remote Experiments in the Humanities to History Professors

July 2, 2020

In May, the Humanities Council invited University faculty and research staff to experiment with new forms of scholarly exchange in direct response to our unprecedented environment. Offering a special round of David A. Gardner '69 Magic "Mini-Grants" the Council called for innovation in sustaining the forward momentum of humanities research, with attention to outward-facing projects and community partnerships. The following projects proposed by History professors were among 27 that received mini-grants:

The Public Transcriptions Project

Martha Sandweiss (History) and Gabriel Swift (Librarian for Academic Programs, Special Collections)

Five History graduate students will transcribe, edit, and annotate rare 19th-century manuscript materials from Special Collections touching on Western American History, Mormonism, the Civil War, and the American Colonization Society. They will then create short online exhibitions to provide context and transcriptions to other scholars online.

Captured+Escaped: Storying Images of Slavery and Post-Abolition in Brazil

Miqueias H. Mugge (Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies), Isadora Moura Mota (History), João Biehl (Anthropology)

The grant supports research assistance and translation services for an interdisciplinary group of Princeton and Brazilian scholars analyzing visual materials on slavery in Brazil. An online symposium and website, in both Portuguese and English, will contextualize, assess, and interrogate the images.

Historical Micro-Docs

D. Graham Burnett (History)

A team of graduate students, faculty, undergraduates, and film artists will catalyze the development of a new genre of scholarly “work-product,” namely historical micro-documentaries lasting up to two minutes each, that will inspire further research by viewers, especially students accustomed to the brief visuals of the attention economy.

Fugitive Sounds

Rhae Lynn Barnes (History)

Student researchers trained in history and music will create a small database about a couple hundred enslaved musicians in antebellum America, and then recreate some of their songs using remote syncing programs. The team will present the research through scholarly channels as well as perform the pieces for audiences in the Delta, encompassing descendants of enslaved musicians, locals, and visitors.