Humanities Council Announces the 2018-19 Awardees for the David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Project Grants

August 03, 2018


3-D scanning in progress of late-Roman skeletal material at the Oxfordshire Museum Resource Centre

3-D scanning in progress of late-Roman skeletal material at the Oxfordshire Museum Resource Centre

The Humanities Council announced the awardees of the David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Project Grants for the academic year 2018-19.

The goal of the grants is to support ideas that break new ground intellectually and pedagogically and have the potential to change how the humanities are conceived and taught. The selection committee was attentive to interdisciplinary initiatives as well as to intellectual “nooks and crannies” that might not be well known to students and colleagues but are essential to the richness of the Princeton experience.

David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Project Grants in the Humanities Council is made possible thanks to the generosity of Lynn Shostack, in memory of her husband, David A. Gardner ’69.

This year there were 15 projects, ranging from team-taught workshops and research projects to undergraduate seminars and graduate enrichment courses.

Janet Kay, Society of Fellows and History

Janet Kay will use her Magic Project award to prepare a Freshman Seminar, Archaeology As History: Studying the Past by Digging in the Dirt. The course recruits students’ critical thinking skills by asking how practitioners of different techniques learn from each other, in this case how History learns from the interpretative practices of Archaeology. Kay and her students will work with specially prepared data collected from excavation archives of Roman sites in Oxfordshire. Kay worked with colleagues Kathleen Downey (Department of Anthropology, Ohio State University) and Rebecca Mountain (School of Anthropology, University of Arizona), who assessed and completed 3D-scans of the skeletal material. Using 3D-printed replicas of human skeletons and digital records of accompanying burial finds, members of Kay's course will piece together an interpretation and ‘publish’ the burial. Students will encounter how STEM methods are integrated into archaeology and the questions facing working excavation teams prior to, during, and after fieldwork. As they work on their own interpretations, they will need to address how Historians work with these material remains.