Tuskegee receives $100,000 grant to examine Booker T. Washington’s contributions


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (December 3, 2013) – Tuskegee University has been awarded a $100,000 Humanities Initiatives grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Loretta S. Burns, professor and head of the Department of English, is the project director. Dana Chandler, university archivist, and Lisa Beth Hill, associate professor and head of the Department of History and Political Science, are co-directors. Additional faculty from the Departments of English and History and Political Science, selected students, and several visiting scholars will also be involved in grant activities.

The project will engage the humanities in a critical reappraisal of Booker T. Washington, one of the university’s founders and one of the 20th Century’s most controversial black leaders. Although Washington has been the subject of a number of scholarly investigations, the guiding principle of the Humanities Initiatives grant is that the full scope of his views, activities, and influence has not been sufficiently researched or adequately articulated. Burns said that the two-year project, which intersects with the 100th anniversary of Washington’s death in 2015, will employ the tools and perspectives of literary criticism and historical analysis to illuminate neglected dimensions of Washington’s life and work, contributing to a deeper understanding of his complex legacy and advancing humanities education and scholarship at the university.

The grant project will focus on Washington’s regional, national, and global influence in four areas: education, politics and civil rights, business, and literature and the arts. It will include faculty-student research collaborations; curriculum enhancement; digital resource development; a public symposium; and initiation of an ongoing humanities institute. Project participants will collaborate in an effort to analyze and reinterpret Washington’s ideas and achievements and to better comprehend his place in American history.

© 2013 Tuskegee University

Back to News Listing