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2022 Seed Grants

The Kaplan Humanities Institute awarded Seed Grants to support preparatory work and proposal development for the fall 2022 Humanities Without Walls (HWW) Grand Research Challenge grant application.

This initiative is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

2022 Seed Grant Recipients

Kate Masur (History)
Digitization of the Western Citizen newspaper

This project is a collaboration with the University of Illinois library (and its Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections) to digitize the Western Citizen, an antislavery newspaper published in Chicago in the 1840s and 1850s that gave substantial coverage to the Black community of Illinois and Wisconsin. This newspaper, which has remained undigitized and therefore unavailable to most researchers, is a critical source for African American history in the Midwest. The project planning was conducted with staff at various relevant institutions: the Chicago History Museum, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, and the University of Illinois.

Mérida Rúa (Latina and Latino Studies)
The Meanings of Elderhood for Chicago Latinas and African American Women

The Meanings of Elderhood for Chicago Latinas and African American Women seeks to shift away from discussions of their invisibility in institutional, policy, and public discourse or hypervisibility as a “vulnerable” population. Instead, it aspires to foreground the insights offered by older Latina and African American women regarding ways to create, cultivate, and nurture social strategies and community networks to serve as support systems and sites of critique in the context of a changing socio-spatial economy. This project is a collaboration between Northwestern University, Bethel New Life, and Hispanic Housing.

Kelly Wisecup (English and Center for Native American and Indigenous Research)
Indigenous Networks

Indigenous Networks seeks to understand, engage, and support the networks that generate printed and performative works—from books and pamphlets to theatre performances and film—by Indigenous creatives. We seek to understand the material, embodied, technological, and ephemeral components of Indigenous networks, in both everyday and exceptional contexts. We also seek to understand the role these networks play in producing Indigenous theatre, film, and literature, relations that require expansive understandings of terms like archives, authorship, publication, and performance. Our project is comparative in its objects of study and in its methods: it considers relations among theater, film, and print, and it brings together faculty and graduate students with librarians and archivists at tribal and private archives, filmmakers, visual artists, and theatre companies.

Rebecca Zorach (Art History)
RE:SOURCE: Art and Community Ecologies

RE:SOURCE: Art and Resourcefulness in Black Chicago is a research project intended to culminate in an exhibition to be held in 2024 at the South Side Community Art Center in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago. The exhibition will focus on the historical resourcefulness of African American artists and cultural creators in mid-twentieth century Chicago (1930s-1980s) in connection with contemporary artistic practices of re-use and contemporary interest in how art can reflect and address urgent concerns about the environment. The title RE: SOURCE refers to both the attitudes and practice of resourcefulness, and the fact that Black artists working in the mid-20th century in Chicago constitute a powerful (sometimes under-recognized) source of ideas and traditions for artists working today.