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KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee’s leadership in humanities research continues to be recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

The NEH has awarded three fellowships to UT Knoxville researchers this year. Faculty receiving the fellowships include a researcher in Chinese history, an expert in classic Hindu texts and a specialist in Old English.

UT is one of only eight universities in the nation to have at least three faculty members honored this year. Over the last three years, seven UT faculty members have received NEH fellowships, making UT one of only nine universities in the nation so honored. UT Chancellor Loren Crabtree said the awards include financial support for scholars to pursue periods of sustained research and writing.

“The fellowships represent a continued national recognition of the university’s commitment to support and increase the quality of our scholarship,” Crabtree said. “We applaud these faculty members for their prestigious award and for how their research will enhance their academic field, as well as the university’s profile as a top research institution.”

Dean Bruce Bursten of the UT College of Arts and Sciences said this level of recognition from NEH, one of the major grant-awarding agencies in the country, is an impressive achievement.

“The humanities have always been the heart of UT’s teaching, research and public service mission,” Bursten said. “Winning three of these highly sought-after fellowships shows that our college’s researchers and scholars continue to improve our national profile.”

NEH fellowship winners:

Hilde de Weerdt, assistant professor of history, for research that describes how the development of printed news in China between the 10th and 13th centuries, much earlier than in the West, created networks of information sharing among China’s elite reading public.

James Fitzgerald, professor of religious studies, for his annotated English translation of portions of the Mahābhārata, the 2,000-year-old Sanskrit epic of ancient India being published by the University of Chicago Press under Fitzgerald’s general editorship.

Roy Liuzza, professor of English, for his work in preparing the first modern edition and study of Anglo-Saxon prognostics, a collection of Latin and Old English texts that predicted the outcome of events such as births and illnesses, weather and harvests.

NEH is an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation and public programs in the humanities. For more information on NEH’s application process, visit

Contact: Karen Collins (865-974-5186 or 865-216-6862)