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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is a national leader in National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) research fellowships for university professors.

According to data recently published by the NEH on fellowships received from 2005 to 2012, UT ranks eighth in the nation, with ten fellowship awards.

UT shares this esteemed position with the University of California, Irvine; the University of Chicago; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Vanderbilt University; and the University of Virginia.

UT ranks behind only the University of Notre Dame, the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, Harvard University, Princeton University, Washington University, and the University of Texas.

NEH research fellowships are among the most prestigious awards in the humanities. In the last five competitions, the NEH fellowship program received more than 1,200 applications per year and awarded fewer than 100 per year.

UT’s NEH recipients include:

  • Janet Atwill, professor of English, for “The Role of Character in Greek Rhetorical Training”
  • J.P. Dessel, associate professor of history,  for “Acting Locally: Rethinking the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age I From a Village Perspective”
  • Hilde De Weerdt, assistant professor of history, for “News and Identity in Imperial China, 10th-13th Centuries.” Currently at Oxford University.
  • James Fitzgerald, professor of religious studies, for “An Annotated Translation of the Cosmologies of the Moksha Anthology of the Hindu Epic Mahabharata.” Currently at Brown University.
  • Dorothy Habel, professor of art history and director of the School of Art, for a project entitled “The Impact of Public Opinion on the Urban Building Process in Baroque Rome”
  • Thomas Heffernan, professor of English and religious studies and director of the Humanities Center, for a project titled “An Edition of ‘The Passion of Perpetua and Felicity,’ a Late Ancient Prison Memoir”
  • Heather Hirschfeld, associate professor of English and director of the Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, for “Tragedies of Satisfaction in the English Renaissance”
  • Vejas Liulevicius, professor of history and director of the Center for the Study of War and Society, for “German Utopias in Eastern Europe, 1914-1955”
  • Roy M. Liuzza, professor of English, for “Anglo-Saxon Prognostics: Texts and Studies”
  • David Reidy, professor of philosophy and head of the philosophy department, for “John Rawls: An Intellectual Biography”

The initiative to increase the number of faculty fellowship awards at UT as a measurable part of the UT Top 25 project is a joint effort of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of Research.

The university is also officially opening its new Humanities Center this fall. The center is focused on building more research support for projects that explore history, literature, art, law, philosophy, and languages.  A formal kickoff for the center is set for September 5.