SDHC awards humanities grants


BROOKINGS – The South Dakota Humanities Council awarded grants for eight humanities-based research and discussion programs that will be launched in the coming months. 

The board of directors of the statewide non-profit, whose sole mission is to deliver humanities programs to South Dakotans, distributed $36,000 at its latest board meeting for programs taking place after Dec. 1. 

Successful applicants involve humanities professionals and include the humanities as a central focus of their program, event or research project. Grant requests for more than $1,000 are considered twice a year; the next deadline is Feb. 28 for programs after May 1, 2020. Requests under $1,000 are considered on a rolling basis.

Among the grants awarded at the last SDHC meeting were:

• South Dakota State University Department of English in Brookings received $3,350 for “South Dakota in Poems: An Anthology.” As South Dakota Poet Laureate, Christine Stewart will edit “South Dakota in Poems: An Anthology,” which features poems by South Dakotans about the people, landscapes, and cultural life of our state. The South Dakota State Poetry Society (SDSPS) will publish this book, and Dr. Stewart will use this anthology to promote the reading and writing of poetry across the state in her four-year tenure as poet laureate. Any profit made from the sale of the anthology will be reinvested in SDSPS and used to off-set the travel and promotion expenses of the South Dakota Poet Laureate. Stewart will launch the anthology at the SDHC’s South Dakota Festival of Books Oct. 2-4 in Brookings and will host additional readings and workshops across the state throughout the rest of the year. 

• SDSU Department of Architecture in Brookings was awarded $6,939 for “Building Arts and Labor: Connecting Craft in South Dakota.” The grant will fund the “Building Arts and Labor Symposium” at SDSU aimed at reconnecting two groups: those who work in the history, criticism and theory of architecture, and those who work in the building trades themselves. A divide has developed between the two groups and it has reconfigured the crafts and their relationship to the politics of labor, eliminating relationships between architects and the trades. The symposium’s focus on the history, theory, and criticism of labor in architecture and construction will promote discourse among the academy, the trades, the architectural profession, and labor-based organizations in South Dakota through the humanities. The program will be held Sept. 21 at 8:30 a.m. at SDSU’s Volstorff Ballroom. 

SDSU School of Communication and Journalism in Brookings received $7,000 for “Bill McKibben Harding Lecture.” McKibben is an essayist, journalist and environmentalist (and as of 2017, when he published Radio Free Vermont, a novelist) who has published 18 books, many of which warn that environmental catastrophes will occur if citizens fail to respond to climate change. McKibben’s lecture is titled “Our Changing Climate: A Global Movement of Reform.” In addition to this evening event, McKibben will offer a daytime talk to invited guests – including faculty and students from sponsoring and interested departments – and sign books after the evening lecture, which takes place April 13 at 7 p.m. at Larson Concert Hall, Performing Arts Center in Brookings.

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