Three winners of inaugural humanities grant competition announced

A photo of Sterling Memorial Library.
The endowment supporting the annual open grant competition is also funding the transformation of 320 York St. into a hub for the humanities. (Photo by Michael Marsland)

Three projects have been chosen for funding in the first open grant competition supported by the 320 York Humanities Programming Endowment.

The endowment was created in 2016 through the anonymous $50 million gift to the humanities at Yale. This gift also funded the current transformation of the Hall of Graduate Studies, located at 320 York St., into a hub for the humanities at Yale.

The inaugural competition attracted 12 grant proposals, from which the three winners were selected by a committee that included faculty, graduate students, and representatives from Yale College and the Whitney Humanities Center. 

The winners were:

  • Yale Environmental Humanities Initiative, led by Paul Sabin, Jennifer Raab, Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Gary Tomlinson, and Michael Warner;
  • “3000 Years of Mexican Feasting,” led by Oswaldo Chinchilla and Mary Miller; and
  • “Black Sound and the Archive,” led by Daphne Brooks and Brian Kane. All three projects will take two years to complete.

Yale Environmental Humanities Initiative will launch a coordinated set of courses and events, united by a web presence, staff support, and a communications strategy, all designed to showcase and develop Yale’s strengths in the humanistic study of the environment.

“3000 Years of Mexican Feasting,” a year-long multi-disciplinary graduate seminar in 2017-2018, will explore the science, archaeology, social life, literature, art, and commerce of food in Mesoamerica over the past three millennia. The seminar will be paired with public events co-sponsored by Yale Dining and visiting chefs to bring the experience of Mexican food traditions to life for the Yale community.

The “Black Sound and the Archive” will explore the untapped variety of black sound archives — moving beyond the records, musical recordings, and oral histories traditionally showcased. The monthly collaborative workshop will bring out for collective study neglected items held by Yale’s preeminent black-culture collections and develop new ways of listening to the archive of black sound. 

This open grant competition supported by the 320 York Humanities Programming Endowment will be held annually in the spring term.                                

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