March 12, 2014

NEH Grant to Support a National Summer Institute at GSU

Professors Hugh Wilson and Jim Young Kim (above) receive grant funds for summer program.
Professors Hugh Wilson and Jim Young Kim (above)
receive grant funds for summer program.

GRAMBLING, La. – The National Endowment of the Humanities has awarded a $99,000 grant to Grambling State University to implement a national summer institute on Greek mythologies.

Professors Hugh Wilson, Jim Young Kim and Mica Dawn Gould of the Department of English and Foreign Languages are the principal investigators of the grant. The purpose of the summer institute is to enhance, on a national scale, the teaching and appreciation of the Greek dramas of Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles taught at universities and colleges across the country and their influences on African American literature and drama, according to Wilson.

“Our grant project will improve the comprehension and appreciation of Greek drama in order to enhance research and teaching,” said Wilson. “The institute will explore the continuing relevance of Greek drama to society at large…. The sessions of our institute on Greek drama will also foster a greater awareness of the black literature and drama influenced by the Greeks.”

The three-week summer institute will be attended by faculty members from colleges and universities across the country, including historically black colleges and universities. Program sessions will be led by nationally recognized classicists such as professors Peter Meineck of New York State University, Patricia Johnson of Boston University, Melinda Powers of City University of New York (CUNY) and Patrice Rankine of Hope College. Meineck has used Greek plays that dramatize the traumatic aftermath of the Trojan War to help Iraq and Afghanistan military veterans cope with post-traumatic stress. Rankine is a black classicist professor and dean at Hope who has written about the influence of Greek drama on black literature, helping bridge the black and Greek literary cultures.

Connie Walton, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the faculty prepared “a highly competitive proposal,” resulting in success. “I am excited that Grambling State University will be hosting this institute that will focus on Greek drama,” she added.


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