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Center Receives NEH Award to Impact High School Teaching

Cavanaugh Hall
Cavanaugh Hall


August 25, 2009

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The Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture in the IU School of Liberal Arts, an Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Signature Center, has been awarded $144,637 by the National Endowment of the Humanities to conduct a three-week summer institute for high school teachers on the role of religion in American history and life.

Twenty-five teachers will be selected to participate in the institute in July 2010, the goal of which will be to provide vital, embodied examples that teachers can use to make religion’s role come alive in their classrooms alongside other important topics.

“It is not possible to understand American culture without understanding religion's social role,” said Art Farnsley, co-director of the project with Philip Goff and Rachel Wheeler. “This grant gives us a tremendous opportunity to leverage our academic leadership in the study of American religion by allowing us to extend our work to high school teachers and, through them, to students all over the country.”

The project has additionally been designated a National Endowment for the Humanities “We the People” project and is being supported in part by funds the agency has set aside for this special initiative.

“The goal of the ‘We the People’ initiative is to encourage and strengthen the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture through the support of projects that explore significant events and themes in our nation’s history and culture and that advance knowledge of the principles that define America,” said Carole M. Watson, NEH acting chairman.

The Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at IUPUI is a research and public outreach institute devoted to promoting a better understanding of the relation between religion and other aspects of American culture. Its activities include national conferences and symposia, books, essays, bibliographies, fellowships for younger scholars, a Web site with course syllabi and other resources, a newsletter devoted to the promotion of its activities, and the semiannual scholarly periodical “Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation.”