From 2009-2011, the University Press of Colorado—along with the University of Arizona Press, the University of Alabama Press, University Press of Florida, Texas A&M University Press, and the University of Utah Press—investigated the possibilities inherent in digital publication in the field of archaeology. Known as the Archaeology of the Americas Digital Monograph Initiative, and funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, our project explored the incorporation of multimedia elements and richer datasets in the digital versions of scholarly books in the fields of archaeology and bioarchaeology.
In spite of great interest in our projects on the part of archaeologists, one of the hurdles we encountered was the simple fact that archaeologists did not collect and prepare their data with such digital publications in mind. Therefore, in spite of the fact that we currently have the editorial and production workflow to support these enhanced ebooks, we simply do not have archaeologists submitting projects to us that are written and prepared with this new mode of publication in mind. Thus the influx of appropriate manuscripts currently lags somewhat behind the available technology.
Thus we at Colorado were delighted to see the press release below from the NEH and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, because it is precisely initiatives such as this one that have the potential to tip the scales and get scholars thinking about generating projects with all the possiblities offered by digital publication in mind. We wanted to repost this announcement for our own communities of authors and readers who might find this of equal interest.
WASHINGTON (February 29, 2016) — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the two largest funders of humanities research in the United States, today announced a new joint fellowship opportunity to support high-quality “born digital” research in the humanities.
NEH-Mellon Fellowships for Digital Publication seek to encourage scholars engaged in humanities research that requires digital formats and digital publication. Eligible projects must be conceived as digital because the nature of the research and the topics addressed demand presentation beyond traditional print publication. For example, for scholarship in fields like art history, musicology, or media studies, an interactive digital publication may allow the author to use multimedia to make arguments or illustrate critical points that would be otherwise difficult or impossible in traditional print formats.
“Over the past five decades NEH and the Mellon Foundation have supported some of the most important books in the humanities through our respective fellowship programs,” said NEH Chairman William D. Adams. “Today we are pleased to join together to help foster new forms of scholarship that take advantage of the unique possibilities afforded by digital tools, formats, and methods. Our hope is to spur innovation and experimentation that will take humanities research beyond the printed page.”
“Research in the humanities is increasingly exploring the richness of human expression in digital form and in audio and visual materials, which can be represented digitally but not so easily in print,” said Earl Lewis, Mellon Foundation president. “Scholars are also recognizing the need to reach audiences using new digital media. These digital publication fellowships are designed to help scholars in the humanities both convey the results of their research on new media and reach new audiences.”
NEH-Mellon Fellowships for Digital Publication are designed for individual researchers and scholars and support continuous full-time work for a period of six to twelve months. Successful applicants receive a stipend of $4,200 per month, with a maximum stipend of $50,400 for a twelve-month period.
Application guidelines for NEH-Mellon Fellowships for Digital Publication are available at neh.gov. The application deadline for the initial cycle of NEH-Mellon Fellowships for Digital Publication is April 28.
The NEH-Mellon Fellowships for Digital Publication special opportunity is part of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ agency-wide initiative The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square, which seeks to demonstrate and enhance the role of the humanities and humanities scholarship in public life.
About the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation:
Founded in 1969, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. Additional information is available at mellon.org.
About the National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.
For more information:
Press release: http://www.neh.gov/news/press-release/2016-02-29