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Humanities in Action, awarded to Grinnell by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is a $1 million grant to support the humanities and humanistic teaching and learning. There are three main areas of curricular, pedagogical, and programmatic development the grant supports: (1) the creation of new ‘gateway’ courses to the humanities at the 100- and 200-level, depending on particular circumstances; (2) student-faculty pedagogy partnerships in support of revising existing or creating new courses; (3) and critical curricular and pedagogical inclusivity efforts. A general goal of the grant is to demonstrate the humanities in action in our lives, to actively illustrate how the humanities prepare our students for lives of reflection, growth, and action.

In addition to these three areas, Humanities in Action will continue to support travel to workshops and conferences related to your Humanities in Action activities and to visit other institutions with programs from which you would like to learn to support your grant activities. Humanities in Action will also continue to support campus visits related to curricular and pedagogical questions connected to the grant.

The grant is based on the idea that humanistic teaching and learning is now at a crossroads: faculty in the humanities and humanistic social sciences are making exciting and innovative changes in their methodologies and pedagogy at the same time that the cultural conversation in America often emphasizes the importance of science and downplays the significance of humanistic fields. The Humanities in Action grant will support Grinnell faculty in developing new courses and bringing humanistic study and practice to life in new and exciting ways. In the process, we hope to open students’ eyes anew to the possibilities of humanistic practice while supporting humanistic education at Grinnell.

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