UTRGV Gender and Women’s Studies Program receives $68K NEH grant

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – DEC. 16, 2016 – UTRGV’s Gender and Women's Studies Program (GWSP) got an early holiday present – a $68,028 Humanities Initiatives Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

With the grant, GWSP will be able to bring in program consultants and content specialists to share valuable insights on program development and faculty enrichment in the areas of gender, women and sexuality studies.

The 20-month project will be administered by Program Director Linda English and Assistant Program Director Friederike Brühöfener and will begin February 2017.

“The project is a great opportunity for the GWSP-affiliated faculty to enhance and hone their skills as teachers and mentors to UTRGV students,” Brühöfener said.

The GWSP received the Humanities Initiatives Grant, one of 11 NEH grant categories, for its project entitled “Revising the Women’s Studies Program.” The grant will provide critical funds to improve the UTRGV program’s structure, curriculum and course offerings.

Under the Humanities Initiatives Grants category, a total of 13 grants totaling $1,253,100 were awarded to strengthen and enrich humanities education and scholarship at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), and Tribal Colleges and Universities. UTRGV is one of the largest HSIs in the country.

UTRGV’s program was among 290 projects in 43 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to receive the NEH funding. A total of $16.3 million in grants was awarded to support a variety of humanities-based programs and research.

The NEH is an independent federal agency that supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation.


Under this grant, program and content specialists will visit UTRGV to work with affiliated faculty on developing strategies to incorporate gender-focused topics into their teaching.

UTRGV currently has three Gender and Women’s Studies program coordinators visiting campus in the spring to consult on best practices and provide insights on what works best in generating student interest in their programs.

Starting next fall, six content specialists will be visiting UTRGV to present their current research and conduct workshops with UTRGV faculty.

“We are thinking broadly when it comes to gender, so our focus includes studies on women, masculinity and sexuality,” English said.    

While the specialists will focus on training faculty, the end result will be developing curriculum and courses for students.

Because this is a humanities grant, many of the courses will be offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Fine Arts, though not exclusively.

English said gender studies are critical to understanding the human condition – both in the past and in the present.  

“We want our students to have as much opportunity to study gender – to read about it and think about it – as possible,” she said.  
For current students interested in gender and women's studies classes, visit the website at http://www.utrgv.edu/gwstudies/index.htm.

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