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Humanities Center announces 2022-23 grant recipients

Humanities Comp

The WVU Humanities Center has announced the 2022-23 grant recipients who will support interdisciplinary, collaborative and public-facing projects in history, culture and the arts across multiple disciplines. 

Funded by a WVU endowment from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, grants were awarded to faculty members engaged in humanistic inquiry through three categories: Humanities Center Fellowship Grants, Pedagogy and Innovation Grants or Research Travel Grants. All 2022-2023 grant recipients are housed in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.                                         

Humanities Center Fellowships

The 2022-2023 Humanities Center fellowships were awarded to Nancy Caronia, Teaching Associate Professor of English, Sheena Harris, Associate Professor of History and Program Coordinator for the Africana Studies Program, and Jay N. Krehbiel, Assistant Professor of Political Science. The fellows will pursue their proposed humanities projects while serving as active participants in the Center’s programming, events and services.

Caronia will continue her work studying women of Italian descent who influence labor movements, domestic intimacies and immigration, yet often do not receive recognition for their activism. Her book, “Permeable Boundaries: Intimacy and Activism in the Work of Women Writers of Italian Descent,” will explore how these writers regularly confront ethnocentrism, xenophobia and misogyny through the biracial and multiethnic communities in which Italian immigrants and their descendants reside.

Harris will explore the life of Olivia America Davidson Washington, a woman born free in 1854 in Mercer County, Virginia (later West Virginia) who devoted her life to improving educational access for Blacks and women. Harris will also examine how foundational recounts of history at the turn of the 20th century were often told through the lens of her husband, Booker T. Washington, and other prominent males over a woman’s perspective.

Krehbiel will embark on a new public-facing research project to shed light on the complex experiences Native Americans face within the American and tribal legal systems. His research will examine Native peoples’ relationship with the law, the courts and the judicial system, as well as the overall inclination to be less trusting of the courts or the laws that they enforce. 

Pedagogy and Innovation Grant Recipient

Ching-Hsuan Wu, associate Professor of Applied Linguistics and Chinese Coordinator in the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, has been named this year’s Humanities Center Pedagogy and Innovation Grant recipient. During her faculty-led study abroad program to Taiwan this summer, she will help her students immerse themselves in the Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese cultures by incorporating the WVU Campus Read, “Interior Chinatown,” as part of the curriculum’s travel reading component.

Travel Grant Recipients

The 2022-2023 Humanities Center Travel Grant recipients were awarded to Manal AlNatour, Associate Professor and Director of Arabic Studies in the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, and Joseph Hodge, Associate Professor of History.

Through her studies of Afghan women refugees on their journey from crisis to resettlement, AINatour will conduct fieldwork in Houston, Texas to interview representatives of government agencies and associations that support Afghan refugees, as well as meet with at least 30 Afghan women refugees. The in-person interviews will help her collect more data and research for future scholarly works on refugees and gender issues.

Hodge will travel to the United Kingdom this summer to visit several archival sites and collections related to his book, “Between Empire and Development: The Ubiquitous Life and Careering of Arthur Hugh Bunting” which studies the life and legacy of the South African internationally renowned tropical agronomist, Arthur Hugh Bunting. 

To learn more about Humanities Center grants, research and programming, visit