An SSRC/NEH SHIP grant will help the Humanities Network and Consortium (HNAC, https://hnac.uncg.edu/) at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) to renew and rebuild the human infrastructure between humanities faculty, students, and the broader public. As a Minority Serving Institution, with a student body consisting of 15,696 undergraduates, UNCG has experienced both increased strain on faculty and budget cuts related to enrollment declines caused by Covid-19. SSRC/NEH SHIP funds would stabilize and support HNAC as it reconfigures itself for a more sustainable future. HNAC is a faculty-initiated humanities group that provides pivotal infrastructure for programming, research, and dialogue on the UNCG campus. Founded in 2016, HNAC provided key public programming throughout the pandemic and has become a communications hub for humanities scholars navigating pandemic adaptations.
Funds will support an innovative infrastructure stabilization for the HNAC leadership structure. Namely, a postdoctoral HNAC position will complement the current faculty and graduate student administrative team. This restructuring will support our extensive membership community of approximately 375 faculty, students, and broader community members. Moreover, through faculty research working groups aimed at scholars particularly affected by the pandemic, student initiatives that illuminate the value of the humanities, and connections with community partners, we will provide our community the opportunity to reflect on best practices, innovation, and mutual support. This grant will allow us to hold space for the critical thinking that lies at the heart of sustaining the next generation of humanities scholars, while strengthening inclusion and expanding access to humanities content for our broader public partnerships.