The Lepage Center offers an annual funding opportunity to supports individuals and institutions in developing public-facing historical projects.
Climate Change in Historical Perspective (2022 – 2023)
The Albert Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest at Villanova University is pleased to announce a new funding opportunity to support public-facing historical projects related to the theme of “Climate Change in Historical Perspective.” Proposals are due Aug. 31, 2022.
Turning Points in History Grant (2021 – 2022)
The Albert Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest at Villanova University is delighted to announce the recipients of our 2021 – 22 Turning Points in History Grant Program. These six outstanding projects explore the theme of “Turning Points in History” from diverse perspectives and will produce a range of outcomes that advance history in the public interest.
Journey Toward Justice: The Civil Rights Movement in the Chattahoochee Valley
This project seeks to trace the history of civil rights activism in the Chattahoochee River Valley of Georgia and Alabama. A team led by Rebecca Bush (Curator of History, The Columbus Museum) and doctoral student Mickell J. Carter (Department of History, Auburn University) will conduct up to ten interviews with current and former residents of the Chattahoochee River Valley who played a role in the Civil Rights Movements between the 1950s and the 1970s. These interviews will be the core source of a documentary that will explore the relationship between past and present civil rights activism in the region. The team will work with K-12 educators to make the documentary accessible to middle school children and create four lesson plans based on Georgia educational core standards. The Museum will also mount an exhibition related to the history of local civil rights activism.
Knowing Water: A Digital Exploration of History, Science, and Environmental Justice along the Delaware River
The Knowing Water, project led by Jesse Smith, PhD, Research Curator and Exhibition Developer at the Science History Institute (Philadelphia), seeks to expand our understanding of “turning points” in environmental history and the changing relationships between scientific knowledge, environmental materiality and political power since the mid-20th century. The project traces early efforts to address pollution, soil erosion, and other environmental challenges that transcended state boundaries in the Northeast. Funds will be used to produce a digital “story map” to accompany the Institute’s exhibition Downstream, which explores more than 200 years of water analysis and water protection in the United States.
Many Moons is a hybrid documentary/fiction film led by social documentarian Chisato Uyeki Hughes in partnership with the Humboldt Asians & Pacific Islanders in Solidarity (HAPI). The film examines the rounding up and banishing of the Chinese community living in Eureka in 1885 in which more than 300 people—more than 10 percent of Eureka’s population at the time—were forced out of Chinatown and the surrounding areas and put on two steamships to San Francisco after mounting Anti-Chinese sentiment in the county. The expulsion was a turning point in the history of the West as a new form of ethnic cleansing, representative of the beginnings of anti-Asian sentiment in the settlement of the US. The mythology of the so-called “last Chinaman of Humboldt”—Charlie Moon—serves as the impetus to explore evidence of other Chinese arrivants who may have survived despite the constant threat of violence during 60 years of enforced exclusion—many of whom found refuge with local Yurok, Hoopa and Karuk tribes. Many Moons weaves together a story of presence and absence, oscillating between the search for ‘other Charlie Moons’ as current Chinese residents of Humboldt recover their predecessors. Funds will be used for post-production work on the film. Funds will be used for post-production work on the film.
Natives Circles Podcast
Natives Circles is a podcast produced by historian Farina King, PhD, (Bilagáanaa Diné) and writer Sarah Newcomb (Tsimshian). The podcast focuses on Native American and Indigenous histories from Indigenous voices and lived experiences. Funds will be used to create podcasts that explore turning points in Native American and Indigenous history.
Philadelphia Necrographies: Histories of Collecting African Material Cultures at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
“Philadelphia Necrographies” is a project led by art historian Hilary Whitham Sánchez, PhD, (Villanova University) that will trace the history of museum practices in Philadelphia as they relate to the collection of African art and materials at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Penn Museum since the 1930s. Funds will be used to support archival research and the production of a report that will be shared with the public and museum professionals at a time when museums around the world are attempting to decolonize their collections and reckon with the legacies of their colonials pasts. Students in Dr. Sánchez’s course on Arts of Africa will conduct original research on the collections and contribute to the final report.
Prison Abolition Archive
The Prison Abolition Archive is a collaborative project between local archivists, including Simon Ragovin (Drexel University) and Beaudry Allen (Villanova University) and activists Reggie West (Human Rights Coalition), Jackson Kusiack (Human Rights Coalition) and B. Preston Lyle (Human Rights Coalition). The Human Rights Coalition (HRC) is a grassroots organization comprised of currently and formerly incarcerated people, their families and supporters committed to ending the mass incarceration epidemic. Funds will be used to create the "Prison Abolition Archive" (PAA) to document and preserve the administrative records, surveys, legal documents, 10,000+ letters from incarcerated people, and other archival materials collected by HRC over the last 20 years.
COVID-19 Grants (2020 – 2021)
The Lepage Center awarded grants to support research and projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. These grants funded researchers whose work brings historical perspective to, or advances understandings of, the COVID-19 virus and its ramifications around the world.
Anabaptist History Today is a collaborative, community storytelling project with support from seventeen Anabaptist archives and history organizations in the United States and Canada.
Messages from a Pandemic: HIV/AIDS Posters from Around the Globe: The Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami partnered with The Wolfsonian—FIU to create a fully digital and freely accessible exhibition featuring HIV/AIDS posters from over forty countries
Letters from the Epidemic is a collaboration between the Louisiana State Museum and New Orleans theater company Goat in the Road Productions to create a theatrical performance of letters from the 1878 New Orleans yellow fever epidemic.
Beyond Better is an interdisciplinary public medical humanities & social media project that aims to intervene in polarized public discourses on healthcare issues by creating space for listening, storytelling, art, nuance, and historical analysis.
“Locked Down: An Oral History of the Covid-19 Virus in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle" collects stories about how the global pandemic shapes the lives of people in vulnerable Appalachian communities.
COVIDCalls is a public-facing podcast and historical archive project.
Documenting the Undocumented: Covid-19 Oral Histories & Immigrant Workers in Rural Wisconsin is a collaboration between the Public History Program and the McIntyre Library at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and the Chippewa Valley Museum. The Chippewa Valley Covid-19 Archive is a collection project to document the effects of the Coronavirus in rural Western Wisconsin.
We Go Down Sewing is an edited collection of essays, creative writing, and photographs, that openly engages with three main fields of U.S. history, including immigrant labor, race and public health, and social movements, which have shaped how members of the Auntie Sewing Squad responded to Covid-19.
Bearing Witness: COVID-19 Oral History and the Public Good: The Activist History Review is conducting an oral history project that collects faculty, student, and staff accounts of their experiences during the pandemic.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities Wellness Project is an intervention designed to utilize the human and social capital at historically black colleges and universities to promote health and modify risks for chronic diseases among individuals living in the surrounding communities.
A History of Mutual Aid Organizing aims to produce a 10-minute multimedia video that will highlight the history of mutual aid organizing, as a way to help people understand and historicize the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Infectious Historians podcast focuses entirely on the history of infectious diseases.
An Oral History of Iowa's Chinese Americans and Nationals Experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic conducts oral history research in Iowa and collects their stories and testimony and exhibit them to the general public.
Reconceiving the History of Plague in the Era of COVID-19 draws on the expertise of three plague historians and builds on five decades of scholarship about the plague’s history in the western Islamicate world (Islamic Spain and North Africa to the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean) to produce translations of key texts hitherto unavailable in English.
Medical Malpractice: The Racist Roots of Prejudice in Covid-19 America is a research paper by a former Villanova student on the plague in Madagascar—focusing on lapses in health care structure, education, and patient adherence to policy surrounding the plague—in an attempt to explain why outbreaks persist there annually.
CHAMPS: A Study of the COVID-19 Workforce is a study of the experience and self-reported health and well-being of essential workers and first responders, service staff and healthcare professionals, who provided support for patients, treatment sites and the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Documenting COVID-19 is a collaboration between Villanova’s Falvey Library and the Albert Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest, to collect stories, photos, audio recordings and more from members of the Villanova Community who lived through the pandemic.