During the first five years of its existence, the National Endowment for the Humanities funded eight grants at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From innovative studies of Don Quixoteto new histories of Catholicism in nineteenth-century Ireland, from recoveries of Andean Art to groundbreaking digital humanities summer institutes, the projects funded by the NEH from 1965 to 1970 opened up new interpretive, analytic, and collaborative opportunities within the University. The full list of NEH grants received at the University of Illinois during this time can be seen here. Below is a sampling of some of the grants from these five years.
“Translation and Publication of University of Illinois' Sumerian Clay Tablets” (1970–1971/1971–1973/1973–1975/1975–1979)
Principal Investigator: Shin T. Kang
Multiple grants to translate and publish the Spulock Museum's extensive collection of Sumerian clay tablets. See the interview with Spurlock Museum Director Wayne Pitard below for more information about Kang's groundbreaking work.
Spurlock Museum Director Wayne Pitard talks about the work and impact of NEH Grant-Recipient Shin T. Kang.
"Summer Institutes in Computer Application to Classical Studies" (1969/1970)
Project Director: Nathan Greenberg
Abstract: Six-week institute in computer programming and techniques and their applications to research in classical studies. Intensive instruction in FORTRAN, followed by SNOBOL, P:/1, and Assembly Language for the IBM 360 for those interested. Courses in statistics and computational linguistics plus lectures and seminars on applications of computer techniques to such problems as style and originality of individual Latin and Greek authors; the Homeric epic and the formulaic style in Greek literature; Greek and Latin metrics. Research applications demonstrated by the application of a wide variety of techniques to Catullus 64, a Latin poem of approximately 400 lines. Research also conducted on photocomposition, with special attention to Greek and Ugaritic, where unusual alphabets and printing formats are required. In addition, participants conducted individual research on a wide range of Greek and Latin authors (and in one instance on Ugaritic texts), centered on such problems as stylistics, syllabication, metrics, scansion, and sound patterns.
"Formal Structural Analysis of Andean Art and Investigation into its Meaning" (1970–1972)
Principal Investigator: R. Tom Zuidema, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Latin American & Caribbean Studies
Abstract: Project to establish a critical method for interpreting the non-material aspects of pre-Spanish Andean culture. PI will study early colonial Spanish chronicles on the Andean culture and early colonial indigenous art as well as making an iconographic analysis of the great styles of Andean art prior to that of the Inca. Study will be an application of sociological and cosmological models to the interpretation of ancient iconography.
By studying 1) the Inca social structure at the time of the Spanish conquest, 2) the art of the Incas and their colonial descendents in its cultural context, 3) other Peruvian art, PI hopes to establish their interrelationship indicating the continuity of Andean theory of structure.
Project represents one approach to interpretation of ancient Andean art, the only remaining clue to the thought of a non-literate great and vanishing culture. Documentation of project—photographs, slides, drawings—will be deposited at the U. of Illinois Dept. of Anthropology.
Read more about professor Zuidema's work in his entry at the College of Liberal Arts and Science's Gallery of Excellence.
"Studies in the History of Music on the Eastern Coast of the Adriatic from the 16th to the 18th Centuries" (1970/1974–1975)
Principal Investigator: Dragan Plamenac*, Professor of Musicology
Abstract: To study the developments of music history on the Eastern coast of the Adriatic during the Renaissance and Baroque periods. To explore the archives and libraries on the Eastern coast of the Adriatic, the old State archive of the one-time Republic of Dubrovnik (Ragusa) and the archives of the various Dalmatian monasteries. Because of the close cultural relations that existed between the two opposite Adriatic seaboards the investigations also include places on the Italian shore.