The National Endowment for the
Humanities awarded $30,000 each to architecture professor Sandy Isenstadt and
history professor Joanne Melish.
4, 2000 (Lexington, Ky.) University
of Kentucky professors in architecture and history have each received a $30,000 research
fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The NEH fellowships are among
the most prestigious awards given in the humanities.
professor Sandy Isenstadt
received an NEH fellowship to complete a book titled Spaciousness and Middleclass
Identity: Modern American Domestic Architecture (1850-1950). In the book, he
explores the relationship between architecture and the perception of spaciousness.
beginning in the 20th century, designers began to look for ways to make small homes look
big to suggest a home that exceeded limited budgets of a growing middle class. In the
1950s, for example, having a view of the surrounding landscape was a big topic. This also
affected the legal status of landscape views, as well as their effect on real-estate
appraisals, he said.
professor Joanne Melish received an NEH fellowship to explore the efforts of the
Narragansett Indians of New England to establish their tribal identity. The Rhode Island
government revoked the Narragansetts status as a tribe 200 years ago and bought
their tribal lands. The government claimed the Narragansett were Negro rather than Indian
because of intermarriage with black slaves and freedmen. However, in the 1970s, the
Narragansett began to reassert their status, asking for federal recognition as a tribe and
claiming their historic lands. They received recognition in 1983.
will use historical information at the Rhode Island Historical Society collected in the
1970s by both sides of the dispute. She will be the first third-party historian to study
the collection. She also will use research data collected during work on her first book,
first became interested in the Narragansett while working on this book about slavery and
emancipation in New England. She was drawn to the two challenges the Narragansett present
to American ideas about race: namely being bi-racial in a society that sees race in terms
of strict divisions, and viewing race as a social construction more than as something in
National Endowment for the Humanities awarded a total of $5,160,000 in research
fellowships this year to 172 researchers. The NEH is an independent federal agency created
in 1965 and is the largest funder of humanities programs in the United States.