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ISU receives six awards, including four research fellowships, from Idaho Humanities Council

Posted November 18, 2008

The Idaho Humanities Council has announced that Idaho State University scholars were awarded four of five IHC research fellowships given to Idaho scholars this year.

The IHC also awarded two grants to ISU campus organizations to bring in noted scholars for public lectures in spring 2009, including a Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

In all the IHC, a non-profit, state-based affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, awarded $66,791 in grants to organizations and individuals at its October board meeting in Boise. It awarded 24 grants including the five research fellowships, five teacher incentive grants and 14 public humanities programs.

The IHC board awards a limited number of research fellowships once a year to assist scholars in beginning or completing major research for articles, books and other scholarly efforts.

Idaho State University faculty receiving research fellowships included Philip Homan, associate professor in the ISU Eli M. Oboler Library; Jessica Winston, associate professor of English; Maria Glowacka, assistant professor of anthropology; and David Adler, political science professor.

Details of their fellowships are as follows:

• Homan received a $3,500 fellowship to research and write a biography of Kittie Wilkins (1857-1936), “The Horse Queen of Idaho.” The Wilkins family owned and operated the Wilkins Horse Company, a vast area that crossed the state lines of Idaho and Nevada, and Wilkins eventually became the largest broker of horses in the west. Homan notes that Wilkins was the only woman at the turn of the century whose sole occupation was horse dealing, that she was featured in newspapers throughout America, but is now nearly unknown.

• Winston, ISU associate professor of English, received $3,500 to complete her book “Lawyers at Play,” a study of the literary, political and social culture of the England's Inns of Court in the 1560s.  She proposes that the Inns of Court were literary, professional and political communities, and that the literary activity helped members to understand and comment on their political world.

• Glowacka received $3,500 to examine historical photographs of the Shoshoni life and culture from 1880-1940. Working with a Shoshone-Bannock Tribe member and fluent speaker of Shoshoni, she will ethnographically describe each photograph, detailing the cultural meanings of the records depicting traditional Shoshoni practices such as hunting, making cradleboards, smoking hides, beadwork, etc. She notes the research will help preserve this Shoshoni knowledge, provide data for developing educational materials, enhance research programs at ISU, and establish research collaboration between Idaho's archival repositories.

• Adler was awarded $3,500 to complete a book that calls for the restoration of the rule of law in America.  He contends that the Presidency has become subject to few limitations in its concentration of power, and that such power is contrary to the Constitution which grants these powers to Congress. Adler's book will be specifically targeted to the general public.  His aim is to better educate the general citizenry, provide reasonable solutions, and heighten public awareness of our role as vigilant citizens in preventing presidential usurpation of power and protecting the Constitution.

The ISU Janet C. Anderson Gender Resource Center at Idaho State University was awarded $1,821 to help support a speaker at the multidisciplinary conference titled “The Art of Gender in Everyday Life” in April 2009.  Scholar Emily Toth, professor of English and women’s studies at Louisiana State University, will present a talk about 19th-century writer Kate Chopin, author of the classic novel “The Awakening.”  Prior to the presentation, the Anderson Center will promote the reading and discussion of three Chopin short stories.  The project director is Rebecca Morrow.

Idaho State University also received $3,500 to bring Pulitzer-Prize winning historian and Harvard professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich to Pocatello for a public lecture during Women's History Month in March 2009.  Ulrich won the Pulitzer Prize and a Bancroft Prize for her 1990 book “A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812.” Her latest book and the topic of her March lecture is “Well-behaved Women Seldom Make History” (2007). This latest book demonstrates the ways in which history helps women make sense of their own lives.  The project director is Erika Kuhlman.

The next deadline for Idaho Humanities Council grant proposals is Jan. 15.  IHC strongly recommends that prospective applicants contact staff to discuss their project ideas before writing their proposals. Applicants also are encouraged to submit a rough draft of their proposal for staff critique by mid-December 2008.  Grant guidelines and application forms, as well as information about IHC grants and activities, are available on IHC's website at, or by calling 208-345-5346.