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Major NEH Grant Will Support Humanities Initiatives

The $150,000 grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities will support language, literature, and history with a focus on Spanish heritage speakers.

Associate Professor of History Leandro Benmergui, Assistant Professor of Language and Culture Alfredo Garcia-Pardo, and Associate Professor of Literature and Director of the School of Humanities Aviva Taubenfeld have been awarded a $150,000  grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support humanities initiatives for Hispanic Serving Institutions.

The grant will support “Building Community and Belonging Through the Humanities,” a three-year language, literature, and oral and urban history project.

Focused especially on Spanish heritage speakers, both students and their families, the project includes writing an open-source Spanish language digital textbook for heritage speakers, collecting and incorporating local and familial oral histories, building a digital humanities archive, and creating bilingual community events at the Port Chester Library, among other locations.

The central goal is “to enable Purchase College as a Hispanic Service Institution to foster an appreciation for Latinx identity among our students and to work closely and collaboratively with the broader communities surrounding our campus,” says Benmergui.

“We hope that by providing students with meaningful resources and community-building opportunities, they will be enticed to delve deeper into study of Hispanic literatures, histories, film, and art—all areas in which Purchase College’s faculty have significant expertise,” adds Taubenfeld.

Purchase College President Dr. Milagros (Milly) Peña said, “I congratulate Drs. Benmergui, Garcia-Pardo, and Taubenfeld on this prestigious grant, and on their dedication to inspiring meaningful research and to fostering a deep appreciation for Latinx studies through the lens of the Humanities. I believe their work will have a profound impact on our students and help us meet our mission as a proud Hispanic Serving Institution.”

Fulbright HSI Leader 2022