A $500,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will enable the University of Georgia Willson Center for Humanities and Arts to expand its Global Georgia Initiative, a public humanities program in place since 2013.
“As a leading public research university, UGA is appreciative to the Mellon Foundation for supporting the university’s goal of expanding its reach to scholars and community members throughout Georgia,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the Mellon Foundation in this manner.”
In its first six years, the Global Georgia Initiative has engaged the humanities and arts in exploring global issues of public concern in a diversity of local contexts, serving audiences at UGA and throughout the Athens community. Programs have featured guests from five continents on topics from Chinese film and literature to journalism in the American South, and from hyperlocal agriculture and manufacturing to pan-African cultural criticism.
The expansion of the initiative focuses on three areas: connecting its visiting speaker programs to curricular and experiential learning activities at UGA; bolstering existing off-campus public humanities collaborations; and instituting a statewide symposium for the humanities.
The programs established around Global Georgia are designed to underpin research and outreach long term. “The grant-funded programs will be embedded into institutional structures that will become more diverse, more collaborative and more intellectually interesting because of them,” said Nicholas Allen, Franklin Professor of English and Willson Center director. “An enhanced Global Georgia Initiative will deepen the foundations of our public humanities projects, with a particular focus on community-driven, project-led research that has an impact on how the humanities relate to diverse communities of inquiry.”