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CLAS Faculty Receive National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships

GAINESVILLE — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced Tuesday, January 14, that two UF College of Liberal Arts faculty have received fellowships to pursue projects in history and anthropology.

Lillian Guerra

LILLIAN GUERRA, professor in the Department of History, was awarded $60,000 from the NEH to research youth education programs during the Cuban Revolution between 1961 and 1981. AMANDA CONCHA-HOLMES, courtesy faculty in the Department of Anthropology, received $50,000 to conduct a digital ethnography of the Silver River in Florida.

Guerra said she was thrilled by the news. Her project, which will become a book entitled Patriots and Traitors in Cuba: Political Pedagogy, Rehabilitation and Vanguard Youth, 1961-1981, uses oral history and archival research to explore how the Cuban state aimed to rid the country of those lacking “revolutionary genes” by framing children as either patriots or traitors. The book will be her fifth, following previous historical works about Puerto Rico and Cuba.

“Of all of the books I have researched on Cuba, this is surely the most personal and intimate in the questions it asks and the stories it tells,” she said. “The NEH has made it possible for me to take the time to make multiple generations of Cubans’ complex and often painful history come alive.”

Amanda Concha-Holmes

Concha-Holmes’ project is titled Who belongs? Evocative Ethnography to Interpret Being, Belonging and Becoming on the Borderlands of Florida’s Silver River. She is using a digital, interactive platform featuring documentary video, photography, audio and more to reveal “multifaceted historical, cross-cultural and multispecies layers” of the Silver River.

“The funding of the National Endowment for the Humanities Mellon Fellowship for Digital Publication will allow me to fully focus on crafting this multimodal manuscript, which looks at the Silver River as a protagonist through multiple temporal and cultural perspectives,” Concha-Holmes said. “It is ultimately about being, becoming and belonging, which is relevant to all of us.”

The awards were among $30.9 million in grants distributed by the NEH to 188 humanities projects, spanning 45 states and the District of Columbia.