Mellon Humanities Grant

In spring 2014, the Andrew M. Mellon Foundation invited Elizabethtown College to apply for a grant “that would enable you to explore the ways and means of preserving the centrality of liberal education on your campus.” 

Concerned about the shrinking student demand for a liberal arts education, the Foundation is interested in funding innovations in curriculum and pedagogy that attracts students to the arts and humanities. 

In particular, since Mellon is a humanities-based enterprise, it is looking to “support academic programs, including general education curricula, which strengthen the arts, humanities and humanities-based social sciences.”


Elizabethtown College’s Initiative 

In response to the Mellon Foundation’s invitation, we have created two programs to demonstrate the benefits of a liberal arts education, and support a growing appreciation for the humanities among our students. Many of our professors encourage students to attend these programs by using incentives like course assignments and extra credit opportunities. The schedule of these events can be found using our Arts & Cultural Events Calendar. These programs include:

Cultivating Humanity Program

The Cultivating Humanity Program is a series of cultural events, presentations and performances aimed at generating campus dialogue and raising the visibility of the humanities.  

Many lectures, workshops, and performances will be coordinated by and located in Bowers Writers House; however, humanities-related topics will be featured across several programs, including the first-year program, the Sophomore Year Experience and Scholarship and Creative Arts Days.

Humanities Challenge Projects

The Humanities Challenge Program is designed to help humanities departments develop new approaches to the recruitment of students and the creation of pathways that lead to graduation and success. The goal is to demonstrate how humanities study promotes critical thinking, stimulates the imagination, and cultivates engaged citizens

  • Digital Humanities: - This Interdisciplinary Proposal is led by David Kenley in History and Matt Skillen in English, the project creates a digital humanities program designed to engage faculty members and students across the humanities in systematic study using digital resources for research and dissemination.
  • Enhancing All Humanities and Humanities-Based Social Sciences with Career Services - This program is based in Social Sciences with an emphasis in Career Services. It is d esigned to provide students with information about professional and career opportunities for arts and humanities majors, this effort is led by humanities faculty members, working with Career Services staff and the director of Purposeful Life Work and Ethical Leadership also supports the initiative. 
  • Composing in Digital Platforms - This program is led by faculty members in English who partner with the Office of Marketing and Communications and the Office of Admissions, this project trains students in using place-based, multi-modal composition experiences to build stronger awareness of our programming in the humanities at Elizabethtown College. 
  • Iceland’s Magical Landscapes - This is a sequence of courses and overseas learning experiences that explores interdisciplinary and historical relations. It is led by faculty members in anthropology and professional writing. It includes literatures of travel/exploration and ethnography.
  • Cool and Creative: Theatre and Writing Camp - The Department of Theatre and Dance, Bowers Writers House and the Department of English collaborate to create exciting summer programming in 2016 for regional high school students.