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Ritchey, Miller Receive NEH Awards

Two professors in the College of Arts and Sciences—Sara Ritchey and Anne-Hélène Miller—were awarded yearlong fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support their research into medieval history and literature.

Sara Ritchey
Sara Ritchey

Ritchey, associate professor of history, and Miller, assistant professor of French, both received grants of $60,000, the only two NEH fellowships given to researchers at Tennessee universities.

Both professors have appointments with the Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, UT’s internationally acclaimed center for the study of history and culture from approximately 300 to 1700 AD.

Ritchey received the award for her research into religious women’s medical knowledge and health care practices in 13th-century Europe. The grant enables her to spend all of 2019 completing her book Salvation is Medicine: Gender and the Caregiving Communities of Late Medieval Europe.

“This will provide me with time to reflect deeply on my sources and arguments, and to engage with interdisciplinary scholarship in the medical humanities, performance studies, and gender studies,” said Ritchey. “But on a more personal level, it means that someone out there believes in this project and in my ability to carry it out, and I am incredibly grateful for their support and for this opportunity.”

Anne-Hélène Miller
Anne-Hélène Miller

Miller will use her grant to continue her research into the development of 14th-century French literary culture. She plans to publish a book, The Formation of a Francophone Identity in Fourteenth-Century Literature, which will challenge the standard narrative about the origin and evolution of French language.

“This is probably the highest recognition you can receive in the humanities for your scholarship,” Miller said. “I am honored to receive it and delighted to be able to pursue further my research.”

The NEH makes awards based on evaluation criteria that include the project’s value to humanities scholars and the public, its quality, and the likelihood that it will be completed. Grants totaling $14.8 million were awarded to 253 projects across 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

Since the start of the program in 1967, UT faculty have been awarded 32 NEH fellowships, 18 of those since 2005 when the Office of Research and Engagement created a position to assist faculty in the pursuit of humanities awards. The 18 NEH fellowships rank UT ninth in the nation in the number of these prestigious awards received since ORE started this initiative.