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Awards & Grants

Prof Doug Howard Receives NEH Summer Research Grant

Says Prof Howard, "The research project is for a chapter of a book that I am writing called Amid the Ruins: A History of the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1924. The main theme of the book is what I would call the paradox of Ottoman history—an early modern empire of immense power and prosperity, yet with a pervasive cultural melancholia. The book uses insights gained from emotions history, environmental history, migrations history, and related recent research to get at the role of an Ottoman worldview in a history of the Ottoman Empire. My plan is that the book will have seven chapters. The project is a little more than half done. The NEH summer stipend will support the research and writing of chapter five." Read more.

The NEH summer stipends program supports individual research of value to scholars in the humanities, general audiences, or both. The support is for two consecutive months of full-time research.

Prof. Young Kim awarded Fulbright Fellowship

Professor Kim has been awarded a Fulbright research fellowship for the 2012-2013 academic year, and he will be living with his family in Nicosia, Cyprus. He will conduct research and write his monograph, Epiphanius of Cyprus: Imagining an Orthodox World. He will also visit a number of monasteries and churches on the island to photograph icons of Epiphanius, and he will take pictures of the archaeological site of ancient Salamis, including the basilica where Epiphanius preached in the fourth century. Read more.

Prof. Frans van Liere awarded IAS Fellowship

Frans van Liere has been appointed a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton for the academic year 2012-2013. The IAS is one of the world's leading centers for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry. It was founded in 1930 by philanthropists Louis Bamberger and his sister Caroline Bamberger Fuld. Past Faculty have included distinguished scientists and scholars such as Albert Einstein, Kurt Gödel, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Erwin Panofsky, Kenneth Setton, and George Kennan. Read more. Also in Calvin News.

Faculty receive CCCS grants

History Profs Robert Schoone-Jongen and Eric Washington have recently been awarded grants by Calvin Center for Christian Studies.

"Theodore F. Koch and Religious Colonization on the Great Plains, 1884-1930"

Says Prof Schoone-Jongen, "This CCCS grant will underwrite my long-standing study of Theodore F. Koch. He was a Dutch American entrepreneur who arrived in the United States in 1884. During the next forty years, he sold hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland in Minnesota and Texas to immigrants from Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands who hoped to build communities and congregations on the Great Plains. People bought Koch’s land because Protestant ministers and Catholic priests endorsed his projects and vouched for his reliability. So did the Dutch government, various state and local politicians in the United States, and an assortment of railroad companies, bankers, and land barons. Koch's colonization efforts captured the interplay between foreign investors, hopeful immigrants, their desire to preserve their ancient faith in new places, the most up to date science of the period, and the realities of American free enterprise economics. By looking closely his story, we can gain a fuller understanding of the complex influences that converged to produce America's agricultural 'heartland' culture between 1880 and 1920."

"Heralding Africa's Redemption: African-American Baptists and Ethiopianism, 1815-1930"

Says Prof Washington, "The CCCS grant will enable me to engage in further research on the topic of African American Baptists and their history of African missions emphasizing how they conceptualized their place in African redemption from 1815-1930. The conceptual focus is on the theology and philosophy called Ethiopianism, which is a theology developed by African American Protestants during the 19th century to explain both God's purpose in enslaving persons of African descent and their acceptance of the gospel. In dealing with the inherent tension such a conceptualization brought, African American Protestants believed that God's plan in enslaving them was to introduce them to the gospel and Western civilization, emancipate them, and have them return to Africa as missionaries and colonizers. Framing their mission within Ethiopianism and a strong evangelical fervor, from 1815 onward African American Baptists organized missionary societies and supported their own missionaries to Africa.

My research will extend and broaden my previous research to include more of this history during the 19th century from the 1815 founding of the Richmond African Missionary Society by African American Baptists to the founding of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention in 1897. The research will highlight how African American Baptists articulated Ethiopianism as both leaders of missionary organizations and as missionaries in Africa during this period, and how their perceptions of Africa and African redemption reflected both African American nationalism and Pan-Africanism as well as Western views of missions of civilization."

Umm el-Jimal Archeology Grants

Professor Bert de Vries has been awarded two prestigious grants for work at Umm el-Jimal, a well preserved town from the Roman, Byzantine, Early Islamic and modern eras. The first is a $25,000 House XVIII, Umm el-Jimalvirtual site preservation grant from the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA). The second is a $96,000 from the Ambassador Fund for Cultural Preservation, awarded by the US State Department for preservation of the ruins of house XVIII, and one of four awarded for the Middle East. Calvin students will be involved in this project both in the Archeology department and on-site in Jordan over Interim 2012. Read more.


Hannah Meeuwse presented thesis on Dutch heritage

Hannah Meeuwse, a senior history major, presented her thesis research as part of the Dutch Days Festival programming in Fulton, Illinois, on May 4 and 5. And her presentation made the local newspapers! Hannah was recommended to the festival committee by the Fulton Historical Society whom she worked with closely during her research. Read more.

Zach Abbott on township historical commission

History major Zach Abbott has been appointed to the Caledonia Township Historical Commission. This commission is responsible for preserving the township’s history and deciding whether or not a building or site is worth preserving for its historical value. The commission is also involved in organizing community events and creating reports and articles on various monuments, sites, and buildings in the township, which Zach will be doing.

Says Zach, “I was appointed because I took the time to apply, and because I was patient enough to wait for a position to open up. If you want to get involved in your township, look up your township’s website and find a link to the committee or commission members, or stop in at your township office. Since many people on the historical commissions tend to be older, they love to see college-age applications. They show that young people, too, take an interest in their communities.”

Student research on McGregor Fellowship

Stephen Clemenger, computer science major, worked this summer with  Prof. Bert de Vries on a three-dimensional virtual reconstruction of a Byzantine cathedral at Umm el-Jimal, Jordan. In this McGregor Fellowship project, Stephen is applying both engineering and computing in archaeology. Read more.

Reading Recommendations

Find great books for your reading list, recommended by History faculty and History honors students.