Amaka Okechukwu awarded National Endowment for Humanities 2022 Summer Stipend

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences is proud to announce that Assistant Professor Amaka Okechukwu, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, has been awarded a 2022 Summer Stipend grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH).

On April 13, NEH announced $33.17 million in awards for a total of 245 humanities projects nationwide. Of these projects, 103 were summer stipend awards.

This highly selective NEH Summer Stipend program offers a maximum award of $6,000 to support full-time work on humanities projects for a period of two consecutive summer months. They are awarded to individual scholars pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both.

Okechukwu, an interdisciplinary scholar also affiliated with the Center for Social Sciences Research and the Cultural Studies program, received an award of $6,000 for her book project, Saving Our City: Grassroots Resistance to the Urban Crisis in Brooklyn, New York (1970-1990). Her project focuses on Black neighborhoods in Central Brooklyn in the 1970s and 1980s, which is a place-based narrative that chronicles the complex range of practices that made up urban resistance and Black social life in the post-civil rights period. For the two months of the stipend period, she plans to finish two chapters of her book project.

Funding for summer stipend projects is based upon a rigorous, three-step process that involves knowledgeable reviewers inside and outside the NEH, input from the National Committee on the Humanities, and a final decision from NEH Chair Shelly Lowe.

“It is wonderful to see Amaka Okechukwu among those awarded for prestigious and competitive NEH Summer Stipends,” said Michele Schwietz, the college's associate dean for research. “The university can nominate only two faculty members each year, and Dr. Okechukwu’s selection is a testament to the strength of our faculty’s scholarship.”

Including Okechuku, in the past six years (since 2016), six Mason nominees, from the Departments of Religious Studies, English, Sociology and Anthropology, and History and Art History, as well as the Folklore program, have received NEH Summer Stipend awards.