Prof. Linda Przybyszewski Receives Grant Award

Author: Lisa Gallagher

WASHINGTON (July 29, 2015) — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced $1.7 million in grants to enable the publication of 36 nonfiction books that will bring important humanities scholarship into book clubs and onto best-seller lists.

These are the first awards made under NEH’s new Public Scholar grant program, which was created in December 2014 as part of The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square, an agency-wide initiative that seeks to bring humanities into the public square and foster innovative ways to make scholarship relevant to contemporary life.

The Public Scholar Program builds upon NEH’s 50-year tradition of supporting the publication of nonfiction works that have profoundly influenced the way we understand history, politics, literature, and society. The Public Scholar awards support books that use deep research to open up important or appealing subjects for wider audiences by presenting significant humanities topics in a way that is accessible to general readers. 

“NEH Public Scholar books will make important and exciting discoveries in fields such as history, literature, linguistics, and archaeology accessible to readers everywhere, and serve as an example of how humanities scholarship can benefit the common good,” said NEH Chairman William Adams.

The grant program offers a stipend of $4,200 per month for a period of six to twelve months (with a maximum of $50,400 for a twelve-month period) to researchers, independent scholars, and individuals associated with scholarly institutions. For this first round of the competition, applicants were required to have previously published a book with a university or commercial press, or articles and essays that reached a wide readership.

Professor Linda Przybyszewski received $50,400 outright for her project, The Unexpected Origins of Modern Religious Liberty, a book chronicling the 1869 Cincinnati school board vote to end Bible reading in public schools, which sparked mass protest across the nation and a lawsuit that lasted over 4 years.

A full list of winners can be found at