Vanderbilt’s Miller, Petrain awarded NEH grants

Research by Vanderbilt University professors on Chinese architecture and the Trojan War are among grants announced by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The NEH revealed $15.7 million in grants to 248 applicants on Thursday. Tracy Miller, assistant professor of the history of art, and David Petrain, assistant professor of classics, were on the list.

"Just 8 percent of those who apply for this fellowship get funded, so the fact that two winners come from Vanderbilt is remarkable," said Carolyn Dever, dean of the College of Arts and Science at Vanderbilt. "This is quite an honor for professors Miller and Petrain and also a tribute to Susan Kuyper, our grants resource officer who assists faculty with grant applications."

Miller will use Global Positioning System technology to map buildings in China so she can examine architectural styles in timber architecture there from 900 to 1200 A.D.

Petrain will study a group of carved stone plaques from ancient Rome that tell the story of the Trojan War using pictures and texts, "a bit like a comic strip," Petrain said.

By offering diverse and competitive grant opportunities to scholars and museum curators as well as to libraries and cultural organizations, the NEH strives to promote excellence and lifelong learning in the humanities.

"By funding the nation’s highest-quality humanities projects, the endowment offers the opportunity for our citizens to discuss the important role philosophy, art, literature and history can play in our lives," said Bruce Cole, chairman of the NEH.

Media contact: Jim Patterson, (615) 322-NEWS

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