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NEH awards Loyola history faculty member $210,000 grant

| By Ashleigh Aldridge
Sara Scalenghe

The National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) has awarded Sara Scalenghe, Ph.D., associate professor of history, a grant for $210,912. The grant will fund her proposal titled “Global Histories of Disability,” including a four-week NEH Summer Institute for 25 college and university teachers from across the country on the history of disability.

“It’s estimated that more than one billion people around the world live with a disability, or about 15 percent of the population, according to World Health Organization. Yet, people with disabilities are the least represented in academic scholarship,” Scalenghe said. “We have made great strides here in the U.S. in studying underrepresented groups in regards to race, gender, and class, but not disability.”

Participants will be introduced to disability history and various approaches to disability, including the medical and social models. The institute will be held at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., the only university in the world dedicated to the Deaf and hard of hearing that is officially bilingual, with American Sign Language (ASL) and English as the languages of instruction.

The Institute will consist of three core units organized geographically: The United States, Europe, and the “non-Western world,” specifically the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and East Asia. The units will be preceded by three days of introductions to the Institute, to Gallaudet University, to Deaf culture and ASL, and to disability history, and will be followed by one and a half days of participants’ project presentations.

Scalenghe, whose research focus is disability in history, is the author of Disability in the Ottoman Arab World, 1500-1800 (Cambridge University Press). The book won the 2016 Disability History Association Outstanding Book Award. She is currently writing a book on disability in the Arab world in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

“I am extremely excited about this NEH institute, and I think it will be of much interest not only to historians, but to scholars from other disciplines,” Scalenghe said.

The institute will take place from June 18 to July 13, 2018. 

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