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Release: Dec. 19, 2002

College Of Liberal Arts And Sciences Professors Win NEH Fellowships

Two faculty members in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences have won research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Each fellowship carries a $40,000 award to support a year of research. The fellowships were part of $14.5 million in grants to support the research of more than 160 scholars and provide funds for humanities programs at colleges, research centers, museums, and other nonprofit institutions. More than $6-million went to research fellowships.

Constance Berman, professor of history, will work on a book project, "Women's Work and European Economic Expansion, 1050-1250 AD," which examines the impact of women on the economic expansion in western Europe during the Central Middle Ages. During that period, population grew, city life revived, and specialized classes of artisans, builders, clerics, and scholars created the texts and edifices of a "Twelfth-Century Renaissance." But economic historians' explanations for this sudden upturn in the economy have been incomplete, primarily because they have taken little account of how women's work contributed to that growth. Berman's project will consider how women's work changed in villages of the countryside, in castles, cities, and convents, and how women's work contributed to the economy outside the household and to European economic growth.

John F. Garcia, assistant professor of classics, received funding for "Song and Rite in Early Greece," which attempts to restore the religious facets of the public, oral performance of Homeric epic (Iliad and Odyssey.) Though numerous works have dealt with the depiction of religious practice in the Iliad and Odyssey, and with archaeological evidence for the cult of gods and heroes during the period when Homeric epic is thought to have originated, Garcia said there has been no study of the epic as religious act joining heroic song with invocatory hymn.