January 24, 2023
The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded $292,627 to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln for work on The Charles Chenutt Digital Archive, a free electronic archive of the writings of African-American author Charles Chesnutt edited by Stephanie Browner (of The New School), Matt Cohen, and Kenneth M. Price. The grant, awarded by the NEH's Humanities Collections and Reference Resources program, will support two years of work at UNL's Center for Digital Research in the Humanities and at The New School in New York City to expand and update the archive.
Charles Chesnutt is a major figure in American literary studies and one of the most important African American writers working before the Harlem Renaissance. A profound thinker about race and justice in the United States, Chesnutt wrote six book-length works, more than eighty stories, and dozens of essays and speeches during his career. The Charles Chesnutt Digital Archive currently offers thirty six stories, seventeen essays, one novel, one biography, three poems, and five reviews, with the goal of becoming a comprehensive digital scholarly archive of Chesnutt materials.
Stephanie Browner is the dean of Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts and the founder of The Charles Chesnutt Archive. Previously, she served as the Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty at Berea College in Kentucky, where her accomplishments included securing more than $2,000,000 in grants for campus initiatives from academic innovation and faculty diversity to bike trails and farmlands. She has served on the Editorial Advisory Board of The Bedford Anthology of American Literature and currently serves on the Board of Networked Interface for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship (NINES).
Matt Cohen works in the fields of early American literature, digital archives, and the history of the book. Cohen is a contributing editor at The Walt Whitman Archive, where he has lead several projects, including a collaborative effort to track all of the reprints of Whitman’s poetry published during the poet's lifetime, a digital edition of Horace Traubel’s nine-volume biography of the poet, and the first book-length translation of Whitman's poetry into Spanish.
Kenneth M. Price is the Hillegass University Professor of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and co-director of the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Since 1995, Price has served as co-director of The Walt Whitman Archive an electronic research and teaching tool that sets out to make Whitman's vast work, for the first time, easily and conveniently accessible to scholars, students, and general readers.