The National Endowment for the Humanities announced this year’s recipients of $21.1 million in federally-funded grants earlier this month.
A chunk of the agency’s taxpayer cash will go toward a study of the recent “history of French lesbian activism,” reports The Washington Free Beacon.
University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign history and women’s studies professor Tamara Chaplin will conduct the groundbreaking research into Gallic tomboy agitators. She’s calling it “Postwar French Media, and the Struggle for Gay Rights,” “a book-length study of the history of French lesbian activism since World War II.”
For the project, Chaplin will receive a summer stipend of $6,000.
Presumably, the $6,000 taxpayer-funded stipend will be in addition to Chaplin’s annual taxpayer-funded salary of $86,607.04.
The median annual per-capita income in the state of Illinois is $30,019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Chaplin specializes in several narrow areas: gender and sexuality, feminist theory, queer studies and so on. Examples of her previous scholarly activity include a journal article about lesbian Internet use and a contribution to a 2011 book entitled “Orgasm without Limits: May ’68 and the History of Sex Education in Modern France.”
Other new projects which the National Endowment for the Humanities is funding with tax dollars include a course at the University of California, Irvine exploring “the question of when war should end” ($19,783) and a six-week seminar at Boston College on “the meaning of work and leisure” ($20,000).
“NEH grants bring the humanities to life for Americans by helping preserve valuable cultural resources, advancing research, and supporting films and exhibitions that communicate the lessons of history and culture to new audiences,” agency chairman William D. Adams has explained, according to the Free Beacon. “We are pleased to announce our support for these 248 exceptional research, educational, preservation, and public programs in the humanities.”
The National Endowment for the Humanities was initiated in 1965, simultaneously with the National Endowment for the Arts.
The National Endowment for the Arts is most famous for providing New York City photographer Andres Serrano with a generous award of $15,000 for a photo called “Piss Christ.” The 1987 image features a plastic figurine of Jesus Christ hanging on a cross which is submerged in a yellow liquid. Serrano claims the liquid is his very own urine.
Serrano is still around. Last year, right around Easter, The New York Times magazine sent him to take photographs of shaggy, show-worthy Angora rabbits at the National Angora Show held inside a barn in Palmyra, N.Y. (RELATED: The ‘Piss Christ’ Guy Is Now Reduced To Taking Pictures Of Fluffy, Docile Rabbits)