NEH banner

Funded Projects Query Form
One match

Grant number: PY-253089-17

Query elapsed time: 0.031 sec

Save this query
Export results to Excel

PY-253089-17

University of Georgia (Athens, GA 30602-0001)
Nicholas Allen (Project Director: 05/12/2016 to present)

Remus, Celie, and Me: Preserving and Presenting the History and Life behind the Literature of Putnam County

A day of local history programming centering on Putnam County, Georgia, and its literary figures, Joel Chandler Harris and Alice Walker, with community stories and heritage documenting a shared history. With the goal of engaging the local community to expand understanding of the region’s history during the tumultuous end of segregation and the struggle for Civil Rights, the project would build on institutional relationships between the University’s Wilson Center for the Humanities and Arts, the Georgia Virtual History project, the Putnam County Charter School System, and the Georgia Writers Museum. In an earlier pilot, the applicant has worked to identify characters and places in Harris’ Uncle Remus tales and to connect them with documentary information found in the Putnam County archives, including Works Project Administration interviews of former slaves. The applicant has also been using Walker’s work in the local schools to study segregation and civil rights and has conducted 75 oral histories with community members. The proposed project would use the works of Harris and Walker to widen the “lenses through which the past can more fully and meaningfully come alive.” Documents and photographs provided by community members would be digitized and oral histories recorded. Also planned are public readings of works by Harris and Walker, talks by local history scholars, and a preview of a play on the history of the region that is currently in production. Finally, the collected materials would be exhibited at the Georgia Writers Museum and made available through the Georgia Virtual History website.

Putnam County is where both Joel Chandler Harris and Alice Walker were born to learn hard lessons about the world around them, a world they changed in literature. Our project is part of an embedded commitment to involve the larger community in telling its own stories, both as context for, and document of, this crucial American literary landscape. The grant will allow us to plan, promote, stage and share a day of local history programming in spring 2017, with an exhibition and website.  The local history day event will include stations for scanning documents and photographs, recording oral histories, listening to local music and public readings from selected pieces specifically relating to Putnam County by Joel Chandler Harris and Alice Walker, as well as talks by local history scholars, and a preview of one short segment of a local history play being produced in conjunction with this larger project.

Project fields:
History, General

Program:
Common Heritage

Division:
Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$12,000 (approved)
$12,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 6/30/2018