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08/16/95

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Three Stanford professors win NEH grants

Three Stanford scholars have been awarded grants by the National Endowment for the Humanities for summer curriculum-development projects and publications.

The winners, announced Aug. 15, are J. Martin Evans, professor of English; Marsh McCall, professor of classics and dean of continuing studies; and Norris Pope, director of the Stanford University Press, on behalf of Don E. Fehrenbacher, Coe Professor of History and American Studies Emeritus, and his wife, Virginia Fehrenbacher.

The three Stanford grants were among 68 awarded to programs for higher education. The total number of new NEH humanities grants was 203, valued at $17.9 million.

Evans was awarded $94,533. for a curriculum- development project titled "Classical and Christian Traditions in Milton's Poetry." McCall's "Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides: Performance and Interpretation of Greek Tragedy" development project netted $89,346. Norris Pope, representing Stanford University Press, was the recipient of a $7,000 grant for a publication titled Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln, edited by the Fehrenbachers.

Evans and McCall will select 15 secondary teachers to attend seminars at Stanford next summer in which they will study the works of Milton and the three Greek playwrights and plan strategies for teaching those works on the secondary level. The grant money is used to pay travel and living expenses for the teachers and to cover the costs of secretarial assistance. Both professors also receive a stipend.

"We usually attract 20 to 30 applicants and the 15 teachers who are selected meet in seminar settings for six weeks," said Evans. "Our focus is on Milton's poetry, and we also read the "Nativity Ode, Lycidas," a very beautiful elegy he wrote for a friend at Cambridge who drowned, "Paradise Lost" and "Paradise Regained", reading the news over the past six month, that Newt and his boys would succeed in eliminating and destroying not only the National Endowment for the Arts but also the National Endowment for the Humanities," McCall said.

"The kind of thing that inflames me the most is when people like [former chairs of NEH] Lynne Cheney and William Bennett turn against their own organization and come out with language that is so off the wall, so false - saying the endowments for the humanities support elite, politically correct programs that don't do the public any good at all," he added.

"That's all so false when you look at these programs of summer seminars for school teachers and think about who is being served here. It's teachers of middle class America, and in some cases urban ghetto America, and these seminars have to do in the most traditional, most conservative terms with the great classic monuments of Western culture."

The book the Fehrenbachers have edited, "Recollected Works of Abraham Lincoln," is scheduled to be published by Stanford University Press next summer. A collection of remarks attributed to Lincoln by his contemporaries, the new work has been praised in academic peer reviews as "the most important archival contribution to the Lincoln field since the publication of the "Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln" some 40 years ago."

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