Feds Spend $50,400 Studying Americans’ ‘Poor Posture’

New grants include $50,400 study of '18th century sexuality'

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/ AFP / MENAHEM KAHANA / TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY DELPHINE MATTHIEUSSENT (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

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The National Endowment for the Humanities is spending over $50,000 on Slouch, a book about Americans' "poor posture."

Recently awarded grants from the Trump administration also include $50,400 to study "18th century sexuality," $50,400 to study bells in Bulgaria, and $50,400 for a study on propaganda given to a philosopher who thinks liberals can be brainwashed by watching Fox News.

An associate professor from the University of Pennsylvania received $50,400 for Slouch: The Hidden History of America's Poor Posture Epidemic, according to the grant list. The funding will support "research and writing of a book on the rise and fall of the American poor posture epidemic in the 20th century and its impact on science, medicine, government, and industry."

The NEH awarded $12.8 million for 253 projects last month.

"NEH grants will supplement private and public funding to underwrite a virtual exhibition of more than 90 pieces of New Deal art from the town of Gallup, New Mexico, the conservation of fragile books from the personal library of author C. S. Lewis, archival research for a book on the Nazi plunder of musical instruments and manuscripts during World War II, and hundreds of other vital projects," the agency said in a press release announcing the awards.

Other projects include $42,000 to a researcher at California State University, Channel Islands who specializes in the "intersections of race, agricultural and labor histories."

The project, "Race, Labor, and the Industrialization of California Wine," will produce a book-length study on the "history of winemaking in California from 1769 to 1920 with emphasis on labor relations during the Spanish colonial, Mexican national, and U.S. eras."

Julia Ornelas-Higdon, an assistant history professor, received the funding for her research that approaches California's 19th century wine industry as a "site of conquest, imperialism, and racialization."

Another grant, "Bells in the Music and Culture of Bulgaria," provides a $50,400 fellowship to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign for an "anthropological study of bells in Bulgarian culture."

The Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia received $100,000 to make a "video game about…Alchemy."

The "immersive game" will be set in 17th century London and based on the medieval philosophy to explore the "intersection of science, culture, and history."

"So, uh, why alchemy?" the Chemical Heritage Foundation said when announcing the grant. "The predecessor to chemistry actually has ample ties to the video game world, particularly in role-playing titles like Final Fantasy and World of Warcraft."

The agency is also spending $12,000 on a project about Chicago house music and $75,000 for an "augmented reality experience" of the Kent State University shootings.

The University of Maryland received $50,400 for a "book-length study of 18th-century sexuality, as it was affected by global geographic mobility and transregional colonial encounters."

Other grants include an $11,229 panel discussion on "LGBTQ+ history" in North Carolina and another $11,963 for programs on the LGBT community in Philadelphia.

Texas Woman's University received $99,803 to "incorporate global perspectives" into its college humanities courses. The university currently has a "global perspectives" graduation requirement, in which students have to "demonstrate the knowledge, values, and skills needed to participate in decisions about the way we do things individually and collectively, both locally and globally, that will improve the quality of life now without damaging the planet for the future."

Courses that meet the requirement include several on sustainability as well as "Gender and Social Change: An Introduction to Multicultural Women's Studies."

In a statement to the Washington Free Beacon, the NEH praised other grants the agency recently awarded, including projects on C.S. Lewis, the Constitution, and others.

"In its latest funding cycle, NEH awarded 253 grants to support humanities projects across the nation, including a book on John Locke's influence on American political thought, digital educational materials on the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, a website on New Deal art in New Mexico, a scholarly study written by a U.S. Navy Reservist and combat veteran on how military troops are depicted in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature, and numerous conservation projects to protect the history of Jewish culture in the South, the personal library of author C. S. Lewis, and irreplaceable records of the nation's maritime history," the Office of Communications at NEH said.

Elizabeth Harrington   Email Elizabeth | Full Bio | RSS
Elizabeth Harrington is a senior writer for the Washington Free Beacon. Elizabeth graduated from Temple University in 2010. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, she worked as a staff writer for CNSNews.com. Her email address is elizabeth@freebeacon.com. Her Twitter handle is @LizWFB.

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