Professor of history awarded prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend

BOONE - Dr. Jason White, assistant professor in the Department of History was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend in the amount of $6000 for his book project "Between Two Worlds: The Levant Company Between the English State and the Muslim World, 1581-1688."

"Dr. White's reception of a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend is a distinct honor," says Dr. James Goff, chair of the Department of History. "Less than 10 percent of applicants seeking such awards are successful each year. Dr. White is a promising young scholar who has already published a monograph on the early modern British Empire. This grant award will move him even closer to a second major book in this field."

The grant is extremely competitive. Beginning in the summer universities request grant nominations from professors across the humanities. Those universities go on to nominate two people from their pool of applicants to the NEH, in order to compete nationally for funding. Winners are announced annually in March. Dr. White went on to the national competition in 2014, but was not funded at that time.

"I'll be using this funding to work on the Levant Company project this summer," says Dr. White, "Our library subscribes to a database called 'State Papers Online,' which has thousands of pages of documents related to the Company's history - so I'll spend the summer going through things like letters, meeting minutes, and treasury accounts."

His research covers the Levant Company, a chartered trade outfit operating during the period of Queen Elizabeth I's reign, from 1581 until the period of the Glorious Revolution in 1688. The main focus of the book will look at how the Company interacted with and shaped the formation of the English state, specifically addressing how the merchants, ambassadors, etc. navigated the complexities of the Ottoman Empire and near east Muslim world in this period.

Dr. White has been working on the project since 2014. He has received both a College of Arts and Sciences Humanities Scholar Fellowship and a University Research Council grant from Appalachian, which he used to travel to London to conduct further research. The following summer Dr. White was awarded a grant from Yale University to travel to the Lewis Walpole Library in Farmington, Connecticut where he spent two weeks reading the letters of a prominent Levant Company family.

The NEH grant will allow Dr. White to continue to work on his current book project. His plans now are to apply for a Graduate Research Associate Mentoring Program (GRAM) grant to have a graduate student work with him over the next two years.

Dr. White's general field of research is political and social history in the early Stuart period in Britain (ca. 1603-1649). He has published a book in 2012 called Militant Protestantism and British Identity, 1603-1642. He received his Ph.D from Brown University in 2008, and has been an assistant professor at Appalachian since 2012.

Published: Apr 26, 2016 3:54pm