Dr. Jennifer Adair Receives Prestigious NEH Grant
Dr. Jennifer Adair, assistant professor of history, was recently awarded a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Stipend Grant. The funds will go towards research for her book, which will offer a critical reinterpretation of Latin America’s so-called “lost decade.” The book is tentatively titled, In Search of the Lost Decade: The Everyday Politics of Human Rights in Post-Dictatorship Argentina.
Dr. Lynn Babington, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said, “Being awarded an NEH grant is a very high honor as the process is highly competitive — where every year only 6-10% of applicants are successful. These grants support excellence in research and teaching in the humanities. We are very proud of Dr. Adair.”
The funds from the grant will send Dr. Adair to Buenos Aires and its surrounding areas in Argentina this summer for archival research focused on food riots that took place in that area in 1989.
Dr. Adair said, “In our own era of global political transitions, Latin America can offer us valuable lessons. I am hopeful that my project will underscore for broad audiences the contingent and unruly makings of post-dictatorship Argentina, and in so doing, enrich our notions of Latin America’s place in the fraught, overlapping histories of contemporary human rights, democracy and economic upheaval.”
The book will be the first in-depth history of Argentina’s transition to democracy following years of brutal military rule and fiscal crisis and will draw on unpublished sources and oral histories that illuminate the less commonly known actors and events that established the meanings of a just, democratic society.
Dr. Adair described this project as a cultural and socially grounded political history that looks specifically at the challenges citizens and state actors faced in constructing a democracy after a brutal period of state terror, human rights abuses and economic crisis.
Argentina was the first nation in Latin America to transition back to democracy in the 1980s and Dr. Adair said, “For a long time now, most scholars of Argentina’s and Latin America’s democratic transitions have defined democracy through political parties, electoral politics and even institutions. But my book takes a different approach. I place ordinary citizen's groups and grassroots community networks at the center of contests to define notions of the state, human rights and democratic citizenship over the course of the decade.”
Dr. Adair said, "The award comes at a critical moment of my research and will enable me to complete the remaining research for my current book project. I am thrilled to have been selected as an NEH Summer Stipend recipient.”