Center for Arts and Humanities announces fellowship and catalyst award recipients

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The Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH) has selected nine faculty to receive the 2021 CAH Fellowships and Catalyst Award.

Representing five academic units and totaling more than $75,000 in direct support, the funded projects include first-ever recordings of Dutch compositions, research about gendered occupational segregation in the U.S. and Canada, a digital archive of personal narratives from the COVID‑19 pandemic, and an album of classical works by Indigenous composers.

For the past five years, the CAH fellowships and catalyst awards have provided funding to WSU faculty pursuing scholarly and creative projects that have a significant arts or humanities component. Any faculty member pursuing arts and humanities-related work, regardless of rank or home department, is eligible to apply.

The CAH fellowships support larger-scale research, exhibitions, or other major scholarship and creativity efforts that advance the applicant’s professional development. The CAH catalyst grants support faculty as individuals or in team in the development of extramural funding proposals that represent a new direction, significant advancement, or exceptional value to the applicant’s research and creative, work as well as to the arts and humanities at WSU.

Funding support for the program is provided by the Office of Research with guidance from the CAH Faculty Support Committee.

Faculty receiving the CAH Fellowship for 2021 are:

  • Avantica Bawa

    Department of Fine Arts

    Bawa will continue an ongoing series of installations reflecting the artist’s interest in responding to the built and natural environment through the language of drawing and construction.

  • Troy Bennefield

    School of Music

    Bennefield will explore and publish information on the life and works of Dutch composer Julius Hijman, whose career was interrupted by the Nazi regime. Bennefield will produce the first-ever recordings of Hijman’s compositions.

  • Dennis DeHart

    Department of Fine Arts

    DeHart will create a lens-based series of works focused on the Columbia River drainage basin and the Snake River. The exhibition will be in collaboration with the WSU Libraries’ Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections.

  • Martin King

    School of Music

    King will commission a new horn, tuba and piano trio, record an album of music for this ensemble, and give performing tours of this music to expand and diversify the repertoire and promote this ensemble.

  • Laurie Mercier

    Department of History

    Mercier will conduct research for a book project about gendered occupational segregation in the U.S. and Canadian Wests from 1930-2020.

  • Melissa Nicolas

    Department of English

    Nicolas will create an open-access digital archive of personal narratives about living through the COVID‑19 pandemic.

  • Jeff Sanders

    Department of History

    Sanders will develop a book proposal for a cultural and environmental history of strontium 90.

  • Jacqueline Wilson

    School of Music

    Wilson will create an album of classical works by Indigenous composers for solo bassoon utilizing a decolonized approach.

Faculty receiving the CAH Catalyst Award for 2021 are:

  • Ruth Gregory

    Digital Technology and Culture Program

    Gregory will pursue multiple grant proposals to the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Spencer Foundation, and provide paid internships for community engaged humanities students.

For more information on the Center for Arts and Humanities and its programs, see the center’s website at

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