A&A Faculty Receive Humanities Council Magic Grants for Innovation

May 16, 2024

The Magic Project provides innovation grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to Princeton faculty members, thanks to the generosity of Lynn Shostack, in memory of her husband, David A. Gardner ’69. Magic grants support ideas that break new ground intellectually and pedagogically and have the potential to change how the humanities are conceived and taught. The committee is attentive to interdisciplinary initiatives as well as to intellectual “nooks and crannies” that might not be well known to students and colleagues but are essential to the richness of the Princeton experience.

The Modern Breakthrough in Scandinavia: Philosophy, Science, Art

Bridget Alsdorf (Art & Archaeology) and Hans Halvorson (Philosophy)

Scandinavia, from 1870 to 1920, saw breakthroughs in drama, visual art, and philosophy, as well as in natural science, medicine, and political organization. This grant will support the creation of a new scholarly network at Princeton and in Scandinavia, including four cross-disciplinary faculty and student workshops, and a week-long break trip to Copenhagen in Spring 2026 as part of a new team-taught undergraduate humanistic studies course.

Relaunching HUM 417 focused on Greek Architecture

Samuel Holzman (Art & Archaeology) and Branko Glǐsić (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

First offered in 2022, this course focused on Roman architecture and centered on a break trip to Rome. In 2024, this redesigned team-taught course will have a new focus on ancient Greek architecture, with projects centered on a trip to Athens. Students will visit architectural sites and meet specialists working at the intersection of cultural heritage and structural engineering.

Contemporary Art: The World Picture

Irene Small (Art & Archaeology)

A new iteration of ART 456 “Contemporary Art: The World Picture” in Fall 2024 will investigate the “global turn” in contemporary art signaled by the 1989 exhibition “Magicien de la Terre.” Examining international mega-exhibitions of contemporary art as forms of worldmaking, the course asks how art addresses urgent questions of political and cultural conflict. This grant will support a break trip to the 60th Venice Biennale.