Biden Admin Greenlights Millions For Odd Humanities Projects

( – Last week, the National Endowment for the Humanities announced a series of grants amounting to $41.3 million that include projects like robot existentialism and a study of folk theories on TikTok, the Daily Caller reported.

In a press release last Tuesday, the NEH said this is the final round of grants for FY2023 for “vital” projects. In total, the NEH awarded 280 grants which it described as a “wide range of exemplary, fascinating, and impactful humanities work.” According to the grant list, the projects included compiling a recorded oral history of the COVID pandemic and analyzing the carbon footprint of libraries.

Grants were also awarded for projects geared toward “marginalized communities,” like Latinos and Native Americans. The NIH awarded $150,000 to the Abuelas Project to compile stories about historic sites within the so-called “Latinx communities nationwide.” Indian Boarding Schools was awarded over $870,000 to offer two online seminars on the history of Indian boarding schools.

Researchers from Arizona State University received a grant to study whether TikTok algorithms make users racist, xenophobic, or culturally biased. Two University of Puget Sound professors studying robot existentialism were awarded $147,840 to author a book on artificial intelligence and “existential philosophy.”

A Maine college received over $120,000 to conduct a seminar for New England college faculty members to study the presence of race, gender, and place in New England gothic literature. A total of $657,759 in NEH grants were awarded to six states and Puerto Rico to create an oral history of the “cultural resiliency and experiences” during the COVID pandemic.

In the FY2023 budget, the Biden administration gave the National Endowment for the Humanities $152 million specifically to support projects like these. In total, the agency received $207 million in the FY2023 budget.

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