Dr. Clement A Price Endowed Chair In Public History and Humanities


The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Rutgers University - Newark a $2 million challenge grant to create the Clement A. Price Endowed Chair in Public History and Humanities. Rutgers University - Newark, working in conjunction with the Rutgers University Foundation, is committed to raising an additional $1 million to fulfill this challenge.

The Price Chair will serve as the Director of The Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, a centerpiece of civic and scholarly dialogue and study on race, ethnicity, and the history of legacy cities, and a guiding force in development of public history as a discipline nationally. As leader of the Institute, the Price Chair, a senior scholar in American Studies or a related field, will increase its impact by playing multifaceted roles as researcher, mentor, catalyst, and collaborator.

The Price Chair will convene cohorts of scholars who will use the public humanities creatively and interactively to build and sustain democratic capacity in Newark and create a replicable model for other cities and communities. S/he will recruit and mentor doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows, and junior faculty to sustain and strengthen the next generation of public humanists. The Price Chair's efforts will facilitate the creation of a core of younger scholars committed to public intellectual work in political and cultural studies and racial and ethnic relations, which is pivotal to the Institute's efforts to engage ever-larger publics and to produce groundbreaking public scholarship. A keystone of the Chair's work will be building and presiding over the Faculty Scholarly Colloquium to foster new research on ethnicity, race, and cultural memory and civic dialogues. Through these collaborations, the Price Chair will spur new multidisciplinary scholarship, leveraging exceptional resources available at Rutgers University - Newark and in Newark.

Rutgers University - Newark and the City of Newark had no greater friend or champion than Clement A. Price, who had a signature ability to transcend racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and generational boundaries, forge partnerships, and bring people and projects together that would not otherwise have forged any connection. This work is more sorely needed now than ever before, as the diversification of our community, our nation, and our world accelerate and our metropolitan regions grow and densify. Endowing the Clement A. Price Chair at the Price Institute will honor Dr. Price's legacy in the most fitting way: by ensuring that the Institute will grow as it must to meet the expanding need for intercultural understanding, increasing the scope of its impact with a broader range of community partners and citizens of the city, region, nation, and world.

Building upon this strong foundation is critical, precisely when the public is calling upon the academy to redouble our efforts to use history and the humanities more broadly as a platform to bring communities together and catalyze renewal in cities like Newark all across the nation. With an 18-year track record that has drawn national attention as a model for publicly engaged scholarship, the Price Institute creates partnerships that successfully tie Rutgers University-Newark to the Newark conununity and shrink the collegiate-community divide.

Public history has a significant role to play in narrating the story of Newark, a city that represents all of the challenges endemic to metropolitan America, along with the diverse human capital, rich cultural history, and committed anchor institutions that must be mobilized to ensure its future vitality. Placing current events in a historical context is an indispensable asset to progress, a central strategy employed by the Institute in facilitating civic dialogues, such as the Marion Thompson Wright Lecture, which has become a pivotal annual civic ritual in the life of Greater Newark.

The influence of an endowed chair endures for generations and is especially critical to Rutgers University - Newark at this time to amplify the impact of The Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience. As a senior humanities scholar, the Price Chair will participate actively in the national dialogue on race and ethnicity and model the understanding that ideas are grounded in lived experience in communities. Building on the solid foundation established by Dr. Price in his life's work, the Clement A. Price Endowed Chair in Public History and Humanities will carry this agenda forward by galvanizing the next diverse generation of scholars in the public interest - doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty - skilled at engaging others in vibrant and productive civic dialogue in their own unique ways while creating new research on public history and engaging as active participants in the Institute's Faculty Scholarly Colloquium and civic dialogues.