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ISU art history professor receives NEH grant to attend summer institute

April 07, 2014


(image) AMES, Iowa — Emily Godbey, associate professor of art history in the Department of Integrated Studio Arts at Iowa State University, has received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to attend an NEH Institute for College and University Teachers this coming summer.

As a 2014 NEH Summer Scholar, Godbey will participate in "View from the East: The Federal Government and the American West," July 7 through Aug. 6 at George Mason University in Washington, D.C.

Godbey is one of 25 college faculty members, graduate students and scholars of western U.S. history who will take part in the summer institute to study aspects of the federal government’s influence in this history.

During the five-week program, Godbey will engage in scholarly discussions with colleagues from around the U.S., learn more about digital mapping technologies, and do research at the National Archives, the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution, she said.

This experience will help inform two research projects Godbey intends to develop into scholarly articles.

"The first one considers the role of the federal postal service at Omaha's Trans-Mississippi and International Exhibition in 1898, an event which showcased ideas about 'developing' the American West for white industry," Godbey said.

"The second project also involves the importance of the federal mail service in making a market for Currier and Ives' prints of America for Americans."

Being in D.C. will provide Godbey access to resources and collections of historical artifacts critical to her inquiry, as "my research always depends upon seeing ephemera  that tend not to be represented in online repositories," she said.

Such ephemera include a series of nine special stamps the U.S Postal Service issued to commemorate the 1898 Omaha exhibition, showing Native Americans, land claims, westward migration, farming, gold mining and ranching. In addition, the Library of Congress holds one of the largest collections of Currier and Ives prints in the world, and the Smithsonian Archives of American Art contain research material concerning Currier and Ives.

Emily Godbey, Integrated Studio Arts, (515) 294-8422,
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289,