May 28, 2017  

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Gillespie Chosen to Participate in Prestigious National Summer Program Hosted by National Endowment for the Humanities

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Dr. Jeanne Gillespie

Dr. Jeanne Gillespie, a professor of Spanish and American Indian Studies at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been selected as an NEH Summer Scholar from a national applicant pool to attend one of 24 seminars and institutes supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

The Endowment is a federal agency that, each summer, supports these enrichment opportunities at colleges, universities and cultural institutions, so that faculty can work in collaboration and study with experts in humanities disciplines.

Gillespie will participate in an institute entitled “Beyond East and West: the Early Modern World, 1400-1800.” The three-week program will be held at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., and it is directed by Dr. Kaya Şahin from Indiana University and Dr. Julia Schleck from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. According to the seminar description, participants will possess distinct interests and offer their own insights.

“It is an honor to be selected as one of the 24 participants for this national program,” Gillespie said. “This institute offers a chance to connect with institute scholars and participants from around the world for an in-depth exploration of the connectedness of our research and how a broader, more global perspective can uncover new ways to approach materials produced as cultures came into contact with one another.

“I will also have access to Indiana University's special collections in the Lilly Library. Two major collections, the Boxer Papers, and the Mendel Collection, contain research materials I will be studying in more detail.”

In addition to teaching, Gillespie is co-director of the Center for American Indian Research at Southern Miss. She is currently investigating the documentation of plant materials and healing practices in indigenous Mexican narratives, especially poetic and dramatic texts. She also studies the oral narrative of the Isleños, descendants of Spanish-speaking settlers who arrived along the Gulf Coast in the late 18th century. 

Gillespie has served as guest editor of the Southern Quarterly’s Summer 2014 issue and Fall 2015 issue. Her most recent publications include: “In the Shadow of Coatilcue’s Smile or Reconstructing Female Indigenous Subjectivity in the Spanish Colonial Record in Women's Negotiations and Textual Agency in Latin America, 1500-1799, edited by Monica Diaz and Rocio Quispe-Agnioli in 2017, and “Where Have All the (Chocolate and Popcorn) Flowers Gone? Recovering Healing Botanicals in Nahuatl Poetry” in The Body, Subject & Subjected, edited by Debra Andrist in 2016.

Nearly 94,000 American students will benefit from what their professors have learned through the seminars and institutes offered by the NEH Summer Scholars program.