Craig Williams is one of six University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faculty members have been awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships for 2018. It is the third year in the last four that the Urbana campus has garnered more fellowship awards than any other single institution.
Williams: “Orpheus Crosses the Atlantic: Native American Knowledge of Ancient Greece and Rome.” Williams’ book will tell the hitherto untold story of the ways in which Native American writers have displayed and deployed their knowledge of the languages, literatures and cultures of ancient Greece and Rome as they write about themselves and their people, making use of European antiquity to a variety of effects and transforming it in the process. Bringing together for the first time a wide range of letters, essays, novels and poems – from a 1663 letter in Latin written by Harvard student Caleb Cheeshahteaumauk to Louise Erdrich’s 2012 novel “The Round House” – Williams’ book will expand our knowledge both of the long-term history of the reception and cultural significance of European classical antiquity and of the rich complexities of Native American writing.
The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent federal agency, and one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States.