Dr. Susanah Shaw Romney, UALR History Professor, receives NEH fellowship

Susanah Shaw Romney, assistant professor of history at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, received a $50,400 fellowship award from the National Endowment for the Humanities to conduct research on the Dutch empire.

Dr. Susanah Shaw Romney, UALR
Dr. Susanah Shaw Romney, UALR professor and author, lands National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship.

Romney was awarded the maximum amount under the Fellowships for University Teachers category to pursue her project titled “Personal Interactions and Imperial Geographies in Early Modern Dutch Colonies.”

In addition to Romney, the NEH awarded 294 other projects, for a total of $21.8 million in grants. Only two projects from Arkansas received NEH funding.

“NEH provides support for projects across America that preserve our heritage, promote scholarly discoveries, and make the best of America’s humanities ideas available to all Americans,” said NEH Chairman William D. Adams.

Romney, who plans to write a book based on her research, will conduct a comparative study of the early modern Dutch empire in North and South America, southern Africa, and southeast Asia.

“This fellowship lets me do new research on people and places that I haven’t encountered before. It gives me a chance to read records about Munsee Indians in the Hudson Valley, Khoekhoe people of southern Africa, Dutch traders in Guyana, and South Asian slaves on Java,” said Romney.

“I’ll be able to bring that new perspective to students in my classes at UALR and to the scholarly community through the book that I will write,” she added.                                                  

Romney’s previous book on the Dutch empire, “New Netherland Connections: Intimate Networks and Atlantic Ties in Seventeenth-Century America” garnered several awards, including the 2014 Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Prize.

Susanah Shaw Romney is originally from California, and did her undergraduate work in history at UC Santa Cruz. She received her Ph.D. from Cornell University, where she worked with Prof. Mary Beth Norton on women in Colonial America. Her research focuses on gender, race, and the fur trade in the seventeenth-century Dutch colony that later became New York. Her book is the winner of the 2014 Berkshire Conference of Women Historians First Book Prize, 2013 Jamestown Prize (given every two years by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture), and the 2013 Hendricks Prize from the New Netherland Institute. She is now at work on a new project looking at gender, settlement, and land claims in the seventeenth-century Dutch empire in North America, Guyana, South Africa, and Java. Her research has taken her from the Huntington Library in California, to the Stadsarchief in Amsterdam, to the Western Cape Archives in South Africa. She offers classes at UALR on the colonial period, slavery, the frontier, pirates, gender, and other topics.

For more information about recently awarded NEH grants, go to www.neh.gov/news.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanitiessupports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov.