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Longwood research project receives $100K grant

Dr. Eric Hodges has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for his research project focusing on the combat and homecoming experiences of Black military veterans in the United States.

Eric Hodges

Hodges’ research project, titled “Civil War, Civil Rights, and Civic Duty: The African American Experience of War,” will utilize various humanities sources such as historical documents, works of literature and public history to facilitate a discussion on four themes: patriotism, race in war, homecoming and the role of Black women in combat.

The grant was one of 11 projects funded through the NEH’s Dialogues on the Experience of War program and among the 225 humanities projects funded across the country totaling $24 million. Hodges is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran.

“I hope that sharing the experiences of local Black combat veterans will provide a more complete understanding of our local history and that it will help the veterans contextualize their own experiences,” Hodges, assistant professor of political philosophy and U.S. government and coordinator of Longwood’s homeland security program, said. “I am extremely grateful to the National Endowment for the Humanities for the opportunity to study these issues, and I am very excited to get to know and work with the local community of Black veterans.”

Given Prince Edward County’s history and proximity to Civil War battles and the struggle for civil rights, including the recent Black Lives Matter movement, Hodges believes this is the perfect place to study the experiences of Black combat veterans.

“We look forward to the contributions these projects will make to our understanding of ourselves and our society through exemplary humanities research, publications, documentary films, exhibitions and undergraduate programs,” NEH Acting Chairman Adam Wolfson said.