The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced it has awarded Ball State University’s Applied Anthropology Laboratories (AAL) a $200,000 grant to fund the implementation of a traveling panel exhibit about the Battle of St. Clair’s defeat, which occurred Nov. 4, 1791.
AAL will work with descendant tribal communities and the Ohio History Connection in Columbus, Ohio, on the traveling exhibit. It will be called St. Clair’s Defeat Revisited: A New View of the Conflict. The exhibit examines the victory of a coalition of American Indian tribes over the U.S. Army—and the consequences of the Northwest Indian War that reverberate into the present. In addition to museum exhibits, the project will include associated public presentations by humanities scholars and citizens of American Indian tribes who are project partners with AAL.
“This is such an important project that builds on a decade of research involving numerous Ball State, tribal, Ohio History Connection, and community collaborators,” said Christine Thompson, Archaeologist and Assistant Director of Ball State’s Applied Anthropology Laboratories. “It is so exciting that we have funding for this next step.”
Ms. Thompson is the project’s director. She and Dr. Kevin Nolan, Director and Senior Archaeologist at Ball State’s Applied Anthropology Laboratories, along with Ben Garcia of the Ohio History Connection, serve as the project’s co-principal investigators.
“This project embodies Ball State’s and AAL’s commitment to genuine Community Engaged Scholarship (CES) that is mutually beneficial. This project is also important in that we get to bring this co-created narrative about key moments in U.S. history—but from a marginalized, often ignored perspective—to a wider audience,” Dr. Nolan said. “Engaging audiences in comprehending, and acknowledging the fullness of the impact of these events on participants on both sides of the conflict, can build bridges of understanding.”
The exhibit will be displayed first at the Ohio History Connection, and later at Northeastern Oklahoma (NEO) A&M College in Miami, Oklahoma.
The traveling exhibit is among 239 humanities projects nationwide selected for grant awards from NEH.