Ryan McDermott receives $300K from National Endowment for the Humanities

Ryan McDermott in a white shirt

Associate Professor of English Ryan McDermott and colleagues received a $300,000 National Endowment for the Humanities award to support the Genealogies of Modernity Project (GenMod).

The project’s podcast, website and colloquia seek to motivate and organize a critical, cross-disciplinary inquiry into influential narratives of the origins of modernity in the humanities with a special focus on theological genealogies. 

GenMod is based at the University of Pennsylvania’s Collegium Institute for Catholic Thought & Culture and Pittsburgh’s Beatrice Institute. McDermott is founder and faculty director of Beatrice Institute.

The GenMod project recognizes that the stories we tell ourselves about the passage to modernity are many and often conflicting, even within one discipline. Attention to the complexity of the intertwined genealogies of the present opens the possibility to forge new relationships to the past and discover resources for life-giving responses in the present. 

The journal and podcast offer a place for graduate students, early career and established scholars to parse these narratives and to make legible the intellectual and cultural kinships that often unconsciously subtend these narratives.