2 August 2018, 17:28

It’s been a good-news-bad-news kinda day. I got word of two unsuccessful grant proposals, but I also got amazing comments on them: positive, supportive, enthusiastic, and helpful.

I’m putting this out there for two reasons: first, because I think it’s increasingly important for those of us who are free to talk about our moments of failure and disappointment to do so, to make clear that successful careers are built on a whole lot of rejection.

And second, because I am enormously grateful to the NEH and its fantastic staff and reviewers for their role in the work that we do. So much of the “no” they have to say is hard, driven by the limitations imposed by their too small, and too repeatedly threatened, budget.

I owe them my thanks — so many of us do — for the programs, for the generous feedback, and for their dedication in supporting the work of the humanities.

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