Haggis, Kotch receive NEH awards for archaeological, Civil Rights journalism projects


Donald Haggis received an NEH grant for excavations at Azoria on the island of Crete. (photo courtesy of Donald Haggis)

Donald Haggis and Seth Kotch in the College of Arts and Sciences have received National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awards for research that explores an archaeological project on the island of Crete and Civil Rights-era journalism.

Haggis received $250,000 for “The Azoria Project Excavations: A Study of Urbanization on Crete, 700-500 B.C.” The project will involve ongoing archaeological excavation and analysis at Azoria, an early Archaic Greek city, located on the island of Crete.

Excavations at Azoria are scheduled to reopen in 2013 for a second five-year campaign, co-sponsored by UNC-Chapel Hill and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. The Azoria Project examines urbanization and the changing sociopolitical and economic organization of an emergent urban community in the transition from the Early Iron Age (1200-700 B.C.) to Archaic periods (700-600 B.C.). Starting in 2013, the project will also implement an archaeological field school, designed to introduce students to the diverse aspects of excavation and interpretation through hands-on experience in field work.

In addition to the NEH grant, Haggis received a $24,000 research grant from the National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration for the Azoria Project.

Kotch received $129,072 from the NEH for “Eyewitnesses to the Movement: Black, White and Multiracial Media in Civil Rights-Era North Carolina.”

“Eyewitnesses to the Movement” will study the media environment in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s by conducting oral history and archival research on a variety of radio stations, television stations and newspapers in 1970s North Carolina. The project includes extensive background research on the television station WTVD, the radio stations WVSP and WAFR, the newspapers The Carolina Times and The Carolinian, and more. Researchers will conduct approximately 50 digital oral history interviews that will be published online with robust interpretive content.

“Eyewitness to the Movement” will provide both scholars and students with accessible, provocative and illuminating historical analysis on an overlooked dimension of the Civil Rights Movement and its long-term impact on Southern life.

Haggis is an archaeologist and the Nicholas A. Cassas Term Professor of Greek Studies in the department of classics and a professor in the curriculum in archaeology.

Kotch is a historian and the coordinator of Oral History Digital Initiatives at the Southern Oral History Program in the Center for the Study of the American South. He received his master’s and doctorate degrees in American history from UNC. The project co-director is Joshua Davis, who also received master’s and doctorate degrees in American history from UNC and is a lecturing fellow in the Thompson Writing Program at Duke University.