19th 2011
From the mailbag: NEH Enduring Questions grants

Posted under: fluff

This came via e-mail yesterday:

The NEH Enduring Questions grant program supports the development of a new course that will foster intellectual community through the study of an enduring question. This course will encourage undergraduates and teachers to grapple with a fundamental question addressed by the humanities, and to join together in a deep and sustained program of reading in order to encounter influential thinkers over the centuries and into the present day.

Deadline(s):      09/15/2011

E-mail:           enduringquestions AT neh DOT gov

More information here on the web site, which also includes some samples of successful “enduring questions:”

  • What is good government?
  • What is the value of work?
  • What is friendship?
  • What is evil?
  • Are there universals in human nature?
  • What are the origins of the universe?

This got me thinking about other Enduring Questions that span the ages of humankind:

  • Why do I have to go to bed when it’s still light out?
  • How do I look?
  • Am I popular?
  • Does ze LIKE me like me, or does ze just like me?
  • When will ze call?
  • Why did I have that fourth glass of wine last night?
  • Why do 10% of the people I work with make 90% of the trouble?
  • Does that person ever shut up?
  • Is too much really never enough?
  • Will I have enough money ever to retire?
  • Is that a mole/lump I should get checked out?

Leave the Enduring Questions on your mind in the comments below.


50 Responses to “From the mailbag: NEH Enduring Questions grants”

  1. Bardiac on 19 Jul 2011 at 6:52 am #

    I’d add: is that really all there is?

  2. Susan on 19 Jul 2011 at 6:55 am #

    Why patriarchal equilibrium?

  3. Feminist Avatar on 19 Jul 2011 at 6:56 am #

    What’s for dinner?

  4. Roxie on 19 Jul 2011 at 7:06 am #

    Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?

  5. truffula on 19 Jul 2011 at 7:36 am #

    Which side are you on?

    Also, a series:
    Where have all the flowers gone?
    To be followed by youn girls, young men, soldiers, and graveyards.

  6. dr. crazy on 19 Jul 2011 at 7:40 am #

    Where did I put my keys again?

  7. Prof. Sweddy on 19 Jul 2011 at 7:56 am #

    Does this make my butt look big?

  8. Dr. Virago on 19 Jul 2011 at 8:12 am #

    Really? It’s morning already?

  9. Leslie on 19 Jul 2011 at 8:32 am #

    Did I really agree to that?

  10. squadratomagico on 19 Jul 2011 at 8:34 am #


  11. Notorious Ph.D. on 19 Jul 2011 at 8:36 am #

    Why didn’t anyone tell me this was a bad idea at the beginning?

  12. yellan on 19 Jul 2011 at 8:41 am #

    Who peed on the toilet seat?

  13. Kelly on 19 Jul 2011 at 8:43 am #

    What the hell happened here? (My personal favorite)
    Do we really have to read ALL that? (from my students every semester)
    Ditto on Leslie’s question.

  14. Historiann on 19 Jul 2011 at 8:45 am #

    You all crack me up. And yet no one has yet asked, “WTF?” I think I’ll add that illustration to the post above. . .

  15. Katherine on 19 Jul 2011 at 9:09 am #

    What part of “NO” don’t you understand?

  16. Spanish Prof on 19 Jul 2011 at 9:18 am #

    So what is the goal of this committee, exactly?

  17. recent Ph.D. on 19 Jul 2011 at 9:36 am #

    Are we there yet?

  18. Wini on 19 Jul 2011 at 10:24 am #

    Will I get the neh enduring Questions grant I have been working on?

  19. cgeye on 19 Jul 2011 at 10:26 am #

    How impartial would a sitting governor be, in tackling for-profit educational institutions’ problems, when he’s on the board of one himself?


    And why does Western Governors’ University sound like a mighty-fine way to influence governments through sinecures?

  20. Matt_L on 19 Jul 2011 at 10:48 am #

    * I dunno, what do you want to do tonight?

    I can only second Spanish Prof and Feminist Avatar.

  21. koshem Bos on 19 Jul 2011 at 11:43 am #

    Why isn’t this blog this funny always?

    This reminds me of the Reagan “star wars” period when Darpa, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, sought proposals for grants (7 digits) for work that improves everything 1000 times. I laughed hard then too.

  22. ga on 19 Jul 2011 at 11:44 am #

    “What the hell is *that?*

  23. Belle on 19 Jul 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    What’s the point of General Education curricula?
    How badly do you have to treat faculty before they do more than complain?
    If workers riot over bread prices, and peasants over taxation, what will get the Amerikan workers of the so-called middle class into the streets against the wealthy?

  24. Historiann on 19 Jul 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    Why does Froggy wear a sword and pistol by his side when he goes a-courtin’?

    (And, I’m glad that *someone* *occasionally* finds this blog funny!)

  25. Indyanna on 19 Jul 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    Does this “prerequisite” actually have to be taken *before* the seminar, or can I take it next summer, online, at the community college near my home?

  26. fratguy on 19 Jul 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    Is this a load bearing wall ?

  27. History Maven on 19 Jul 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    Why is “abbreviation” such a long word?
    Why is there no umlaut in “umlaut”?
    When will the Chicago Cubs win the World Series?
    Do you want fries with that?

  28. Timea on 19 Jul 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    Why do you suck your thumb?
    Why do they hate us so much?
    What is the difference between a monkey and me?

  29. Liz2 on 19 Jul 2011 at 1:37 pm #

    how can w-o-m-e-n spell secretary?

  30. truffula on 19 Jul 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    Oh, I know!

    Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?

  31. Janice on 19 Jul 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    Will this be on the test?

  32. Notorious Ph.D. on 19 Jul 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    Janice FTW.

  33. Digger on 19 Jul 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    What did I miss?

  34. Comrade PhysioProf on 19 Jul 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    Make it a double?

  35. Clio Bluestocking on 19 Jul 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    What were you thinking?

    Heck, what was *I* thinking?

  36. Western Dave on 19 Jul 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    Are you gonna eat that?

  37. truffula on 19 Jul 2011 at 7:05 pm #

    Did I miss anything important in class today?

  38. rustonite on 19 Jul 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    What’s this rash?

  39. Indyanna on 19 Jul 2011 at 9:34 pm #

    How long should this paper be? And do you want footnotes, endnotes, or MLA style?

  40. KJ on 19 Jul 2011 at 10:36 pm #

    Why do you drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?

    Why does my car have so many issues?

    Why do my classmates ask complicated questions in the last 2 minutes of class?

  41. JJO on 20 Jul 2011 at 6:32 am #

    Who wrote the book of love?
    You’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
    Why didn’t I think of that?

  42. Perpetua on 20 Jul 2011 at 6:50 am #

    What is the point of this grant?

  43. Dr J on 20 Jul 2011 at 8:29 am #

    What could possibly go wrong?
    I wonder what would happen if I touch th–?

  44. tpfka nycblue on 20 Jul 2011 at 8:43 am #

    Are we there yet?

  45. Comrade PhysioProf on 20 Jul 2011 at 11:13 am #

    English, motherfucker! DO YOU SPEAK IT!

  46. ClioNation on 20 Jul 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    Paper or plastic?

  47. Northern Barbarian on 21 Jul 2011 at 7:53 am #

    Where are the snows of yesteryear?

    These are great!

  48. Indyanna on 21 Jul 2011 at 8:21 am #

    Is it your testimony that the starting center actually wrote that paper on “Physiocrats versus Mercantilists” during your six-day trip to the Regional Finals last year up in Buffalo Falls?

  49. ugsome on 22 Jul 2011 at 5:18 am #

    Was that strictly necessary?

  50. Leslie M-B on 29 Jul 2011 at 9:59 pm #

    Dr. J beat me to “What could possibly go wrong?” so I’ll add “Does this look infected to you?” and “What’s that puddle on the floor?”

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