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Dr. Christopher Hodgkins, a UNC Greensboro professor of English and director of the George Herbert Society – housed at UNCG – has been awarded a prestigious $300,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Hodgkins’ fourth NEH grant, the award will finance production of the three-volume book series, “George Herbert: Complete Works,” with Oxford University Press.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime production that is more than 20 years in the making,” said Hodgkins, who has served on the UNCG faculty since 1991. “The project will provide a foundation for critical study of this essential poet for generations to come.”
George Herbert (1593-1633), a contemporary of William Shakespeare and King James I, was a public orator at the University of Cambridge, a member of Parliament, a priest in the Church of England, and, with his friend John Donne, a leading light of the seventeenth-century “metaphysical” poets.
As its title suggests, “George Herbert: Complete Works” comprehends the entirety of Herbert’s writings, including his eloquent Latin and Greek verse and epigrammatic prose. The volume also includes manuscripts that have only recently been discovered and identified after more than 400 years.
Hodgkins shares the NEH the award with his series co-editor, Dr. Robert Whalen of Northern Michigan University, and with editors Dr. Paul Davis of University College London and Dr. Luke Roman of Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. Johns.
In addition to the print volumes published by Oxford University Press, Hodgkins and his fellow researchers will partner with UNCG University Libraries to create a searchable, digital archive of the entirety of Herbert’s works, to be preserved and shared for future generations.
“I’m grateful to the UNCG English department, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the wider University community, which have all generously supported this work over decades,” Hodgkins said. “These investments have been crucial to the project’s success.”
Photography by University Communications