Dr. Andrew Huebner, Professor of Modern U.S. History at The University of Alabama, was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Public Scholars Grant in August to support his current book project, titled “Buffalo Soldiers and the Making of United States Empire, 1866–1917.” As Dr. Huebner describes the project:
“This book tells the story of the first Black regiments in the history of the US regular army, from their creation in 1866 to American intervention in the First World War. It recovers the critical role of Black regulars (or ‘buffalo soldiers’) in spreading US empire to the West, Caribbean, and Pacific. Yet as agents of state authority, those men often became targets of white supremacy, and when targeted by racist attacks, they could become exemplars of resistance—most consequentially in 1917 in Houston, Texas. A rebellion of Black soldiers against police brutality there led to the largest murder trial in US history and nineteen executions, hastening relegation of the four Black regiments to menial, peripheral tasks. The rise and fall of the Black regular testifies to a durable contradiction of American life, one of ongoing and urgent concern for the humanities: that a country so dependent upon people of color for national aggrandizement only unevenly offers them justice and safety.”
Dr. Huebner will receive $60,000 across twelve months as he completes the project, beginning in January 2024. When complete, “Buffalo Soldiers” will appear with Liveright/W.W. Norton.
According to the NEH website, the Public Scholars Program “offers grants to individual authors for research, writing, travel, and other activities leading to the creation and publication of well-researched nonfiction books in the humanities written for the broad public.” It also encourages academics to engage the broader public with their research. The NEH awarded just 28 awards out of 224 applications, putting Dr. Huebner in exclusive company.
“Buffalo Soldiers” will be the third monograph in Dr. Huebner’s impressive corpus of scholarship. Previously he published The Warrior Image: Soldiers in American Culture from the Second World War to the Vietnam Era (UNC Press, 2008) and Love and Death in the Great War (Oxford UP, 2018), receiving the Presidents’ Book Prize of the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era for the latter. He co-edited Dixie’s Great War: World War I and the American South (UA Press, 2020) with his UA colleague Dr. John Giggie and coauthored The Unfinished Nation, 10th ed. (McGraw-Hill, 2021) with Alan Brinkley and John Giggie. He is currently co-editing two additional reference works. The author of numerous articles on U.S. cultural history and the relationship between war and society, Dr. Huebner is a recognized leader in his fields of expertise. He has been recognized with the Organization of American Historians’ Distinguished Lectureship and is a widely admired mentor and teacher in UA’s Department of History. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Huebner on this major accomplishment!