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Michael Lackey receives Summer Stipend from NEH

Posted by Beth Zaske on Friday, Apr. 27, 2012

Michael Lackey, associate professor of English, is one of two Minnesotans to receive a Summer Stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). NEH is an independent federal agency created in 1965 and is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. NEH Summer Stipends support individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences, or both.

Lackey’s project is “A History of the Haverford Group and the Battle for Racial Justice.” Since submitting the NEH application, the project was accepted for publication by the University of Virginia press, and is now titled, Black Separatists, Black Integrationists, and the Battle for Racial Justice. The book traces the history of the Haverford Group, an assembly of prominent African American intellectuals who came together in May 1969 in response to the black separatist movements sweeping through the United States in the late 1960s in order to identify flaws in the black separatist philosophy, to define an American integrationist position, and to formulate a multi-racial program of action.

Lackey is no stranger to the publishing process. He recently published a new book, The Modernist God State: A Literary Study of the Nazis’ Christian Reich. The book uses 20th century fiction to demonstrate that the modern state was founded primarily on a Christian supersessionist theology rather than a secular ideology. To clarify his position on Nazi Christianity, Lackey states, “As I demonstrate throughout my book, there are many versions of Christianity, some respectful, tolerant, and humane, some not. As a scholar, I refuse to use one version of Christianity to debunk another. Rather, I try to define various versions of Christianity. Consequently, I take Hitler and many of the Nazis at their word when they call themselves Christian. The scholarly task, therefore, is to define Christianity as they understood it.”

There will be a reception and book signing in honor of the book release on Wednesday, May 2, 2012, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the LaFave House. Lackey will give a brief talk about the book at 6:30 p.m. and will have the book signing afterwards. The Division of the Humanities and Briggs Library sponsor this event.