Clockwise left to right: Joy Connolly in conversation with NEH Chair Shelly Lowe at the ACLS Annual Meeting; Leadership Institute for a New Academy (LINA) Summer Institute at Sarah Lawrence College; Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies Retreat at the University of Wyoming; Panel at Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellows convening

As the holiday season nears, in the spirit of fellowship and gratitude, I want to express my thanks: for the passion and courage of ACLS scholars, for our partnerships with institutional leaders and our Board, for the hard work of my colleagues, and for the generosity of all of you who have made gifts to ACLS this year.

As I wrote recently in a message to the ACLS community, if we are to create a better future out of these somber times, we need to understand the past and the present in all its human dimensions. But resources for our best scholars are not meeting current needs. At our annual Research University Consortium meeting this year, representatives shared their excitement at the scholarship and teaching underway at their schools – along with their worry that the humanities and social sciences are expected to move forward with minimal financial investment. The National Endowment for the Humanities receives just 2.5% of the funding of its scientific counterpart. This is where your support genuinely matters.

The pandemic offers a compelling illustration of the essential role humanistic study plays in tandem with the sciences in improving the public good. Speedy development of an effective vaccine was essential for our collective health – and so too were the analyses of public skepticism of medical expertise and the story-telling tools, cross-cultural engagement, and community health projects that supported its uptake.

Like no other organization, ACLS is committed to supporting the full range of humanistic research projects, whether they address today’s wicked problems or illuminate questions far from our current concerns. We provide fellowships, travel grants, workshops, resources, and community for hundreds of scholars. Through competitions like our Open Access Book Prizes, Digital Justice Grants, and convenings of change-minded scholarly leaders, we work to ensure our fields have a robust voice in public dialogue and a strong position in our colleges, universities, and communities.

What keeps us going are the amazing achievements we see among museum curators and librarians, executive officers of scholarly societies, administrators, reviewers, and scholars at all levels including, of course, our fellows and grantees. In recognition of Giving Tuesday, I invite you to consider a financial gift to ACLS that will support them and their work.

I hope you are able to enjoy some well-deserved rest in the coming month.

With gratitude and best wishes for a happy holiday season,


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This month’s poem is in honor of Craig Santos Perez F’20 winning the 2023 National Book Award for Poetry this November. It is from Perez’s book From Unincorporated Territory [guma’] (Omnidawn Publishing, 2014).

ginen tidelands [latte stone park] [hagåtña, guåhan]
by Craig Santos Perez

    [for my dad]

The fallen Latte is the signIt is from within the row of Latte that
we feel our strength. It is the severed capstone that gives us Their
message, “Ti monhayon I che’cho.” We will not rest until the
Latte is whole.

—Cecilia C. T. Perez from “Signs of Being: A Chamoru
Spiritual Journey” (1997)


i haligi
a pillar

i tasa
a capstone

i tataotao
a body


his hands—
husk coconut—

cooks and
feeds [us]—

raised house—

at quarry
outline forms

to sing

limestone to
sing past—


citizen : drafted
vietnam war

the rifle
he kept

his uniform
his fatigue


soak coconut

under sun
make rope”

braided hair
like this”


hålla haligi
pull sky

hålla tasa
pull, son

with [our]
entire breath


[our] bones:
acho’ latte

removed from—
to museum

of trespass—
to here