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Forret awarded National Endowment for the Humanities 2016 Summer Stipend

Dr. Jeff ForretJeff Forret, professor of history at Lamar University, continues work on his next book, Williams’ Gang: A Slave Trader, His Cargo, and Justice in the Old South, thanks to a 2016 Summer Stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Williams’ Gang is a history of the domestic slave trade told through the lens of Washington, D.C., slave trader William H. Williams, who spent a lifetime mired in litigation related to his profession. Forret has authored three prior books and was co-editor of an anthology, all on the topic of slavery.

Summer Stipends support individuals pursuing advanced research that is of value to humanities scholars, general audiences or both.  Each stipend supports continuous full-time work on a humanities project for a period of two consecutive months.

NEH Summer Stipends is a competitive grant program and while the number of applications and awards can vary from year to year, over the past five years only around 9 percent of applications were funded.

“NEH provides support for projects across America that preserve our heritage, promote scholarly discoveries, and make the best of America’s humanities ideas available to all Americans,” said NEH Chairman William D. Adams. “We are proud to announce this latest group of grantees who, through their projects and research, will bring valuable lessons of history and culture to Americans.”

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at:

A social historian specializing in southern history and slavery, Forret joined Lamar University in 2005 after earning his B.A. from St. Ambrose University, his M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and his Ph.D. from University of Delaware.

In addition to U.S. history surveys, Forret teaches courses on the Old South, slavery, the early republic, antebellum America and race and sex in American history, among others. Forret serves as the graduate director for the history department.

To read on Forret’s current project, visit