St. Olaf College | News

History professor receives National Endowment for the Humanities grant

DeKreyGary300x350St. Olaf College Professor of History Gary De Krey ’71 has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) summer stipend to support his research on English Civil War radicals and their successors.

De Krey will use his research to draft a book tentatively titled Following the Levellers: Radical Ideas in Seventeenth Century England, 1647-1689.

The NEH stipend provides funding for two consecutive months of full-time research and writing over the course of one summer. De Krey will use the grant to fund research both on campus and on-site in England, examining political pamphlets, petitions, and other primary sources regarding a radical English Civil War political movement called the Levellers.

“The Levellers flourished in London during the crisis years of 1647 to 1649,” De Krey says. “They sought to shift power away from the monarch and landed classes to a representative House of Commons. They also called for a redistribution of seats in parliament in proportion to the population, wished to extend the right to vote to most adult males, and were keen advocates of liberty for conscience and intellectual freedom.”

De Krey earned his B.A. in history from St. Olaf and his Ph.D. in British and early modern European history from Princeton University. He joined the St. Olaf faculty in 1988 and has since taught courses on British and European history, with an emphasis on the “long Reformation” of the 16th and 17th centuries.

De Krey has published three books about the time period, titled Restoration and Revolution in Britain: A Political History of the Era of Charles II and the Glorious Revolution; London and the Restoration, 1659-1683; and A Fractured Society: The Politics of London in the First Age of Party, 1688-1715.

He also directs the St. Olaf Center for College History and is the archivist for the Norwegian-American Historical Association.

The book that De Krey will write with the support of this NEH award will fill a current hole in English Civil War literature.

“I am already teaching drafts of some parts of the book in an upper-level history course at St. Olaf about the English Revolution,” he says. “No book about the Levellers suitable for teaching has been published in decades, and I hope my book will find a student audience as well as a scholarly one.”

NEH Summer Stipends support individuals pursuing advanced research that contributes to scholarly knowledge and/or the public’s understanding of the humanities. Recipients usually produce scholarly articles, monographs on specialized subjects, books on broad topics, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly tools.

The award is highly competitive, receiving an average of 953 applications per year for an available 75 awards. De Krey is one of only four NEH grant recipients in Minnesota.