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For Immediate Release
May 09, 2019

Purdue University Fort Wayne Professor Receives One of Only Two National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Grants in Indiana

Key Info

  • NEH Summer Stipend awarded to Purdue Fort Wayne Professor
  • Richard Sutter will write book on research into the Moche of Peru
  • Expected to be published in 2020 or 2021
Purdue University Fort Wayne Professor Receives One of Only Two National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Grants in Indiana Image 1
Professor Richard Sutter standing in front of a frieze decorating the plaza of the Pyramid of the Moon at the Moche site Print-quality image
Purdue University Fort Wayne Professor Receives One of Only Two National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Grants in Indiana Image 2
Moche grave site excavation at San José de Moro (AD 650 – 800) in northern Peru. Print-quality image
Purdue University Fort Wayne Professor Receives One of Only Two National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Grants in Indiana Image 3
Professor Sutter cataloging human remains found in graves at Moche village in northern Peru. Print-quality image

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Purdue University Fort Wayne Anthropology Professor Richard Sutter is one of more than a thousand academics who submitted applications for a Summer Stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) earlier this year. He is also one of just 82 recipients of that stipend, and one of only two to receive it in Indiana.

According to the letter from the NEH offering Sutter the stipend, the agency has “underwritten hundreds of our nation’s most significant humanities projects through its fellowship programs. We look forward to adding your future work to that august list.”

He plans to use the NEH funds to finish a book he has been writing about his research, while additional funds from Purdue Fort Wayne will allow him to travel “to Peru for 20 days during mid-July to collect additional data from a Moche (AD 200–800) and pre-Moche (~400 BC–AD 550) era fishing community called Huanchaco. I’ll be doing lab analyses on human skeletal materials that were excavated by my colleague Gabriel Prieto since last July,” says Sutter.

“The research materials that I’ll collect are part of my broader research on how the Moche—the earliest state in South America—expanded and incorporated non-Moche peoples into their state. I’m drawing on some parallels with other early/weak political groups who try to extend their sovereignty, such as ISIS, the Taliban, and Boko Haram, to name a few, that don’t have a fully developed state apparatus. So, instead, they rely on horrific acts of public violence and imagery of public violence, whether it be social media, videos, mud friezes, or ceramics, to intimidate and convert potential subjects and export their ideology.”

The completed book will mostly be of interest for scholarly or general public audiences. Sutter says he hopes to finish a full draft by the end of the summer, but doesn’t expect it to be on any book store shelves until late in 2020 or early in 2021.

For additional information, contact Susan Alderman, at 260-481-6165 (office), 260-489-5349 (cell), or susan.alderman@pfw.edu

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