September 12, 2023

Hubbert awarded NEH grant for Gun Culture Research

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded the College $75K in support of Dr. Jennifer Hubbert’s proposed project, Gun Culture 4.0: Understanding the New Demographics of Gun Ownership in the United States. In her newest line of research, Dr. Hubbert, Professor of Anthropology and Asian Studies, is asking questions about the changing landscape of gun ownership, including, “What Does it Mean to Be a Liberal Gun Owner?” This research is well aligned with the NEH’s new program, Dangers and Opportunities of Technology: Perspectives from the Humanities, which supports research that, in part, examines “the role of technology in shaping current social and cultural issues.” Two years of NEH support will enable Dr. Hubbert to work with a research assistant, complete primary ethnographic fieldwork among non-traditional gun owners, draft the book manuscript, and present this pioneering and understudied research at professional meetings.

Dr. Hubbert has found that gun ownership in the U.S. has “skyrocketed” recently: 40% of gun purchases are by those new to guns, and “women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and self-defined “liberals” are arming themselves at unprecedented rates.” This project, which one NEH reviewer called “noble”, seeks to diversify the voices that reflect on the meanings of guns in the United States. Dr. Hubbert is using her expertise in ethnographic research to bring new voices to the conversation through a variety of methods—including interviewing gun owners, attending book groups, participating in gun range events, and attending gun shows and club trainings. As Dr. Hubbert writes, “Exploring the relationship between guns and society, and adding diversity to the national conversation about gun ownership, has the potential to offer new ways of thinking about gun violence and the policies meant to contain it.” Learn more about Dr. Hubbert’s scholarship here.

It is worth noting that this relatively new NEH program had just a 15% funding ratio this year, and Dr. Hubbert’s project was just one of two projects funded by all NEH programs in Oregon this cycle. Please join SPARC in congratulating Jennifer on securing a significant competitive federal grant to support her innovative project.

September 2023