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Studying 9/11’s Impact on Catholic Communities

Photographer: Zack Lane
The Tablet

Julie Byrne, Professor of Religion and the Hartman Chair of Catholic Studies, was interviewed by The Tablet about her National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) award for a book project using oral history, ethnography, and archives to examine tristate suburban Catholicism of the 20th and 21st centuries. The project was inspired by her interest in the impact of 9/11 on Catholic families and communities in the New York metropolitan area. Among those who perished, those of Catholic faith were an overrepresented segment.   

She tells the Tablet that she intends to tell the story of second- and third-generation immigrants who perished in the towers. She’ll study those who were the first in their families to hold white-collar jobs and leave the old neighborhood.

Her plan is to publish the book before the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

Dr. Byrne’s grant is part of the NEH’s Public Scholars Program, which supports well-researched books in the humanities intended to reach a broad readership. Her grant is the only one awarded to a scholar at a Long Island institution.

By establishing the Public Scholar Program, NEH has entered a long-term commitment to encourage scholarship in the humanities for general audiences. The program is open to both individuals affiliated with scholarly institutions and to independent scholars, researchers, and writers. Projects may be at any stage of development.


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