Jennifer Jopp, Assistant Professor of HistoryJennifer Jopp, Assistant Professor of History

    National Endowment for the Humanities Grant Creates New Course

    Jennifer Jopp, assistant professor of history, won a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to create a new undergraduate course at Willamette, "What is a Just Society?"

    Jopp received an "Enduring Questions" education program award, which supports new undergraduate humanities courses that engage life's "great questions."

    The NEH announced grants and awards for 154 high quality humanities projects nationwide. The awards went to an array of organizations, including libraries, historical societies, universities, museums and state humanities councils.

    "These important projects encourage the exchange of ideas and represent the best of humanities scholarship," NEH Acting Chairman Carole M. Watson said.

    Jopp plans to debut her new course next fall. The course will ask students to consider the role of justice in the construction of polities. Students will explore questions of what a just society means, and how justice might be measured, attained and maintained. They will study philosophers and thinkers from across many centuries - including Plato, Saint Augustine, Christine de Pizan, William Godwin and John Rawls - who have pondered how best to construct a society that fosters justice.

    "Questions about justice and fairness are among the most central human questions," Jopp says. "I believe it is imperative that we allow our students the opportunity afforded by such a grant to grapple with these questions alone, together and in the larger community of which Willamette is a part."

    Jopp also plans to develop a campus-wide program of round-table discussions that will include the outside Salem community in addressing justice-related issues.

    For more about the NEH grant winners, visit