CLAS faculty member receives NEH fellowship for his dedication to the research of ancient manuscripts

Paul Dilley, associate professor of ancient Mediterranean religions at the University of Iowa, was named a 2023 National Endowment for the Humanities fellow.
Monday, October 2, 2023

By: Emily Delgado  

University of Iowa Erling B. “Jack” Holtsmark Associate Professor in the Classics Paul Dilley recently received a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship.  

Paul Diley
Paul Dilley

The foundation awards this prestigious recognition to scholars who have shown tremendous dedication to their research and the field of humanities, and whose projects embody terrific research and rigorous analysis.  

Dilley, who is appointed in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Classics and Religious Studies departments, says he is excited to receive this award and will use the fellowship to determine a way to publish damaged ancient manuscripts, that have been photographed with advanced technology. 

“There's a lot of great interdisciplinary work going on in the humanities right now, and the support offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities has a tremendous positive impact on humanities research nationwide,” Dilley explains.  

Any talk or attention aimed towards the humanities is good, Dilley adds, because it shows current students and future students all of the work that is being done in the field.  

“It also helps communicate to undergraduates all of the innovative approaches that are being considered in humanities departments,” Dilley says.  

Dilley has been at the University of Iowa for over a decade and has spent his time researching and teaching a variety of courses. His NEH fellowship and the research he will conduct during it will also be incorporated into the two classes Dilley will teach in the spring 2024 semester. The two classes The Digital Archive, which will be a graduate seminar, and Global Manuscript Cultures, which will be an undergraduate course co-taught with Kendra Strand, an assistant professor of Japanese.  

Dilley will use the research he conducts to improve his teaching and is eager to share and develop the great work being done in his field.   

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has supported Dilley in the search for funding opportunities for his ongoing research of the humanities. Although the grant brings attention to the Humanities department, Dilley says the honor applies to the entire university.  


The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers about 70 majors across the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. About 15,000 undergraduate and nearly 2,000 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by faculty at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all Iowa undergraduates through the college's general education program, CLAS CORE. About 80 percent of all Iowa undergraduates begin their academic journey in CLAS. The college confers about 60 percent of the university's bachelor's degrees each academic year.