Brian Wallheimer | February 3, 2017
Oil derricks and churches have long dotted the hot, dusty Texas landscape, but the two do not exist in mutual exclusivity.
Where oil is a dominant economic driver, religion is closely tied—and not just in Texas.
Darren Dochuk, associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of History, will spend a year exploring that connection with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The NEH has offered Dochuk both a fellowship and a Public Scholar Award for the project, which will allow him to spend the 2017–18 academic year completing his book, Anointed With Oil: God and Black Gold in America’s Century.
Dochuk is one of three Arts and Letters faculty members awarded NEH fellowships in December 2016, continuing the University’s record success. Arts and Letters faculty members have been awarded a total of 61 NEH fellowships since 1999—more than any other university in the country.
A powerful influence
During research for his first book, From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plain-Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism (Norton, 2011), which won prizes from the Society of American Historians, the American Historical Association, and the Organization of American Historians, Dochuk found that people fleeing Oklahoma and Texas for California during the Great Depression brought with them a culture that gave rise to Reagan conservatism in later decades.