American History, Atlantic and Pacific

An NEH "Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges" Project
Fall 2012 to Winter 2015

The AHA has launched a program for community-college faculty development that promotes a global perspective on U.S. history at the country's increasingly diverse two-year institutions. "American History, Atlantic and Pacific" will draw on a generation of innovative scholarship that has reframed the origins of the United States within a broad geographical and chronological context. Participants will work to create or revise U.S. history courses-especially the popular U.S. history survey course-with lessons, units, and other work that deepens teaching on the United States in the world.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is supporting this project through a three-year cooperative agreement with the AHA, as part of their "Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges" initiative. Cheryll Ann Cody (Houston Community College) and Kevin Reilly (Raritan Valley Community College) will serve as the AHA's lead advisers on this project.Pairs of faculty from twelve community-colleges across the country-a total of twenty-four faculty members-will attend two annual seminars augmented by year-round activities online and by a final conference. Building on the emerging concept of "rim" cultures, the group's explorations will be guided by two distinguished scholars.  William Deverell, University of Southern California and Huntington Library, will lead the first project institute at the Huntington Library, in San Marino, California, January 14-18, 2013.  The first institute will focus on the Pacific Ocean, especially the peoples and geomorphology of its eastern rim, as an organizing theme for understanding global connections within the history of imperial North America and the early U.S. republic between 1600 and 1850. The following year Philip Morgan, Johns Hopkins University, will lead an institute on the Atlantic Rim at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., January 6-10, 2014.  This institute will use the Atlantic World, 1450-1850, as a framework for exploring intercultural contact, political and economic development, and the emergence of an American society on the precipice of civil war.The entire project will culminate in a conference to be held in New York City, which will be held in conjunction with the AHA annual meeting in January 2015. Participants will share their work with one another and key administrators from their respective institutions.To see a list of the community-college faculty participants please click here.

For additional information, please contact Dana Schaffer, the AHA's associate director, at 

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