Publication Date

September 1, 2010

Applications must be received by November 1, 2010

The National History Center is now accepting applications from early-career scholars to participate in the sixth international summer seminar on decolonization, which will be held for four weeks, from Sunday, July 10, through Saturday, August 6, 2011, in Washington, D.C.

As in the previous five seminars in the series, fifteen participating historians will engage in the common pursuit of knowledge about various dimensions of 20th-century decolonization in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.

The 15 participants selected to participate in the four-week seminar will receive a small stipend to cover daily living expenses (food, local travel, and so on). The Center will arrange and pay for participants’ accommodation in Washington. The Center will also reimburse (subject to limits) travel costs incurred by the selected participants for traveling between their workplace or place of normal residence and Washington, D.C., and back.

The seminar will be an opportunity for the participants to pursue research at the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and other repositories of historical research materials in Washington, D.C., on projects within the overarching theme of decolonization; to exchange ideas among themselves and with the seminar leaders; and to produce a draft article or chapter of a book with the guidance of the faculty leaders, who, together with the participants themselves, will offer comments and critiques on the evolving draft papers.

Wm. Roger Louis, Kerr Professor of English History and Culture and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin (and the executive director of the National History Center), will direct the seminar. Other seminar leaders will include John Darwin (Univ. of Oxford), Philippa Levine (Univ. of Texas at Austin), Jason Parker (Texas A & M Univ.), and Pillarisetti Sudhir (AHA).

Applicants should preferably have a recent PhD and be at the beginning of their careers. Applications from advanced PhD students who are nearing completion of their dissertations are also encouraged.

Applicants should note that all the academic activities (including discussions and written work) will be in English. Applicants must, therefore, be fluent in English.

Those selected will have to undertake that they will actively participate in the seminar, including all required meetings and events, for its entire duration.

The Application Process: Applications should contain the following items: (i) a cover letter of not more than two pages that includes a brief (100 words) statement about the proposed research project relating to the history of decolonization; (ii) a c.v. of not more than two pages; (iii) a statement of not more than 1,000 words outlining the research project, briefly indicating the research already done by the applicant, the aims of the proposed project, the hypotheses or conjectures, if any, that the applicant expects to test or research; and the major sources she or he proposes to consult or use; (iv) a one- to two-page select bibliography of sources relevant to the proposed research.

Applicants should also have three letters of recommendation in support of their application sent directly to the address given above. The letters of recommendation should follow the guidelines provided online at

When preparing their applications, applicants may find it helpful to consult the following guides to research resources in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere:
“Research Repositories in Washington, D.C.” (

The AHA’s Archives Wiki (

Applications and all supporting materials should reach the Assistant Director of the National History Center by November 1, 2010. They should be e-mailed to or to If e-mailing is impossible, the applications may be mailed to Decolonization Seminar 2011, The National History Center, 400 A Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003-3889.

Selected foreign participants must make their own arrangements to obtain the necessary U.S. visas, but the National History Center will provide any documentation that may be required.

The international seminar, organized by the National History Center in collaboration with the American Historical Association and the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, is funded by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

More information about the seminar series is available online at

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