Publication Date

January 1, 2004

Perspectives Section


Application deadline March 1, 2004. Details at

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced its annual programs of summer seminars and institutes for secondary-school as well as college and university teachers in the humanities. The application deadline for all the programs is March 1, 2004.

All teachers selected to participate in a seminar or institute will be awarded a stipend ranging from $2,800 to $3,700 (depending on the length of the seminar or institute) to cover the costs of travel, books and other research expenses, and living expenses. Some of the seminars and institutes are conducted at sites abroad.

Full-time teachers in American K–12 schools, whether public, private, or church-affiliated, are eligible to apply to the seminars and institutes for school teachers. Americans teaching abroad are also eligible if a majority of the students they teach are American citizens. Librarians and school administrators may also be eligible. Selection committees give first consideration to applicants who have not participated in an NEH-supported seminar or institute in the last three years.

A seminar for schoolteachers enables 15 participants to explore a topic or set of readings with a scholar having special interest and expertise in the field. The core material of the seminar need not relate directly to the school curriculum; the principal goal of the seminar is to engage teachers in the scholarly enterprise and to expand and deepen their understanding of the humanities through reading, discussion, writing, and reflection. An institute for schoolteachers, typically led by a team of core faculty and visiting scholars, is designed to present the best available scholarship on important humanities issues and works taught in the nation's schools. The 25 to 35 participating teachers compare and synthesize the various perspectives offered by the faculty, make connections between the institute content and classroom applications, and often develop improved teaching materials for their classrooms.

Among the 16 seminars being organized for school teachers, those of particular interest for history teachers are: "Interpretations of The Industrial Revolution in Britain," "Economic Causes and Consequences of the American Revolution: Philadelphia and the Atlantic World," "Famine Irish Immigrants: A Case Study in Immigration History," "Roots 2004—Teaching the African Dimensions of the History and Culture of the Americas," "Cultural Responses to the Holocaust in America and Abroad," "Children and Rescue in France during the Second World War," and "Colonialism's Impact on the Shaping of English National Identity." Of the 15 institutes, those that may be especially attractive to historians include "Mexico: Integrating History, Language, and Culture," History, Diversity, and Democracy in America's State Constitutions," "Worlds of the Renaissance," African Americans and the Making of America, 1650–2000," "Voices Across Time: Teaching American History through Song."

Seminars designed for college and university teachers include "The Seven Deadly Sins as Cultural Constructions in the Middle Ages," Archaeology and Ideology in Modern Rome," and "The Remaking of Charles Dickens: Crisis and Transformation, 1857–1861." These seminars will also have 15 participants working in collaboration with one or two leading scholars. Participants will have access to a major library collection, with time reserved to pursue individual research and study projects.

Institutes for college and university teachers are intended to provide intensive collaborative study of texts, topics, and ideas central to undergraduate teaching in the humanities under the guidance of faculties distinguished in their fields of scholarship. The 2004 summer institutes include "Ways of Communicating in the Pre-modern Islamic World," Persecutions in Early Modern Cultures," Religion and Politics in India: Historical and Contemporary Experiences," The Intersections of Philosophy, Science, and Theology in the Seventeenth Century," Mesoamerica and the Southwest: A New History for an Ancient Land," and Anglo-Saxon England." Details on all the seminars and institutes can be obtained from

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