Publication Date

January 12, 2015



The AHA is pleased to pass along an exciting opportunity that recently came to our attention: a summer seminar hosted by the University of Texas at Austin Clements Center in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Led by senior scholars and former policymakers, participants will explore the relationship between historical insights and national security policy making. This seminar is for current doctoral students in related fields.  All expenses will be covered by the Clements Center. Applications are due February 16, 2015. For more information, please visit the Clements Center website.

Makers of foreign policy constantly attempt to draw on historical knowledge to gain perspective on contemporary national security issues. Meanwhile, historians frequently comment on present-day decision-making problems and sometimes aspire to influence policy debates. Yet policymakers and historians generally occupy separate intellectual and institutional universes. Especially in recent years, they have had little to say to one another. The result, arguably, has been the impoverishment of both communities.

From July 26-31, 2015, the Clements Center for History, Strategy and Statecraft at the University of Texas at Austin will convene a week-long seminar for doctoral students focused on the connections between statecraft and history. Several sessions will examine the ways in which policymakers have used or misused historical knowledge in the past. Sessions will also ask how policymakers should use history and what methods might be available for refining the use of the past in decision-making.
But the seminar will also examine the problem from the other direction, examining how scholars might be more productive and influential voices in deliberations of foreign policy. When have historians and other social scientists played a useful role in the past? What lessons might be drawn from those cases?

The Clements Center invites applications to participate in this program, which will take place in the beautiful Rocky Mountains at the Osprey Resort in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Applicants should be advanced graduate students in history, political science, or related fields interested in careers in either academia or policy making. The seminar will feature in-depth discussions with top scholars of U.S. foreign relations and former senior policymakers, as well as sessions devoted to academic publishing and strategies for approaching the academic and policy job markets. Each day will also have recreational time for participants to enjoy the mountain surroundings.

The Clements Center will cover all travel and related expenses for participants. The deadline for applications is February 16, 2015. Applicants should submit a CV, a list of three references with contact information, and a statement of roughly 500 words explaining how the seminar relates to their academic pursuits and career ambitions. Please direct questions and completed applications to Jacqueline Chandler, the Clements Center’s Program Manager, at

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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