About Bridging Cultures

An NEH "Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges" Project

American History, Atlantic and Pacific; Fall 2012 to Winter 2016

The AHA  launched a program for community-college faculty development to promote a global perspective on U.S. history at the country's increasingly diverse two-year institutions. "American History, Atlantic and Pacific" draws on a generation of innovative scholarship that has reframed the origins of the United States within a broad geographical and chronological context. Participants worked 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) supported this project through a four-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) served 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-attended 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 were guided by two distinguished scholars.  William Deverell, University of Southern California and Huntington Library, who led the first project institute at the Huntington Library, in San Marino, California, January 14-18, 2013.  The first institute focused 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, led an institute on the Atlantic Rim at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., January 6-10, 2014.  This institute used 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  project culminated in a conference held concurently with the AHA annual meeting in January 2015 in New York. Participants shared their work with one another and key administrators from their respective institutions. The final phase of the project included professional development opportunities at regional Tuning Conferences where participants spoke about the transformation of their courses and networked with other community college faculty.  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 dschaffer@historians.org 

NEH Logo

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations in this website do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.