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For more information about any of these research institutes or for information on how you and your organization might partner with the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, contact The Office of Scholarly Programs at scholarly@loc.gov or 202-707-3302.

Past Research Institutes

January 2 - 6, 2014
"Atlantic Encounters"
In collaboration with the Kluge Center, the American Historical Association hosts an "Atlantic Encounters" seminar for community-college faculty development that promotes a global perspective on U.S. history at the country's increasingly diverse two-year institutions. The seminar is part of a three-­year program-­-American History, Atlantic and Pacific-­-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities Bridging Cultures for Community Colleges initiative. Daily seminar sessions feature talks on topics such as the Atlantic environment, race and identity, and free and unfree labor. Participants also explore the use of maps and cartography in the Atlantic world. Additionally, the seminar includes daily discussions about teaching, and invited speakers devote a portion of their presentations to applying new historical content in the classroom. Participants 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.

July 8 - August 2, 2013
"Eighth International Seminar on Decolonization"
Hosted by the John W. Kluge Center and sponsored by the National History Center (NHC) with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the seminar will bring together fifteen scholars at the beginning of their careers for a four-week program of meetings, lectures, and research in the Washington area about decolonization, the dissolution of empires and emergence of new states, mainly in the 20th century. The seminar will be led by Wm. Roger Louis, Founding Director of the NHC and member of the Library’s Scholars Council.

There will be three public lectures during the seminar. On Tuesday, July 16, Elizabeth Borgwardt of Washington University in St. Louis will speak on “Present at the Creation? Human Rights, NGOs, and the Trusteeship Debate at the 1945 UN San Francisco Conference.” On Tuesday, July 23, Kenneth Pomeranz of the University of Chicago will discuss "Resisting Imperialism, Resisting Decolonization: Making 'China' from the Ruins of the Qing, 1912-1949." On Tuesday, July 30, Wm. Roger Louis will discuss "Another Dimension of Empire: The History of the Oxford University Press." All three lectures will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Room LJ 119 of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St., S.E., Washington, D.C. All are welcome, no tickets are needed.
[ More Information (external link)]

July 11 - August 5, 2011
"Sixth International Seminar on Decolonization"
Hosted by the John W. Kluge Center and sponsored by the National History Center (external link) (NHC) with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the seminar will bring together fifteen scholars at the beginning of their careers for a four-week program consisting of classes, meetings, lectures, informal gatherings and research in the Washington area about decolonization in the twentieth century. The seminar will be led by William Roger Louis, the chairman of the board of trustees and founding director of NHC.

There will be two public lectures during the seminar. "Decolonization–a History of Failure?" by John Darwin, will be held Wednesday, July 13, and "'In Mexico There Are No Mexicans:' Decolonization and Modernization, 1750-1850," by Eric Van Young, will be held on Wednesday, July 20. Darwin teaches Imperial and Global history at Oxford, where he is a Fellow of Nuffield College. Van Young is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego, where he specializes in the history of colonial and 19th-century Mexico. Both lectures will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Room LJ 119 of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St., S.E., Washington, D.C. All are welcome, no tickets are needed.
[ More Information (external link)]

July 10-16 and July 17-23, 2011
"Jefferson Symposium"
Hosted by the John W. Kluge Center and sponsored by the Community College Humanities Association (external link) with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities , the symposium consists of a series of workshops and seminars for fifty community college faculty members. They will learn about the Library of Congress collections, which are based on Thomas Jefferson’s personal library, and visit two other Jefferson landmarks: Monticello and the University of Virginia.

July 6 - August 5, 2010
“Decolonization Seminar”
Led by Wm. Roger Louis, chair of the National History Center’s board of trustees, this seminar gives participants an opportunity to engage in the common pursuit of knowledge about various dimensions of decolonization, primarily 20th-century transitions from colonies to nations in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.
For more information contact the National History Center (external link).

July 6 - July 31, 2009
“American Immigration Revisited”
A four-week summer institute sponsored by the National History Center with the support of the American Historical Association (AHA), Community College Humanities Association (CCHA), Immigration and Ethnic History Society (IEHS), the National Portrait Gallery, and the Library of Congress.
For more information contact the National History Center (external link).

June 16-July 11, 2008
"Rethinking America in a Global Perspective"
An NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers at the Library of Congress
For more information contact the National History Center (external link).

July 6-August 2, 2008
International Research Seminars on Decolonization
An American Historical Association Seminar in which participating historians will engage in the common pursuit of knowledge about various dimensions of decolonization, primarily 20th-century transitions from colonies to nations in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.
For more information contact the National History Center (external link).

In July 2007, the National History Center (external link) of the American Historical Association, with support from the Mellon Foundation, collaborated with the Kluge Center to conduct a second international seminar on decolonization in the 20th century. The seminar brought fifteen young historians (recent PhDs and a few who are candidates in the last stages of their doctoral programs) from all over the world to participate in structured seminar discussions, to pursue major research, and to present a closing paper based on their individual research. Some of the 2007 participants had been studying aspects of decolonization in Asia, Africa, or the Middle East for several years. Others had encountered decolonization conceptually as they studied different facets of 20th-century history. The participants’ research was conducted using the Library’s collections, as well as other archival resources in the Washington area. One of the participants was "delighted to discover" an OSS report on the oppressed communities in India in the 1940s here at the Library. Some of the subjects pursued in this year’s seminar were "Decolonization of Jordan," "State Feminism and Decolonization: Egyptian Women and the Gender Politics of Nasserist Rule," "The West and Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier, 1947-55," "Pattern of Decolonization in Malta," and "Trade Unions and Decolonization of Singapore." The seminar included well attended, public lectures by Roger Louis, the seminar’s prime mover, and Crawford Young.

The Kluge Center supported another in a series of the American Cities Research Institute programs. The series is sponsored by the Community College Humanities Association (external link) and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. An overriding objective of the institutes is to promote scholarship among community college faculty. For each of the annual institutes a group of ten community college humanities teachers is selected to carry out guided individual research on topics related to American cities. The underlying premises of the program are that the American city is a prime vehicle for developing economic, social, political, philosophical and cultural theory and that the urban condition is one of the great lenses for interpreting human experience. The name of the 2007 institute was "American Cities and Public Spaces." The topics of the four talks offered during the program were "Democracy and Public life in the American City," "Washington D.C. and the Mall: Evolution and Design," "Newark as a Contemporary Case Study in Social and Cultural History," and "Arts in the Culture War: The battle over Temperance in Reading, Pennsylvania during the Progressive Era." In this last talk, John M. Lawlor, Jr. explored the interconnectedness of many issues such as freedom, women’s rights, child welfare, health, poverty, and crime. He also demonstrated how, during the Progressive Era, the arts transcended locality. Fine arts, illustrations, photographs, low brow arts (vaudeville, music) and dramatic works (plays and films) were all used to convince the public of the "correctness" of various positions on temperance during the period.

Some previous research institutes include:

Globalizing Regional Studies 1999

Rethinking America in Global Perspective, 2005

Decolonization Seminar 2006

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