Summer Institute - Beyond East and West: Exchanges and Interactions across the Early Modern World (1400-1800), 19 June–7 July 2017, Indiana University in Bloomington, USA

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June 19 – July 7, 2017 at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN

The period between 1400-1800 has been studied, until recently, as a time when European societies expanded to the rest of the globe through conquest and commerce. Scholars have convincingly questioned this paradigm in the past decades, and established the agency of non-European societies and communities across the globe. The institute’s aim is to revisit this seminal period through the lens of exchange, interaction, and movement. The early modern world was unified through the near-simultaneous expansion of empires across Eurasia, from England through the Middle East to the Indian subcontinent and China.

Consolidated with gunpowder weapons and new administrative technologies, and motivated by inter-imperial competition, these empires connected several parts of the globe through political and commercial networks. In the process, they also laid the ground for the circulation of individuals and communities, objects, germs, and ideas, to an unprecedented extent.  The institute will be organized along three intertwining themes, which will build upon one another:

  • (1) Travelers—Circulating Bodies;
  • (2) Mapping Travel, Mapping Ideas; and
  • (3) Connected Histories—Circulating Ideas.

In the first unit, participants will read the accounts of individual travelers from different cultures, who moved across considerable distances and reflected on their journeys. In the second unit, we will discuss the ways in which travelers constructed their prior knowledge on their travel destinations, by considering the practical and ideological role played by maps in the early modern period. In our final unit, we will focus on the ways in which travelers, and the maps, books and manuscripts they carried through their voyages, helped circulate ideas across Eurasia and Africa.

We will not only study the exchanges that reveal differences in cultural, political, and religious ideas, but also those that highlight convergences. In order to alleviate transportation costs and living expenses, participants in the Institute will receive a stipend of US$ 2700.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

These projects are designed primarily for teachers of American undergraduate students. Qualified independent scholars and those employed by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other organizations may be eligible to compete provided they can effectively advance the teaching and research goals of the seminar or institute. Applicants must be United States citizens, residents of U.S. jurisdictions, or foreign nationals who have been residing in the United States or its territories for at least the three years immediately preceding the application deadline. Foreign nationals teaching abroad at non-U.S. chartered institutions are not eligible to apply.

How to Apply

Before proceeding with your application, please consult the eligibility requirements as determined by the National Endowment for the Humanities here.

A completed application consists of the following items:

  • the completed application cover sheet:
  • a résumé or short biography, with contact information for two professional references;
  • an application essay (no longer than four double-spaced pages).

As the first step of your application, please fill out the Application Cover Sheet online. Please combine your materials (NEH cover sheet, résumé or short biography, and application essay) into a single PDF and email to: earlymodernexchanges@gmail.com

Please submit all materials by: March 1, 2017

While the preferred application method is via email, applications can be mailed, in three copies, to:
Kaya Şahin
NEH Summer Institute
Indiana University
Department of History
1020 E. Kirkwood Ave.
742 Ballantine Hall
Bloomington, IN 47405

Essays
Perhaps the most important part of the application is the essay that must be submitted as part of the complete application.  In this essay, please provide us with:

  1. relevant information about your personal and academic background;
  2. your reasons for applying to this particular program;
  3. how you anticipate participation in the Institute to impact your teaching, research, and/or writing projects, which should include a description of an independent project you plan to pursue in addition to the common work of the seminar. Describe the questions or themes you are keen to investigate in your project and what form those investigations might take (a syllabus, unit, set of lectures, conference paper, annotated bibliography, research article or chapter outline/ draft, a research or teaching journal, etc.).
  4. a summary of how you anticipate you might contribute to the Institute learning community.

A committee of scholars will review your application in March. You will be informed of their decision on Friday, March 31, 2017.

Please direct all application inquiries to:
earlymodernexchanges@gmail.com

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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