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For information about past research institutes or to learn 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.

Institutes and seminars at the Kluge Center provide scholars and faculty from around the world unique opportunities to pursue individual research projects in the Library of Congress collections and to keep up with recent trends in scholarship through lectures, instruction, discussion, and exchange with leading scholars and specialists in Washington, D.C. The new perspectives and approaches to historical study borne of these interactions enable young scholars and teachers to enhance the courses they teach at their home institutions with new methods for organizing knowledge about the world and to introduce into the classroom a new cross-cultural focus to historical study that moves beyond traditional approaches.

Hosted by the Kluge Center, institutes are funded and organized by external partners, including the American Historical Association, National History Center, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Community College Humanities Association. To learn how you or your organization may partner with The John W. Kluge Center to host a research institute or seminar, contact us at scholarly@loc.gov or (202) 707-3302. To participate in a research institute or seminar, please contact the sponsor organization.

Upcoming

Tenth International Seminar on Decolonization

Date: July 6 - July 31, 2015

Sponsor: National History Center (external link), with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Seminar Leader: Wm. Roger Louis, Historian, Kerr Chair of English History and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin, past Chairman of the U.S. State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee, Founding Director of the National History Center, and member of the Library of Congress Scholars Council.

About: Decolonization is defined as the withdrawal of a colonial power from its colonies and the acquisition of political or economic independence by such colonies. The International Seminar on Decolonization examines the dissolution of colonial empires, mainly in the period after the Second World War and the emergence of new nations, particularly in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. A major emphasis is on the evolving relationships of newly independent states to their former colonial masters, as well as interactions among the new nations. Sixteen young scholars from around the world will spend four weeks at the Library of Congress applying the techniques of sub-disciplines such as political, social, diplomatic and military history to explore the ways that decolonization has reshaped the world. This will be the tenth consecutive year the Kluge Center hosts the decolonization seminar; the Kluge Center hosted the first ever International Seminar on Decolonization in summer 2006. More about the decolonization seminar is on the Library of Congress blog.


Past Institutes & Seminars

Ninth International Seminar on Decolonization

Date: July 7 - August 1, 2014

Sponsor: National History Center (external link), with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Seminar Leader: Wm. Roger Louis, Historian, Kerr Chair of English History and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin, past Chairman of the U.S. State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee, Founding Director of the National History Center, and member of the Library of Congress Scholars Council.

About: Sixteen young scholars from around the globe participated in a four-week program of classes, meetings, lectures, informal gatherings and research about the dissolution of colonial empires, mainly in the period after the Second World War and the emergence of new nations, particularly in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. View participants (external link)

Public lectures:


"Bridging Cultures: U.S. and Atlantic History, 1450-1850"

Date: January 5 - 10, 2014

Sponsor: American Historical Association (AHA), with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Seminar Leader: Philip Morgan, Atlantic historian at Johns Hopkins University. Speakers included John McNeill (Georgetown University), Marcy Norton (The George Washington University), Denver Brunsman (The George Washington University), and Laurent Dubois (Duke University).

About: A seminar for community college faculty that promoted a global perspective on U.S. history at the country's increasingly diverse two-year institutions. The seminar was 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 featured talks on topics such as the Atlantic environment, race and identity, and free and unfree labor. Participants also explored the use of maps and cartography in the Atlantic world. Additionally, the seminar included daily discussions about teaching, and invited speakers devoted a portion of their presentations to applying new historical content in the classroom. 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. Read about the seminar on the AHA website (external link).


Eighth International Seminar on Decolonization

Date: July 8 - August 2, 2013

Sponsor: National History Center (external link), with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Seminar Leader: Wm. Roger Louis, Historian, Kerr Chair of English History and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin, past Chairman of the U.S. State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee, Founding Director of the National History Center, and member of the Library of Congress Scholars Council.

About: Fifteen young scholars from around the globe participated in a four-week program of classes, meetings, lectures, informal gatherings and research about the dissolution of colonial empires, mainly in the period after the Second World War and the emergence of new nations, particularly in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. View participants (external link)

Public lectures:


Seventh International Seminar on Decolonization

Date: July 9 - August 3, 2012

Sponsor: National History Center (external link), with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Seminar Leader: Wm. Roger Louis, Historian, Kerr Chair of English History and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin, past Chairman of the U.S. State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee, Founding Director of the National History Center, and member of the Library of Congress Scholars Council.

About: Fifteen young scholars from around the globe participated in a four-week program of classes, meetings, lectures, informal gatherings and research about the dissolution of colonial empires, mainly in the period after the Second World War and the emergence of new nations, particularly in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. View participants (external link)

Public lectures:


Sixth International Seminar on Decolonization

Date: July 11 - August 5, 2011

Sponsor: National History Center (external link), with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Seminar Leader: Wm. Roger Louis, Historian, Kerr Chair of English History and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin, past Chairman of the U.S. State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee, Founding Director of the National History Center, and member of the Library of Congress Scholars Council.

About: Fifteen young scholars from around the globe participated in a four-week program of classes, meetings, lectures, informal gatherings and research about the dissolution of colonial empires, mainly in the period after the Second World War and the emergence of new nations, particularly in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. View participants (external link)

Public lectures:


"Summer Jefferson Symposium"

Date: July 10 - 16 & July 17 - 23, 2011

Sponsor: Community College Humanities Association (external link) with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities

About: A series of workshops and seminars for fifty community college faculty members. Participants learned about the Library of Congress collections, which are based on Thomas Jefferson’s personal library, and visited two other Jefferson landmarks: Monticello and the University of Virginia.


Fifth International Seminar on Decolonization

Date: July 11 - August 7, 2010

Sponsor: National History Center (external link), with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Seminar Leader: Wm. Roger Louis, Historian, Kerr Chair of English History and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin, past Chairman of the U.S. State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee, Founding Director of the National History Center, and member of the Library of Congress Scholars Council.

About: Fifteen young scholars from around the globe participated in a four-week program of classes, meetings, lectures, informal gatherings and research about the dissolution of colonial empires, mainly in the period after the Second World War and the emergence of new nations, particularly in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. View participants (external link)

Public lectures:


Fourth International Seminar on Decolonization

Date: July 5 - July 31, 2009

Sponsor: National History Center (external link), with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Seminar Leader: Wm. Roger Louis, Historian, Kerr Chair of English History and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin, past Chairman of the U.S. State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee, Founding Director of the National History Center, and member of the Library of Congress Scholars Council.

About: Fifteen young scholars from around the globe participated in a four-week program of classes, meetings, lectures, informal gatherings and research about the dissolution of colonial empires, mainly in the period after the Second World War and the emergence of new nations, particularly in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. View participants (external link)

Public lectures:


"American Immigration Revisited"

Date: July 6 - July 31, 2009

Sponsor: National History Center with the support of the American Historical Association, Community College Humanities Association, Immigration and Ethnic History Society, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Library of Congress.

Seminar Directors: Maureen Murphy Nutting, Professor of History at North Seattle Community College, and Alan Kraut, Professor of History at American University

About: This month-long program brought together 25 two- and four-year college professors and immigration experts for four weeks at the Library of Congress, in order to explore American immigration as part of a global phenomenon, migrations between cultures, changes in immigration law, policy, and practice, and approaches and resources for teaching immigration history. View participants (external link)


"Rethinking America in a Global Perspective"

Date: June 16 - July 31, 2008

Sponsor: National History Center, with funding form the National Endowment for the Humanities

Institute Directors: Carl Guarneri and John Gillis. Guarneri has been a prominent proponent of globalizing American history and is the editor of "America Compared: American History in International Perspective." Gillis has written extensively on comparative and transnational themes, especially relating to the Atlantic world.

About: The four-week institute looked to internationalize American history at the college level by bringing together teachers and experts to the Library of Congress and use its unparalleled collections to explore individual research interests while developing curricular materials that encourage students to become better citizens of an America faced with a multitude of global challenges and opportunities. Read more about the institute (external link)


Third International Seminar on Decolonization

Date: July 6 - August 2, 2008

Sponsor: National History Center (external link), with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Seminar Leader: Wm. Roger Louis, Historian, Kerr Chair of English History and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin, past Chairman of the U.S. State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee, Founding Director of the National History Center, and member of the Library of Congress Scholars Council.

About: Fourteen young scholars from around the globe participated in a four-week program of classes, meetings, lectures, informal gatherings and research about the dissolution of colonial empires, mainly in the period after the Second World War and the emergence of new nations, particularly in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. View participants (external link)

Public lectures:


Second International Seminar on Decolonization

Date: July 9 - August 3, 2007

Sponsor: National History Center (external link), with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Seminar Leader: Wm. Roger Louis, Historian, Kerr Chair of English History and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin, past Chairman of the U.S. State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee, Founding Director of the National History Center, and member of the Library of Congress Scholars Council.

About: Participants conducted research using the Library’s collections, as well as other archival resources in the Washington area. One participant was "delighted to discover" an Office of Strategic Services report on the oppressed communities in India in the 1940s in the Library's collections. Subjects pursued in the seminar included "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 public lectures delivered by Wm. Roger Louis, Founding Director of the NHC and member of the Library of Congress Scholars Council, and Crawford Young. View participants (external link)


"American Cities and Public Spaces"

Date: June 13 - 15, 2007

Sponsor: Community College Humanities Association (external link), with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities

About: The American Cities Research Institute program promoted scholarship among community college faculty. For each of the annual institutes a group of ten community college humanities teachers conducted guided individual research on topics related to American cities. The underlying premises of the program were that the American city was a prime vehicle for developing economic, social, political, philosophical and cultural theory and that the urban condition one of the great lenses for interpreting human experience. The institute included four lectures: "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. Read more about the institute >>


First International Seminar on Decolonization

Date: July 10 - August 4, 2006

Sponsor: National History Center (external link), with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Seminar Leader: Wm. Roger Louis, Historian, Kerr Chair of English History and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin, past Chairman of the U.S. State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee, Founding Director of the National History Center, and member of the Library of Congress Scholars Council.

About: The John W. Kluge Center hosted the first international research seminar on decolonization (external link) in summer 2006. Fifteen young scholars from around the globe participated in a four-week program of classes, meetings, lectures, informal gatherings and research about the dissolution of colonial empires, mainly in the period after the Second World War and the emergence of new nations, particularly in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. View participants (external link)

Previous institutes also include:

"Rethinking America in a Global Perspective," 2005

"Globalizing Regional Studies," 1999


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