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Central Asia in World History

Summer Seminars and Institutes for School Teachers

Postmark Deadline: March 1, 2012

“Central Asia in World History” is a two-week school teacher institute for twenty-five participants on the role of Central Asia as a crossroads of trade and intercultural exchange. The impact of Central Asia on the trajectory of world history is “profound and undeniable,” yet complicated in that the region has functioned as a crossroads “connecting the great civilizations on the Eurasian periphery.”  Over the course of two weeks, teachers of world history, Asian Studies, and geography study aspects of Central Asian history and culture from the legacy of the Silk Road and the Pax-Mongolica to the Anglo-Russian competition for dominance in the region and its post-Soviet geopolitical status. Participants also learn through immersion in traditional food and music of the region. Sessions draw on the director’s scholarship in early modern socio-economic history and guest scholars with expertise  in the Ottoman empire and modern Middle East (Carter Findley, Ohio State University); religion and politics in Soviet Central Asia (Adeeb  Khalid, Carleton College); political culture, state formation, and Islam in medieval Central Asia (Nurten Kilic-Schubel, Kenyon College); Mongol conquest (Timothy May, North Georgia College and State University); nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian colonial expansion and nomadic culture (Daniel Prior, Miami University); and Central Asian historiography and the Islamic world (Ron Sela, Indiana University).  Film screenings and events such as a concert by the Silk Road Ensemble and a demonstration of musical instruments--the setar (Persian lute) and erhu (two-stringed “Chinese violin”)--augment the participants’ appreciation of Central Asian culture.  

Dates: July 15—27 (2 weeks)
Grantee Institutions: Ohio State University
Location: Columbus, OH

About NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes for School Teachers

Each year the NEH’s Division of Education Programs offers teachers opportunities to study a variety of humanities topics in NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes. An NEH Summer Seminar for school teachers enables sixteen participants to explore a topic or set of readings with an expert scholar. The core material of the seminar need not relate directly to the school curriculum; the principal goal of the seminar is to engage teachers in the scholarly enterprise and to expand and deepen their understanding of the humanities through reading, discussion, writing, and reflection.

Amount of Award

NEH Summer Scholars are awarded fixed stipends to help cover travel costs, books and other research expenses, and living expenses. Stipend amounts are based on the length of the NEH Summer Seminar or Institute: $2,100 (2 weeks), $2,700 (3 weeks), $3,300 (4 weeks), $3,900 (5 weeks), or $4,500 (6 weeks).


Full-time teachers in American K-12 schools, whether public, charter, independent, or religiously affiliated, as well as home-schooling parents, are eligible to apply to NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes. Americans teaching abroad are also eligible if a majority of the students they teach are American citizens. Librarians and school administrators may also be eligible.

You may request information about as many projects as you like, but you may apply to no more than two NEH Summer Programs (seminars, institutes, or Landmarks workshops) and you may attend only one. Eligibility criteria differ significantly between NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes and NEH Landmarks Workshops.

Please note: Up to two seminar spaces and three institute spaces are available for current graduate students, who intend to pursue careers in K-12 teaching.

How to Apply

For more information and application instructions, please visit the program website listed above.