Skip to main content

Empire City: New York from 1877–2001

Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for School Teachers

Postmark Deadline: March 1, 2012

“Empire City: New York from 1877–2001” consists of two one-week NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops held during summer 2012 for eighty school teachers using New York City landmarks to illuminate major themes in local and national history since 1877. The workshops use lectures, discussions, and site visits to situate New York City within broader urban history and American history. Co-directors are Kenneth Jackson (Columbia University) and Karen Markoe (State University of New York, Maritime College). The program opens with consideration of Manhattan’s rise to national dominance after the Civil War, followed by a walking tour of Central Park and visit to the New-York Historical Society, where Sandra Trenholm (Gilder Lehrman Collection) guides participants in working with primary documents. Day two’s focus on Gilded Age New York includes prizewinning biographer David Nasaw (Graduate Center of City University of New York) on “Andrew Carnegie and His Gospel of Wealth,” and a visit to magnate Henry Clay Frick’s mansion.  To explore immigration, participants read Jacob Riis’s How the Other Half Lives and E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime, then experience immigrant neighborhoods including Five Points, Little Italy, and Chinatown. The program also addresses the “Black Metropolis,” including visits to Harlem and the Bronx as well as readings from Langston Hughes and Ralph Ellison. On the final day of the workshop, Joshua Freeman (Queens College) covers the transition from industrial to service and residential use, as seen in the Meat Packing District. Concluding the site visit at Ground Zero, project director Kenneth Jackson discusses the local and national effects of 9/11.

Dates: New York, NY: June 24–30 or July 8–14
Grantee Institutions: Kenneth Jackson, Columbia University, and Karen Markoe, State University of New York, Maritime College
Location: The Gilder Lehrman Collection, Central Park, Henry Clay Frick Museum and Mansion, Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), the Brooklyn Bridge, Foley Square, Five Points, Chinatown, Little Italy, Madison Square Garden, Harlem and the South Bronx, Site of the World Trade Center, Chelsea and the Meatpacking District

About NEH Landmarks of American History: Workshops for School Teachers

The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent grant-making agency of the federal government. As part of the NEH’s We the People program, we offer the following Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for School Teachers. NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops provide the opportunity for K-12 educators to engage in intensive study and discussion of important topics in American history and culture. These one-week programs will give participants direct experiences in the interpretation of significant historical and cultural sites and the use of archival and other primary evidence. Landmarks Workshops present the best scholarship on a specific landmark or related cluster of landmarks, enabling participants to gain a sense of the importance of historical places, to make connections between what they learn in the Workshop and what they teach, and to develop enhanced teaching or research materials.

Amount of Award

Teachers selected to participate will receive a stipend of $1,200 at the end of the residential Workshop session. Stipends are intended to help cover living expenses, books, and travel expenses to and from the Workshop location.


These projects are designed principally for classroom teachers and librarians in public, charter, independent, and religiously-affiliated schools, as well as home schooling parents. Other K-12 school personnel, including administrators, substitute teachers, and classroom professionals, are eligible to participate, subject to available space.

Teachers at schools in the United States or its territorial possessions or Americans teaching in foreign schools where at least 50 percent of the students are American nationals are eligible for this program. 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.

Applicants must complete the NEH application and provide all of the information requested to be considered eligible.

New this year: An individual may apply to up to two NEH Summer Programs in any one year (Landmarks Workshops, Summer Seminars, or Summer Institutes), but may participate in only one. Please note that eligibility criteria differ significantly between the Landmarks Workshops and the Seminars and Institutes Programs.

How to Apply

Please e-mail, telephone or send by U.S. Post a request for application information and expanded Workshop descriptions to the Landmarks directors listed here; in many cases, these materials will also be available on project Web sites. You may request information about as many Workshops as you like, and, as noted above, you may apply to up to two programs but participate in only one.