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The Industrial Revolution in Britain: Historical Intrepretations

Summer Seminars and Institutes for School Teachers

Postmark Deadline: March 1, 2012

“The Industrial Revolution in Britain: Historical Interpretations” is a five-week school teacher seminar in the United Kingdom for sixteen participants on the Industrial Revolution in Britain. The project, states veteran director Gerard Koot, aims “to develop a critical appreciation for the experience of industrialization in Britain, the historiography of the subject, and the lasting influence these interpretations have had on cultural values.”  “[S]ince one of the chief causes of the British Industrial Revolution was the growth and dynamism of the London market,” the seminar begins with a week in that city, then moves to Nottingham for four weeks with continuing site visits that provide a “physical appreciation of the dramatic transformation in material and social life that the industrial revolution entailed.”  Guided by education and museum consultant Haydon Luke, participants visit, for example, the world’s first mechanized cotton mill, a communal dwelling for children who worked in textile mills, a coal mine, and various museums and historical parks.  Cooperative study groups rotate leading the participant discussions.  Readings include John L. and Barbara Hammond’s The Town Labourer:  The New Civilization, 1760-1832; E. J. Hobsbawm’s Industry and Empire; Katrina Honeyman’s Women, Gender, and Industrialisation in England, 1700-1870; Robert C. Allen’s The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective; poems by William Blake and William Wordsworth; and the opposing arguments between Robert Southey and Thomas Babington Macaulay on the impact of industrialization on the poor.  Participants keep a reading journal, write two interpretive essays or one larger seminar paper, and contribute to the website.   

Dates: June 24 – July 27 (5 weeks)
Grantee Institutions: University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Location: London and Nottingham, UK

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.