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World War I in the Middle East

Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers

Postmark Deadline: March 1, 2012

“World War I in the Middle East” is a four-week college and university faculty summer seminar for sixteen participants to explore World War I in the Middle East. The seminar seeks to understand the impact of the Middle East on World War I and the impact of World War I on the Middle East. The directors note that few scholarly works have, to date, assessed World War I in the Middle East, yet the time is ripe to do so in view of “the opening of important state archives” and the appearance of “rich troves of non-governmental sources.” The seminar hopes to “launch ‘World War I in the Middle East’ as a distinct subfield of historical study” by combining military, social, and diplomatic history. The first week explores the road to the Ottoman Empire’s entry into the war; the second week studies the war itself; the third week examines the impact of the war; and the fourth week (in which participants make presentations) assesses the peace settlement. The seminar director, Mustafa Aksakal, is the author of The Ottoman Road to War in 1914. He currently holds an NEH Fellowship to write his second book, The Unknown War: The First World War in the Middle East. His co-director, Elizabeth Thompson, a historian at the University of Virginia, has also written two books (one forthcoming) on World War I in the Middle East. Joining Aksakal and Thompson are four guest lecturers: one Turkish historian (Erol Köroğlu of Boğaziçi University, one Palestinian historian (Salim Tamari of Birzeit University), and two historians from the United States (John Milton Cooper of the University of Wisconsin, and Ronald Suny of the University of Michigan).

Dates: June 9-July 6 (4 weeks)
Grantee Institutions: American University
Location: Washington, DC

About NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers

Each year the NEH’s Division of Education Programs offers teachers opportunities to study a variety of humanities topics in Summer Seminars and Institutes. Each NEH Summer Seminar includes sixteen participants working in collaboration with one or two leading scholars. Participants have access to a major research collection, with time reserved to pursue individual projects.

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).


NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes 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 project.

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.

Please note:

Adjunct faculty, community college faculty and first-time participants are encouraged to apply.

Up to two seminar spaces and three institute spaces are reserved for current full-time graduate students in the humanities.

How to Apply

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