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Istanbul Between East and West: Crossroads of History

Summer Seminars and Institutes for School Teachers

Postmark Deadline: March 4, 2013

A three-week institute in Istanbul, Turkey, for twenty-five school teachers on the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, and modern Turkey.

The Making of the Modern World, a general education world history program at the University of California, San Diego, has designed a new institute to take place in Istanbul, Turkey.  It traces the city's more than 3,000-year history from the Greek city of Byzantion (Byzantium) to its transformation into Constantinople, the Christian "New Rome" of the East, to its next phase as an Ottoman Muslim imperial capital until the twentieth century when it reached its current status, not as an imperial or national capital, but as Turkey's largest city. Additionally, it provides participants with a better understanding of a city and region that have long functioned as a crossroad of regional and world history. Principal faculty include Matthew T. Herbst (University of California, San Diego); Byzantine historians Raymond Van Dam (University of Michigan) and Anthony Kaldellis (Ohio State University); humanities professor Stefan Stantchev (Arizona State University); Ottoman historian Hasan Kayali (University of California, San Diego); architectural historian Zeynep Çelik (New Jersey Institute of Technology); world historian Robert W. Strayer (State University of New York College at Brockport); and Turkish historian Sinan Ciddi (Georgetown University). Core readings include Ray Van Dam, Rome and Constantinople; Judith Herrin, Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire; Daniel Goffman, The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe; Donald Quataert, Ottoman Empire, 1700-1922; and C.V. Findley, The Turks in World History. Morning sessions from Monday through Thursday are taken up with lectures and discussions of institute readings. Afternoons are devoted to site visits. Friday sessions are reserved for participant discussion and small-group curricular activities.

Faculty: Zeynep Çelik, Sinan Ciddi, Matthew T. Herbst, Anthony Kaldellis, Hasan Kayali, Stefan Stantchev, Robert Strayer, Raymond Van Dam



Dates: June 23— July 14 (3 weeks)
Director(s): Matthew T. Herbst, University of California, San Diego
Grantee Institutions: University of California, San Diego
Location: Istanbul, Turkey

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.