Beginning the week of July 7, George Mason University is hosting a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Institute for College and University Teachers entitled, “A View from the East: The Federal Government and the American West.” The institute is offered under the auspices of the NEH’s summer institute series, which brings together college and university educators to study a range of humanities topics. The institute at Mason will take place from July 7 through August 8, 2014.
The theme of the institute is the role of the federal government in the settlement of the American West. It will emphasize the exploration and mapping of new territories, the settlement of diverse groups, the evolution of Western identities, and the visual presentation of the West. Participants, comprising twenty-five teachers, graduate students, and scholars of western US history, will work with Washington-area and visiting scholars, staff from the Library of Congress, the National Archives, the Smithsonian Institution, the Department of the Interior, and the Mexican Cultural Institute.
The institute will feature digital tools and resources from Mason’s Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, along with digital and hard-copy resources of the governmental participant agencies.
The institute’s theme and program were developed by Richard Stillson and Paula Petrik, faculty members in Mason’s Department of History and Art History (Dr. Petrik is also the associate director of the Center for History and New Media), Francis Flavin, of the United States Department of the Interior, and Elliot West, of the University of Arkansas Department of History. Mason, with its proximity to the nation’s capital, is a venue well suited to hosting the institute, and Brian Platt, director, Department of History and Art History, appreciates the institute's advantages to the university.
“I am thrilled that Mason is hosting this institute,” Platt said. “These NEH programs always bring major visibility to the host institution, which is of course welcome. This one is particularly special, though, as it involves collaboration not only with faculty at other universities but with the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, and the National Archives. The event will raise Mason’s research profile and will deepen relationships between the department and the nation’s preeminent public cultural institutions.”
July 01, 2014