NEH seminar offers K-12 teachers an opportunity for academic study of Muslim American identities

Edward E. Curtis IV

Edward E. Curtis IV

The academic study of Muslim American history and life is the focus of a summer seminar open to K-12 teachers.

Applications are now being accepted for a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar, “Muslim American Identities, Past and Present,” to be held July 12 to Aug. 1, 2015, in Indianapolis.

Sixteen teachers from across the country will be selected for the three-week seminar during which they will discuss the racial, ethnic, religious and gender identities of U.S. Muslims.

Directed by Edward E. Curtis IV, an award-winning scholar of Islam in America and holder of the Millennium Chair of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, the seminar will focus on the academic study of Muslim American identities, not the religious or spiritual beliefs or habits of the participating teachers.

Participants will study 30 primary source documents written by Muslim Americans, listen to distinguished guest lecturers Kambiz Ghanea Bassiri and Juliane Hammer, and visit two local mosques. They will also work on individual research projects on topics such as Muslim American slave narratives, Islamic hip-hop, Muslim American food cultures and Muslim American political engagement.

“My primary aim is to nurture an environment of deep intellectual engagement and active learning in which teachers try to answer a key question of our time: What does it mean to be both Muslim and American?” said Curtis, who is the author of “Muslims in America, among other books.

The seminar will meet almost daily in the Campus Center on the IUPUI campus. In addition to meeting rooms, the IUPUI Campus Center houses a bookstore, a credit union and a food court.

As one of seven campuses administered by Indiana University, IUPUI is known as Indiana’s premier urban research and health sciences campus. IUPUI has more than 30,000 students enrolled in 17 schools, which offer more than 250 degrees. IUPUI awards degrees from both Indiana and Purdue universities. The campus is near the heart of downtown Indianapolis. Several major cultural attractions and affordable restaurants are within walking distance or a brief bus ride.

All seminar participants receive a $2,700 stipend to help cover transportation, food, housing and other costs. Housing is available on campus. Teachers in public and private schools are encouraged to apply.

Funding for the summer seminar comes from the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agency that supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation.

Deadline for applications is March 2.

For additional information about the seminar, teachers should address their questions to Edward E. Curtis IV by phone at (317) 278-1683 or email: ecurtis4@iupui.edu

Lecture: Jon Coleman, “Here Lies Hugh Glass: A Mountain Man, a Bear, and the Rise of the American Nation”

August 29, 7-8pm
CE Yale Pratt Room
Jon Coleman, Professor of History, Notre Dame University
“Here Lies Hugh Glass: A Mountain Man, a Bear, and the Rise of the American Nation”
Support provided by the IUPUI Department of History 

In the summer of 1823, a grizzly bear mauled Hugh Glass. The animal ripped the trapper up, carving huge hunks from his body. Glass’s fellows rushed to his aid and slew the bear, but Glass’s injuries mocked their first aid. The expedition leader arranged for his funeral: two men would stay behind to bury the corpse when it finally stopped gurgling; the rest would move on. Alone in Indian country, the caretakers quickly lost their nerve. They fled, taking Glass’s gun, knife, and ammunition with them. But Glass wouldn’t die. He began crawling toward Fort Kiowa, hundreds of miles to the east, and as his speed picked up, so did his ire. The men who took his gear and left him to rot were going to pay.

Here Lies Hugh Glass springs from this legend. The acclaimed historian Jon T. Coleman delves into the accounts left by Glass’s contemporaries and the mythologizers who used his story to advance their literary and filmmaking careers. A spectacle of grit in the face of overwhelming odds, Glass sold copy and tickets. But he did much more. Through him, the grievances and frustrations of hired hunters in the early American West and the natural world they traversed and explored bled into the narrative of the nation. A marginal player who nonetheless sheds light on the terrifying drama of life on the frontier, Glass endures as a consummate survivor and a complex example of American manhood. Here Lies Hugh Glass, a vivid, often humorous portrait of a young nation and its growing pains, is a Western history like no other.

Reserve your free tickets here: