The states, societies, and peoples of the Middle East have helped shape the history of the Americas for over 500 years. Despite the many sociocultural, religious, and demographic contributions of Middle Easterners in the Americas, the connection is often only acknowledged in K-12 settings in the context of contemporary conflicts, that is, terrorism, war, and sectarianism at home and abroad. The 2022 Summer Institute is designed to help teachers conceptualize and design ways to give richer historical and contemporary depth to the entwined histories of the Middle East and the Americas, going back to the Columbian exchange and carrying forward through the 20th century.
Teachers will hear from expert scholars on topics that include: How concerns and fears about the Ottoman Empire and Islam shaped Columbus’ journeys to the Americas, perceptions of the Middle East in the early American imaginary, the continuation and development of Islam amongst the enslaved and later immigrants, literary movements that stretched between the Middle East and the Americas, and cultural connections that have shaped the fabric of New York City.
The lectures and seminar sessions will be lead by distinguished scholars in the field, including Ala Alryyes (Queens College CUNY), Todd Fine (CUNY), Angela Haddad (NYU), Aisha Khan (NYU), Nora Lessersohn (UCL), Alan Mikhail (Yale), and more TBA.
In addition to lectures and discussions, the institute will include field trips to relevant local sites, and an optional group project led and advised by the Institute’s Academic Director, Dr. Peter Valenti and institute faculty. Teachers who successfully complete the group project will receive a stipend of $150.
This year's Institute will have two options for attendance, in-person or virtual. Please fill out this eventbrite form if you will be attending the in-person Summer Institute. For the in-person Institute, please note that there is a $75 registration fee. Lunch will be provided to all participants and is included in the registration fee. If you are attending the virtual Summer Institute, register here. Registration closes on July 10, 2022.