Discover dynamic education programs and curriculum resources about the history of our city, state, and nation.
We invite you to apply to participate in our exciting, rigorous three-week summer institute for school teachers “American Women in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.” We will convene 30 educators, 18 of the nation’s most renowned historians, and the vast treasures of the New-York Historical Society’s collections for a three-week summer institute from July 15 – August 2, 2019. The Institute will engage you in groundbreaking new scholarship, dialogue with leaders in the field, deep primary source research, and meaningful curriculum projects to examine how American women experienced and participated in wartime—politically, socially, and militarily; how military conflict shaped women’s roles in the nation; and how women’s histories enrich the classroom.
Despite widespread recognition that women are integral to considerations of the nation’s past, they still remain relatively absent from the popular American historical narrative. History is predominantly told from a male perspective in Social Studies textbooks, with notable women such as Abigail Adams and Sojourner Truth peppered throughout.
In American Women in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars we will use these two conflicts as case studies that provide both a framework and materials for integrating women’s perspectives and experiences into classroom instruction. These historical episodes remain predominantly male narratives, particularly because they were military conflicts, with only token nods to contributions by and consequences for women. By applying a case study approach to these two critical turning points in American history, we ultimately aim to:
- highlight women's centrality to broad historical developments;
- explore how incorporating these histories into the larger narrative requires us to reconsider our understanding of the past;
- help participants understand that notions about women's rights and roles are not timeless and universal but are always the product of particular historical circumstances; and
- emphasize that there is no single “women’s history” but rather women’s histories that are influenced by contingencies such as race, class, marital status, and geography.
We will dedicate a week and a half of the Institute to each conflict, progressing chronologically. This will enable us to achieve an appropriate balance of depth and breadth–a week and a half will provide time to delve into each time period without being overwhelming given the limited amount of time the average curriculum allows for each topic. Further, focusing on an 18th century conflict followed by a 19th century one will allow us to reflect on changes over time.
The Institute is built upon the core of the New-York Historical Society (N-YHS)’s pedagogical methodology—the simple guiding premise that objects tell stories. Institute participants will enjoy direct access to original primary sources and will learn to lead object-based inquiry to leverage artifacts to communicate rich and complex American history content in the classroom.
In addition, we will greatly benefit from N-YHS’s groundbreaking Center for Women’s History and companion Women and the American Story curriculum. The Center for Women’s History is a unique, unprecedented initiative that situates the diverse experiences of women in the American historical narrative writ large. Women and the American Story is a ten-unit survey curriculum that connects educators with resources to seamlessly incorporate the teaching of women’s history in their classrooms. Throughout the Institute, participants will visit the Center’s galleries and installations in tandem with using materials from the curriculum to explore how using objects as interpretive historical tools brings women’s histories to life while deepening the teaching and learning of history.
The Institute is further informed by N-YHS’s experience developing standards-based curriculum materials on a broad array of historical topics and helping teachers of all grade levels grow as educators and scholars. We will draw from rich curriculum materials developed in conjunction with major exhibitions and installations such as Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow (2018), The Battle of Brooklyn (2016), and New York Divided: Slavery and the Civil War (2006).
“Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.”