Call for Proposals 2016

1850s Boston Common. Artist Unknown. Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The GLCA Boston Summer Seminar invites proposals from faculty-student research teams from the thirteen GLCA-affiliated colleges to participate in a three-week seminar in June 2016 conducting primary source research in some of America’s premier special collections repositories. The program, sponsored by the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA) and hosted by the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS), will bring together three to four faculty members from GLCA colleges, each with a team of two undergraduate students, for three weeks of intensive primary source research in Boston archives. The 2016 partner institutions include: the MHS; the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (Harvard University); the Houghton Library at Harvard University; the Center for History of Medicine at the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine (Harvard University); and Northeastern University’s Archives & Special Collections.

Research teams (one faculty and two students) will submit research proposals on a broad theme, such as “Gender and the Civil War,” “Nineteenth-century Food Culture,” or “Personal Narratives of WWI.” (Click tab “2015” on our website to read about the team projects from our 2015 alums.) Teams from a wide range of humanities disciplines are encouraged to apply; all projects centered on primary source research will be considered.  The program provides an opportunity for team-based faculty-student research in humanities disciplines, in which student partners work with their faculty mentor on stands of inquiry united by a common theme.  The Seminar allows students to benefit from daily interaction with their faculty mentor and with one another.  Faculty team leaders benefit from engaging with students in the research process, while also delving deeply into their own archival research. While we expect the students not to serve simply as transcribers or research assistants for the faculty member, the group dynamic and end work product of each research team will be up to the faculty mentor to design.  Each seminar team will be paired with a librarian or archivist from one of the partner institutions in Boston, who will provide on-site support and expertise prior to, during, and after the residency period.  Funding is available for both faculty and students.

The seminar, to be held June 6 – 23, 2016, will center on primary source research, requiring participants to spend thirteen days in the archive. In addition, the seminar will include group activities periodically during the course of each week, such as guest lectures, group meals, and historical tours, as well as a day-one orientation and a closing celebration. To apply, please visit the To Apply page, where there are more specific directions for your application and more details about the seminar.  If you have questions, please contact Natalie Dykstra, the Seminar Director, at

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