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GHC professors participate in Bridging Cultures seminar

Georgia Highlands College History Professors Steve Blankenship and Shannon Bontrager recently completed a three-year “Bridging Cultures” seminar meant to redesign and widen the basis of college history courses.

They were awarded a grant to participate, which was underwritten by the National Endowment for the Humanities and organized by the American Historical Association.

The three-year seminar began at the Huntington Library in California, went to the Library of Congress last year and culminated at the American History Association Conference in Manhattan, New York.

“The purpose of the seminar is to broaden the historical context of the U. S. History Survey course,” Blankenship said, “by bringing in to closer focus the Atlantic and Pacific worlds and their respective influence on American history.”

He added that broadening the historical context leads to including many environmental factors, as well as a variety of people and places usually ignored in a traditional survey class.

“Our task now is to take the lessons learned from this on-going seminar to our respective classes,” Blankenship said. “[We] are redesigning syllabi and lectures to accommodate this new conceptual framework.”

GHC Vice President for Academic Affairs Renva Watterson attended the final part of the seminar, which was a series of presentations made by all of the awardees across the nation, including Blankenship and Bontrager.

“I found it fascinating to learn about the ways that these dedicated academicians are infusing their teaching and learning with world-wide events, policies, people and perspectives that have/have had significant impact on American history,” she said.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. NEH serves and strengthens our republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. The Endowment accomplishes this mission by awarding grants for top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers.

To see a photo from the event visit: http://www.northwestgeorgianews.com/rome/lifestyles/ghc-professors-participate-in-three-year-bridging-cultures-seminar/article_c6bc0e78-c298-11e4-b23b-cf86d5e68fbe.html

Page last updated: March 6, 2015