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The Bright Institute


Catherine Denial

Bright Distinguished Professor & Chair of History

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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The Bright Institute at Knox College is a three-year program for professors of American history before 1848 at liberal arts colleges from across the United States. We are seeking our first cohort of dynamic and engaged scholars.

What the Institute will do:

The Institute will host 14 participants at an in-residence summer seminar for three years at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Each year's two-week seminar will be co-hosted by an eminent professor of American history before 1848 and a pedagogical consultant who will help participants turn their research into incisive classroom opportunities. The 2018 co-leaders are Serena Zabin, author of Dangerous Economies: Status and Commerce in Imperial New York (UPenn, 2009), and Joshua Eyler of Rice University's Center for Teaching Excellence.

The institute will cover lodging, provide $500 of travel support, and reimburse for meals not catered by the program.

Each participant will receive $3000 in research support each year of the seminar.

What the Institute is looking for:

We're looking for professors of any rank at liberal arts colleges from across the United States who specialize in American history before 1848, and who would relish an intensive summer seminar with new colleagues on cutting-edge scholarship from that period.

In keeping with the mission of Knox College, preference will be given to faculty working with traditionally underserved research topics, including Native and Indigenous history, African American history, Latinx history, and the history of women, gender, and sexuality.

Participants would commit to three years of seminars and research, and contribute to the Bright Institute blog throughout their tenure in the program.

To apply:

Please e-mail a cover letter detailing your current research project and pedagogical goals, a CV, and one letter of reference from your department chair or dean to Cate Denial, Director of the Bright Institute and Chair of History, at

Applications are due by October 31, 2017.


October 31 - Application Deadline
January 15 - Application Notification of Status
January 30 - Applicant Accept/Decline
July 2018 - Bright Institute

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