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Map showing sailing ships, land, and sea, entitled Arrival of the English

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Knox's Bright Institute Announces Second Cohort of History Scholars

Map showing sailing ships, land, and sea, entitled Arrival of the English

The Bright Institute at Knox College, a multi-year program for professors who teach early American history at liberal arts colleges, has announced its second cohort of 13 scholars.

The scholars will attend a two-week, in-residence summer seminar for three years on the Knox campus. Each year's 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 2022 co-leaders are Christian Ayne Crouch, author of Nobility Lost: French and Canadian Martial Cultures, Indians, and the End of New France (Cornell, 2014), and Kevin Gannon, author of Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto (West Virginia University Press, 2020). The 2022 Bright Institute seminar is scheduled for July 25-August 5 at Knox College.

Every Bright Institute participant will receive $3,000 in research support during each year of the seminar. In addition, the Institute will cover lodging and other expenses.

The Bright Institute at Knox College is a three-year program designed for professors of any rank who teach at liberal arts colleges from across the United States and who specialize in American history before 1848. In keeping with the mission of Knox College, preference is 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.

The Institute is supported through a trust established by Edwin W. Bright and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Hand Bright, a 1944 alumna of Knox College.

The Institute's director is Knox faculty member Cate Denial, Bright Distinguished Professor of American History and Chair of the Department of History. She has taught at Knox since 2005, and her teaching interests include women, gender, and sexuality; Native and Indigenous history; and pedagogy. Her honors include the Philip Green Wright/Lombard College Teaching Award from Knox College, the Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award from the American Historical Association, and an Andrew W. Mellon fellowship from the American Philosophical Society.

She is a first-generation college student who loves to teach and has a particular interest in training future educators to create fun, dynamic classrooms. Her current research focuses on pregnancy, childbirth, and child-rearing among the nineteenth-century Ojibwe and missionary communities at Fond du Lac in what is currently Minnesota.

Denial said, “This vibrant new cohort are incredible successors to the fellows we hosted over the last four years. Each member of the new cohort is at the forefront of their field, expanding and complicating our understanding of early American history, and devoting time and energy to truly transformational teaching.”

Here are the names of the 13 scholars in the new cohort, along with their current academic institutions.

  • Mary Draper, Midwestern State University 
  • Carrie Glenn, Niagara University 
  • Amy Kohout, Colorado College 
  • Daniel Livesay, Claremont McKenna College 
  • Eleanor McConnell, Frostburg State University 
  • Kristin A. Olbertson, Alma College 
  • Jessica Parr, Simmons University
  • Christian Pinnen, Mississippi College
  • Sarah J. Purcell, Grinnell College
  • Nora Slonimsky, Iona College
  • Jordan Smith, Widener University
  • Jeff Washburn, University of Texas Permian Basin 
  • Lindsey Passenger Wieck, St. Mary’s University

For more details about the Bright Institute and the participants, please visit the Bright Institute webpages

(Illustration credit: "The Arrival of the Englishmen," in Wunderbarliche, doch warhafftige Erklärung, von der Gelegenheit vnd Sitten der Wilden in Virginia ...  [America, pt. 1, German], Frankfort: Theodore De Bry, 1590, p. 40. North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.)

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Printed on Tuesday, December 6, 2022