The Newberry is pleased to announce that its Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography has received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for a four-week summer seminar in 2020 that will bring 16 schoolteachers to the Newberry to study the interplay between mapping and environmental knowledge across Pan-American history.
The $120,000 NEH grant enables the Newberry to continue to provide valuable professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers. Through this programming, teachers learn tools and techniques for bringing maps and cartographic literacy into their classrooms so that they may expand their students’ perspectives on the role that maps play in shaping our understanding of the world.
Mapping Nature across the Americas, led by James Akerman (a geographer and director of the Smith Center) and Kathleen Brosnan (an environmental historian and Travis Chair of Modern American History, University of Oklahoma) will emphasize how map study can provide insights into the complicated, contradictory, and contested ways in which humans conceived their place in nature through history. The seminar will be distinctive in its use of maps as the core texts for this exploration, emphasizing the development of teachers’ skills in the use of maps in their classroom as they consider how mapping has represented and transformed human conceptions of nature over time.
This grant is the 14th the Smith Center has received since 1995 from the NEH for its innovative summer seminars and institutes devoted to map scholarship and teaching.