Eligibility and Selection Criteria | Newberry

Eligibility and Selection Criteria


This seminar is designed for college-level teachers. Sixteen applications will be chosen, including two full-time graduate students in the humanities. Applications from scholars in all disciplines are welcome. While scholars specializing in the history of cartography, geography, the history and literature of travel, and American, Latin American, European, African, Indigenous and Transatlantic studies will find the seminar especially attractive, it should appeal to anyone interested in the connections between mapping, text, and travel, regardless of their disciplinary, chronological, or regional interests.

We will not require that participants have extensive prior knowledge of the history of travel or cartographic history, or that they have previously incorporated study of travel or cartographic culture in any of their courses or research. However, successful applicants should have knowledge of the subject sufficient to allow them to articulate concrete ways in which the seminar will enhance their teaching and/or research. The ideal seminar participant will bring to the group a fresh understanding of the relevance of the topic to their work, but will have had relatively little opportunity to conduct a research and reading program that would support new scholarly publications or innovative teaching appropriate to the themes of the seminar.

For more information on eligibility requirements, consult the NEH Summer Seminar Eligibility Criteria.


A selection committee reads and evaluates all properly completed applications in order to select the most promising applicants and to identify a number of alternates. The most important consideration in the selection of participants is the likelihood that an applicant will benefit professionally. This is determined by committee members from the conjunction of several factors, each of which should be addressed in the application essay. These factors include:

  1. Quality and commitment as a teacher, scholar, and interpreter of the humanities;
  2. Intellectual interests, in general and as they relate to the work of the Seminar;
  3. Special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would contribute to the Seminar;
  4. Commitment to participate fully in the formal and informal collegial life of the Seminar;
  5. The likelihood that the experience will enhance the applicant’s teaching and scholarship; and
  6. The conception and organization of the applicant’s independent project and its potential contribution to the seminar.

Recent participants are eligible to apply, but selection committees are charged to give first consideration to applicants who have not participated in an NEH-supported Seminar, Seminar or Landmarks Workshop in the last three years (2013, 2014, 2015). When choices must be made among equally qualified candidates, several additional factors are considered.

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