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Reinstate Summer Seminars and Institutes Overseas

This petition had 1,430 supporters

The National Endowment for the Humanities' Summer Seminars and Institutes provide extraordinary educational opportunities to teachers of all levels. However, this year they have discontinued support for seminars located outside of US territory.

While in many cases the program goals [to "extend and deepen knowledge and understanding of the humanities by focusing on significant topics and texts; contribute to the intellectual vitality and professional development of participants; build communities of inquiry and provide models of civility and excellent scholarship and teaching; and link teaching and research in the humanities" (from] can be achieved without travel outside of the US and its territories, in some fields this national limitation makes achieving these objectives impossible.

A few examples include archival research in a foreign language's literature; archaeological seminars that require physical presence at the dig; or a comparative analysis of city planning of memorial spaces. These learning activities would be greatly hindered by arbitrary travel limitations. Furthermore, depending on point of origin, travel to sites in Mexico, Canada, or the Caribbean is closer and cheaper than travel to other US territories. 

By reinstating international Summer Seminars and Institutes, the NEH will support global research and learning at all levels of the US education system. Rather than reserving international travel for elite professors and institutions, the programs will give elementary and high school teachers, graduate students, adjunct university faculty, and tenure-track and tenured professors access to a valuable learning experience that will then be shared with their own students at home. 

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