All-expense paid 10 day Summer Workshop Intensives in Applied History for Environmental Historians and Historians of the American West

Summer workshops feature a balance of brainstorming sessions, skill building exercises, networking, and an immersion into complex, recurring, Western issues. The goal is to help participants identify the ways in which their scholarly work carries relevance to multiple sectors of society. Every activity accents the compatibility of making the most of the individual visitor’s distinctive temperament and interests, while also immersing the visitor in an atmosphere of teamwork.

Apply Now for Summer 2024 

Post-docs, adjuncts, and recent Ph.D. graduates in History are encouraged to apply. We also accept applications from graduate students who are working on their dissertations as well as motivated undergraduate students attending universities, colleges, and community colleges.

Out of State participants will receive: 

All travel expenses paid,

Meals and incidentals,

Lodging in lovely Boulder, CO,

A $1,200 stipend.

*If you are local, you will receive the stipend, the majority of your meals, and lodging (if desired) but you will not receive travel reimbursement.

Practical Skill Development

While a number of students have had the chance to cultivate some of these skills, our approach, strategy and methods enables participants to emerge from this intensive as practitioners of Applied History with the following practical skill sets:

  1. How to put ideas and supporting evidence in a sequence that permits and even welcomes alternative interpretations, and resists the temptation to present the material in a march toward a pre-determined conclusion.
  2. How to use analogies (and metaphors and comparisons) without being used by them. In other words, how to point out historical similarities and patterns while avoiding the peril of a misleading simplicity in suggesting over-exact equivalents.
  3. How to mobilize historical examples to challenge the binary arrangement of people and phenomena into opposed categories. How to escape simplified either/or arrangements—and shift instead to observing and accepting the actual complexity of individuals and groups in history (and in the present!). While the people of the past rarely fit into anything remotely resembling the casting of good guys and bad guys, keeping a vigilant look-out for this habit of thought, with its power to flatten history and to shrink its meaning, is still a necessary investment of attention.

  1. How to use the term paradox, as an alternative to inconsistency, contradiction, and hypocrisy, to minimize defensive responses and the resultant sacrifice of audience good will.
  2. How to use humor, even when dealing with very serious matters, and how to know when humor will be (at best) a distraction or (at worst) an accelerator of tension.
  3. How—and when—to manage yourself to meet the standards of neutrality. In an era when many work energetically to maximize and escalate conflict, the need for referees, moderators, and conveners leaves an open door of opportunity to historians. And yet, in Applied History, while neutrality often gets better results than advocacy, there are situations where neutrality can border up on a compromise of integrity. How, in other words, to distinguish circumstances when neutrality is useful and effective, when it is frustrating but still the best stance, and when it is unethical and unmoored.

  1. How to speak to journalists (who are, after all, writing the “first draft of history”) while keeping control of your message. In other words, how to think ahead and choose your wording in order to anticipate—and avoid!—misinterpretations and inadvertent misquotations.
  2. How to put together a plan for a speech, an op-ed piece, a blog, or a podcast, and how to recognize that your plan seemed great at first, but needs serious help before it is ready to go public. And then—most important!—how to cut short brooding and self-reproach, and to work fast and effectively to get the plan into better operating order.
  3. How to recognize situations when academic jargon or theory is so essential for intellectual integrity that it cannot be avoided, and how to make its meaning clear to non-historians. How, in other words, to serve as a translating service for the work of academics.

It’s easy to apply. Simply submit:

  1. A three page, double spaced, essay exploring how your academic training has prepared you for reaching a broader audience and how it could limit you in this endeavor. 
  2. Your dissertation title or research topic along with an abstract, if applicable.
  3. Your CV. 
  4. Optional: If you have written for a wider audience (blog, letter to the editor, etc.), please also include a sample of this work. 


Apply Now