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Using the latest in research in “New Western History,” participants will explore case studies that explain the importance and distinctiveness of the American West in the past and present.


Patricia Nelson Limerick, Faculty Director and Chair of the Board, Center of the American West, University of Colorado, Boulder


In traditional approaches to teaching American history, a unit on westward expansion serves as a regional interlude in courses otherwise centered on events in the eastern United States. This seminar will mobilize the innovative trends in historical interpretation that have come to the fore in the quarter century since the launching of the “New Western History.” Principal topics include the displacement and relocation of Indian peoples, the incorporation of the Mexican territories into the United States, the bursts of activity in extractive industries ranging from mining to logging, the complicated enterprise of installing conventional agriculture in arid and semi-arid terrain, the “enabling” role played by federal power in the processes of settlement, and the dynamic effects of changes in communication and transportation. Participants will explore the power of Western American history in offering case studies that encapsulate the quintessential patterns and themes of American history, while also noting the distinctiveness of the region in the past and present.

Travel & Accommodations

The closest airport to the university is Denver (DIA). Driving time between DIA and Boulder is approximately sixty to ninety minutes. The DIA website provides web links and phone numbers for commuter shuttles, taxis, and rental cars.

The University of Colorado website has driving directions and maps of the campus.

Workshop participants will stay in on-campus residence halls. Residence halls are not air-conditioned, and there are no phones in guest rooms. Participants will have single bedrooms, but will share bathrooms and common space on each floor. A guest ID will be provided to access the wireless Internet service in the residence hall and meeting rooms. Although participants will have access to computer clusters, many bring laptops, as computer access on campus will be limited.

The university provides sheets, bedspreads, towels, and pillows. Please note that participants should plan to bring a cell phone, fan, shower shoes, alarm clock, shampoo, hangers, irons, hair dryers, etc.


Meals will be served in a university cafeteria in space shared by other programs. All on-campus meals will be paid for by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Travel Reimbursement

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from the seminar. Each seminar participant will receive reimbursement of travel expenses up to $400. Please read our complete travel reimbursement policy before applying.

Graduate Credit

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is proud to announce its agreement with Adams State University to offer three hours of graduate credit to participating seminar teachers. For more information click here.


Email the Teacher Seminars department or call 646-366-9666.

July 16th, 2017 5:00 PM   through   July 22nd, 2017 9:00 AM
University of Colorado, Boulder
Boulder, CO
United States

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2017 Teacher Seminar Registration Fee $75.00

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