Programs & Events

Seminar Summit, July 19-22: Revolutionary America

Due to the growing health crisis and restrictions on in-person gatherings, the Gilder Lehrman Institute will not be able to offer in-person Teacher Seminars this summer. We are working on an alternative offering for the summer. Please visit for updates.


Denver Brunsman, Associate Professor of History, The George Washington University


This seminar explores the founding era of the United States of America. It will begin by considering the place of the thirteen American colonies in Britain’s Atlantic empire, proceed to study why American colonists resisted British efforts to reform their empire after winning the Seven Years’ War, and trace the agonizing decision by the Second Continental Congress to declare American independence. The final sessions of the seminar will concentrate on the early years of the new American nation, from the turbulent period of the American Revolutionary War to the birth of a new – and fractious – style of politics under the Articles of Confederation and U.S. Constitution. Along the way, emphasis will be given to both the political and social history of the era, as multiple groups came to reconfigure their relationship to the government and broader society. Seminar participants will grapple with current leading questions in the field. Was the American Revolution a single movement or multiple revolutions? What roles did marginalized groups, such as women, African Americans, and American Indians, play in the Revolution? And, finally, what are the legacies of the Revolution for America and the world today?

Travel & Accommodations

This seminar is part of the 2020 Teacher Seminar Summit. During this inaugural Summit, the Institute will offer twelve concurrent seminars ranging from the Age of Discovery through the Vietnam War. The Summit is expected to serve more than 400 teachers. Each attendee will participate in a seminar with a lead scholar and master teacher, and will have the opportunity to attend book talks where they can hear other eminent historians discuss their major works. This unique format will also give all participating teachers a chance to network with each other.

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements; the Institute will provide a stipend of $350 for travel expenses. Read the policy hereGettysburg College is located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The closest and most convenient airports are Harrisburg International Airport (a 45-minute drive) and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (a 75-minute drive). The college provides shuttle service to campus from many of the major transportation hubs in the area. Call Transportation Services, 717-337-6923, to make arrangements.

The Harrisburg Amtrak Station is about 45 minutes from campus. Again, the college provides shuttle service so long as you call ahead.

If you plan to drive, the Gettysburg College website will provide you with detailed instructions.

Workshop participants will stay in on-campus housing in private bedrooms with a shared common bathroom and common space. The rooms are air-conditioned. The college will provide sheets, a blanket, a pillow, and one towel. You are welcome to bring your own fitted sheets. Please note that participants should plan to bring alarm clocks, hangers, irons, hair dryers, and shower shoes.

Participants should plan to bring laptops, as computer access on campus will be limited.


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


Please be sure to review the Institute’s policies on independent school teacher participation and travel stipends before applying.


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

Seminar Year: 2019-2020