Programs & Events

6-Day, July 26-31: America in the Age of Discovery, 1492-1620

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.

In Partnership with the University of Southern California 


Peter Mancall, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities, Linda and Harlan Martens Director of the Early Modern Studies Institute, and Professor of History and Anthropology, University of Southern California

Robert C. Ritchie, Former Director of Research at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens


“America” cannot be understood only as a physical place. Instead, we need to recognize it as the location for countless encounters, which together led to far-reaching changes in the lives of indigenous Americans as well as European and African travelers. We will explore the initial creation of “America,” with a particular focus on the period from European contact through the establishment of permanent colonies in English North America, drawing on Native American and European understandings of the early colonial period in territory stretching from Arctic Canada to Brazil, which will necessitate wrestling with oral and written sources and visual and material evidence.

Travel & Accommodations

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements; the Institute provides a travel stipend of $350. Read the policy here.

The University of Southern California is located in Los Angeles, California. The nearest airport is Los Angeles International Airport. For more information on the campus, please click here.

Participants will stay in on-campus dormitories in single rooms, but may share bathrooms and common space. Participants should 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