Munson Institute Receives NEH Grant

Munson InstituteThe National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded a $154,811 grant to the Frank C. Munson Institute of American Maritime Studies at Mystic Seaport to support its summer 2018 program, “The American Maritime Commons.”

The four-week Institute at Mystic Seaport is for college and university faculty. The Institute will employ interdisciplinary perspectives on American maritime studies, with an emphasis on recent social, cultural, and ecological approaches and current research. It will consist of a series of seminars led by 14 visiting scholars and co-directors Dr. Glenn Gordinier and Dr. Eric Roorda. Participants will enhance their course offerings through intensive studies, dialogue, and reflection on the influence of maritime activities on U.S. history and culture.

“The habitability of the planet hinges on the health of the saltwater environment that covers over 70% (or the majority) of it. Drastically diminished populations of sea life, rapidly rising sea levels, badly degraded water quality, and coastal climate refugees are a few of the notable impacts that centuries of human civilization have had on the ocean,” said Institute co-director Dr. Glenn Gordinier. “Public awareness is a necessary first step toward addressing the potential catastrophe they pose and understanding how we have gotten here makes the work of the Munson Institute more important than ever.”

The Institute builds on the Museum’s successful record of six previous NEH institutes, most recently the first “American Maritime Commons” institute held in summer 2016. The American Maritime Commons will allow college teachers to develop courses and scholarship related to the sea, which¬†seeks to connect the study of the humanities to the current conditions of national life.