Welcome to the website for the 2015 Summer Institute in Istanbul!



This Institute will be held from July 5 to 25, 2015 and is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.   In Summer 2013, UC San Diego Prof. Matthew Herbst led the first “Istanbul Between East and West: Crossroads of History” Institute.    As in 2013, the 2015 Summer Institute will bring 25 middle and high school social studies, arts, geography, and humanities teachers to Istanbul for a three-week intensive program where they will learn from leading scholars on Roman, NEH Logo MASTER_082010Byzantine, Medieval Mediterranean, Ottoman, and modern Turkish history.   The 2015 Institute faculty team is drawn from University of California San Diego, University of California Riverside, Ohio State University, University of Michigan, Arizona State University, and from Boğazici and Özyeğin Universities in Turkey.   As in 2013, this team is comprised of distinguished scholars and recognized leaders in their respective periods of historical study.   Equally important, these scholars are also outstanding and passionate teachers.

This Summer Institute provides teachers with a better understanding of a city and region that has been at the crossroads of regional and world history from antiquity to the present.   The Institute used Istanbul as an intellectual point of departure to explore the Roman/Byzantine and Ottoman Empires and modern Turkey. With its emphasis on cross-cultural encounters and global comparisons, the program situated this history in the larger context of the Mediterranean and Middle East and in the even broader framework of world history. The Institute integrated readings, lectures, and discussions with the most important text, Istanbul itself, making its monuments, museums, and urban geography part of the academic design.   Participants generated ways to incorporate the Institute content, which corresponded to the National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, into their classroom instruction.

This video was made by Mr. Greg Sill, a teacher on the 2013 Summer Institute.


Endowment programs do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age.  For further information, write to NEH Equal Opportunity Officer, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20506.  TDD:  202/606‑8282 (this is a special telephone device for the Deaf).

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


5 thoughts on “Overview

  1. What a wonderful opportunity, and I look forward to taking advantage of this to work alongside experts and learn about such an exciting culture. Thank for you the information and thorough organization. I have dreamed about visiting the Hagia Sophia, and maybe it will actually happen. Thank you sharing and sponsoring this incredible expedition!

  2. I am really excited about this NEH/UCSD program. As a special education teacher who co-teaches in global history/humanities classes (for both 6th and 10th grades) I would RELISH the opportunity to participate in this type of collaborative study-travel opportunity. I look forward to applying!

  3. Vicky

    Looking forward to applying to this program! I think experiencing Istanbul first hand would definitely enhance my AP World classroom teaching; especially since there is such a focus on this area as a crossroads of the world.

  4. Ellen Georgi

    The song, “Istanbul, not Constantinople” keeps looping through my head as I read through this. I play it for my students each year and they moan about it being so corny, but tell me they remember it years later. I, too, hope to walk through the Hagia Sophia for a once in a lifetime teacher experience.

  5. Super stoked about this opportunity!! I trust my application made it on time and hope to meet everyone soon.

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