Our Shared Past: A Collaborative Grants Program Offered By The British Council And The Social Science Research Council

The British Council and the Social Science Research Council are pleased to announce the launch of Our Shared Past, a collaborative grants program to encourage new approaches to world history curriculum and curricular content design in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and North America. The next deadline is May 31, 2012. To learn more, visit the program webpage at: http://www.ssrc.org/fellowships/our-shared-past/.

Our Shared Past is premised on the notion that many of the categories used to frame and teach world history—civilizations, nations, religions, and regions—occlude as much as they reveal. Although there have been successful attempts at incorporating recent historical scholarship in world history writing, the core of world history instruction continues to be shaped by civilizational, national, and regional narratives that emphasize discrete civilizations and traditions frequently set at odds with one another at the expense of historical and material connections and continuities.

Our Shared Past grants will promote the development of international scholarly communities committed to analyzing history curriculum and reframing the teaching of world history through the identification of new scholarship and the development of new curricular content that illustrate shared cultural, economic, military, religious, social, and scientific networks and practices as well as shared global norms and values that inform world history and society.

Our Shared Past is a program of the British Council and the Social Science Research Council with support provided by Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Grants will be made to research teams or research centers on US university campuses, including, but not limited to, Title VI National Resource Centers. While we especially encourage research teams/consortia that include partner institutions from the United Kingdom and/or the Middle East/North Africa region, the principal investigator must be based at a US university.

Funding Priorities
Funds are available to projects that develop robust networks of faculty who possess the expertise to study existing world history curriculum (K–14, i.e., at pre-collegiate and collegiate levels) in a specific national or regional setting and who are positioned to propose alternative curriculum design based on that scholarship.

Priority consideration will be given to applicants with a demonstrated ability to reform curriculum design and identify partner organizations/individuals that can help to put scholarly content or specific recommendations in the hands of educators and policymakers who can influence curriculum reform at national and local levels. In the case of public events, this may include identifying non-university partners who can successfully draw appropriate audiences to the theme as well as partners who will disseminate research findings strategically.

Application Process
Applications must be submitted online through the SSRC application portal, which is accessible at:http://www.ssrc.org/fellowships/our-shared-past/. No hard copies will be accepted. All applications are due by May 31, 2012.

Additional Information and Questions
For further information, please contact the program directly at osp “at” ssrc.org. This Program is directed by Thomas Asher, Program Director at the Social Science Research Council, and Emmanuel Kattan, Program Manager at the British Council.