Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Announcing a New History Institute on the Invention of the Middle East, Post-World War One, and the Reinvention of the Middle East, Post-Arab Spring

Announcing a New History Institute on the Invention of the Middle East, Post-World War One, and the Reinvention of the Middle East, Post-Arab Spring

  • May 17, 2013

Announcing a New History Institute on the Invention of the Middle East, Post-World War One, and the Reinvention of the Middle East, Post-Arab Spring

  • May 17, 2013


APPLICATION DEADLINE: September 15, 2013  (best to apply early)

The modern Middle East, as we knew it, was formed in the aftermath of World War I; yet we are now facing a region-wide upheaval on possibly the same scale of that seminal period in history. In this intensive weekend-long conference for high school teachers, we will explore the historic developments of our time in the larger historical context of another era — with lectures by the best scholars in the country. Teachers will complete the weekend with a much deeper appreciation and understanding of the Middle East and the implications for US foreign policy.

Conference agenda and application information are printed below.



Sponsored by

The W.W. Keen and Madeleine Butcher History Institute
at the Foreign Policy Research Institute

Senator John Heinz History Center

World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

Saturday and Sunday, November 2-3, 2013
Heinz History Center
1212 Smallman Street, Pitsburgh, PA


The Ottoman Middle East
Michael A. Reynolds, Associate Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University; Senior Fellow, FPRI

Winston Churchill and the Creation of the Modern Middle East
John H. Maurer, Chairman, Strategy Dept., US Naval War College; Senior Fellow, FPRI

The Middle East Before the Arab Spring
Adam Garfinkle, Editor, The American Interest Magazine

The Sunni-Shi‘a Divide in a Post-Arab Spring Middle East
Samuel Helfont, Ph.D. Candidate, Princeton University; Associate Scholar, FPRI

The Muslim Brotherhood: From Inception until the Present Day
Eric Trager, Next Generation Fellow, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy; Associate Scholar, FPRI

KEYNOTE: Middle East Realities Defy Our Familiar Categories and Concepts
Michael S. Doran, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

Iranian Grand Strategy under the Ayatollahs
Amin Tarzi, Director of Middle East Studies, Marine Corps University

al-Qaeda 2.0
Clint Watts, Consultant, Researcher and Trainer, Miburo Solutions, Inc.; Senior Fellow, FPRI

Does Democracy Have a Future in the Middle East?
Sean L. Yom, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Temple University; Senior Fellow, FPRI

The conference begins at 8:30 am ET on Saturday, November 2 and concludes at 12:30 pm ET on Sunday, November 3, 2013.


Social studies and history teachers, curriculum supervisors, and junior college faculty are invited to apply for participation in the History Institute. Forty participants will be selected to receive:

  • complimentary overnight accommodations for those outside of Pittsburgh vicinity;
  • complimentary lunch and dinner on Saturday, plus continental breakfast on Saturday and Sunday
  • assistance in designing curriculum and special projects based on the History Institute;
  • stipends of $200 for well-developed lesson plans for posting on our website that effectively utilize the experience of the weekend conference, or documentation of in-service presentations based on the weekend;
  • partial travel reimbursements (up to $250) for participants outside the vicinity of the conference center;
  • subscription to E-Notes, FPRI’s weekly bulletin; and Footnotes, FPRI’s bulletin for high school teachers.
  • a certificate of participation in a program offering 12 hours of instruction. In addition, for those interested, college credit is available for a small fee through our cooperating institution, Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Please email to a resume and a short statement describing your current teaching or professional assignments, your reasons for wanting to attend, and how your students or school district will benefit from your participation. NOTE: At the time of application, you are asked to make a commitment either to prepare a curriculum unit based on the weekend or to do in-service activities based on the weekend.

Schools with a school membership in FPRI’s Wachman Center are guaranteed one place at one History Institute weekend per year (but be sure to note your school’s membership on your application). For information about school membership, contact Eli Gilman at

APPLICATION DEADLINE: September 15, 2013  (best to apply early)

Videotapes of the entire conference will be posted subsequently on our website, plus texts of selected lectures.

For information about future and previous programs, click here.

Support for this history institute is provided by FPRI Trustee Robert A. Fox. 


The Butcher History Institute, co-chaired by David Eisenhower and Walter A. McDougall, is designed to bring high school teachers from around the country together with the nation’s top scholars in history, political science, and other fields for an intensive weekend of lectures and discussion on topics in American and world history and international relations.

David Eisenhower is an FPRI Senior Fellow and a Lindback Award for Excellence of Teaching-recipient Public Policy Fellow at the Annenberg School of Communications, where he teaches communications and the president. He is author of the New York Times bestseller “Eisenhower at War, 1943-45″and “Going Home to Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961-1969.”

Walter A. McDougall is an FPRI Senior Fellow and Professor of International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania. A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, he is author most recently of a two-volume American history, Freedom Just Around the Corner: A New American History, 1585-1828 (2004) and Throes of Democracy: America in the Civil War Era, 1829-1877 (March 2008).

Recent History Weekends:

Iran and the Geopolitics of the Middle East
October 2012
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Hosted and Cosponsored by the Senator John Heinz History Center

Teaching the Middle East: Between Authoritarianism and Reform
October 2011
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Great Captains in American History
April 2013
Wheaton, IL
Hosted and Cosponsored by the First Division Museum at Cantigny

Great Battles and How They Have Shaped American History
April 2012
Wheaton, IL
Hosted and Cosponsored by the First Division Museum at Cantigny

China and India: Ancient Civilizations, Rising Powers, Giant Societies, and Contrasting Models of Development
March 2011
Hosted and Cosponsored by the Center for East Asian Studies, University of Pennsylvania; South Asia Center, UPENN, and Penn Lauder CIBER

For essays, slides, videotapes and classroom lessons based on these and other weekends, click here.


To join our mailing list, please send an email with complete contact information to:


Founded in 1955, FPRI is devoted to bringing the insights of scholarship to bear on the development of policies that advance U.S. national interests abroad. We add perspective to events by fitting them into the larger historical and cultural context of international politics. A font of ideas for policymakers, a trusted resource for journalists, a center for scholars, a prolific publisher online and in print, FPRI aspires like Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin to embrace the nation and the world.


Begun in 1990, FPRI’s Wachman Center is dedicated to improving civic and international literacy in the community and in the classroom. The Center is named for FPRI’s former president Marvin Wachman (1917-2007).

For more information, contact:

Eli Gilman
Foreign Policy Research Institute
1528 Walnut Street, Suite 610
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Tel. 215-732-3774, ext. 255

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