Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts FPRI Announces a New Teachers’ Conference on America’s Entry into World War I

FPRI Announces a New Teachers’ Conference on America’s Entry into World War I

  • January 1, 2016

FPRI Announces a New Teachers’ Conference on America’s Entry into World War I

  • January 1, 2016

PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Foreign Policy Research Institute is proud to announce its 12th Annual Military History Institute Weekend in coordination with the First Division Museum at Cantigny and Carthage College. The History Institute will be held Saturday-Sunday, April 9-10, 2016 at the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park (Wheaton, Illinois). Secondary school teachers, curriculum supervisors, and junior college faculty are invited to apply for 40 available slots. Deadline for application is January 30, 2016. 

Taking advantage of the flood of new work unleashed by the centenary of the outbreak of the war, the goal of this weekend seminar is to introduce teachers to the most current scholarly discussions and also to help them prepare lesson plans to teach the upcoming centenary of American entry into the war in 2017. Each topic will offer a crucial case study in understanding the larger context of the war, its impact on the United States, and the relationship of the United States to shaping the postwar world.

FPRI has held 54 intensive history weekends since 1992 (12 on American military history with the First Division Museum), reaching over 1,000 faculty from 750 schools in 47 states.  Each weekend features presentations by the nation’s top scholars, with ample time for Q&A and discussion.  This history conference is a project of FPRI’s Madeleine and W. W. Keen Butcher History Institute and FPRI’s Center for the Study of America and the West. It is supported by grants from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, H.F. Lenfest, and the family of Madeleine and W. W. Keen Butcher. For a compilation of essays drawn from previous history weekends, be sure to see: American Military History: A Resource for Teachers and Students, edited by Paul Herbert and Michael Noonan (FPRI and First Division Museum, 2013). 


Topics and Speakers:

Getting America into the Great War
Michael Neiberg, Henry L. Stimson Chair of the Department of National Security and Strategy, US Army War College

American Strategy and the Great War
COL Douglas Mastriano, Faculty Member in the Department of Military Strategy, Planning, and Operations, US Army War College

The U.S. Role on the Western Front
Jennifer Keene, Chair of the Department of History, Chapman University

The Creation of the First Division: Implications for the American Expeditionary Force
Paul Herbert, Executive Director, First Division Museum

African-American Doughboys
Chad Williams, Associate Professor of African and Afro-American Studies, Brandeis University

World War One and the Rise of American Seapower
John Maurer, Alfred Thayer Mahan Professor of Sea Power and Grand Strategy, US Naval War College, and Senior Fellow, FPRI

World War I and its Impact on American Foreign Policy and Civic Religion
Walter A. McDougall, Chair, FPRI Center for the Study of America and the West

Diplomacy and the Quest for Post-War Peace
Ronald Granieri, Executive Director, FPRI Center for the Study of America and the West


Forty participants will be selected to receive: 

  • complimentary overnight accommodations for those outside of the Chicago vicinity (Friday and Saturday nights, as needed);
  • 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.
  • Videotapes of the entire conference will be posted subsequently on our website, plus texts of selected lectures.


Please email to a resume, a one-paragraph statement describing your relevant teaching or other professional experience, and a brief statement of 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 (in exchange for a stipend).

Schools with a school membership in FPRI’s Wachman Center are guaranteed one place at one History Institute weekend per year. For information about school membership, contact:

For information about future and previous programs, click here.

About the Madeleine and W.W. Keen Butcher History Institute
The Butcher History Institute, co-chaired by David Eisenhower and Walter A. McDougall, sponsors programs 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 History1585-1828 (2004) and Throes of Democracy: America in the Civil War Era, 1829-1877 (March 2008).

Recent History Weekends (all cosponsored by Carthage College) include:

Understanding the Modern Middle East: History, Identity, and Politics
October 2015, Philadelphia, PA

Ethical Dilemmas in American Warfare
April 2015, Wheaton, IL
Hosted and Cosponsored by the First Division Museum at Cantigny

Teaching about Israel and Palestine
October 2014, Philadelphia, PA

America and Modern War: The American Military Post-Vietnam
April 2014, Wheaton, IL
Hosted and Cosponsored by the First Division Museum at Cantigny

The Invention of the Middle East, Post-World War One, and the Reinvention of the Middle East, Post-Arab Spring
November 2013, Pittsburgh, PA
Hosted and Cosponsored by the Senator John Heinz History Center

The Creation of Liberal Democracy: Did It Happen in Philadelphia by Accident?
September 2013, Philadelphia, PA

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