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February 7, 2008

ULM receives LEH grant; university seeking teachers to participate

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities recently awarded the University of Louisiana at Monroe $34,753 to fund “Nazi Germany and the Holocaust,” a summer institute for 20 secondary school teachers who specialize in the humanities and social sciences in northeast Louisiana. This course, one of only five such funded programs, will help teachers address state content standards.

The institute, funded by the LEH’s Summer Teachers Institute program, will provide area teachers with information about the implications of the Holocaust within the greater framework of European and American history. The program will take place June 2 – 26 and will also address issues concerning morality, women, the family, violence, and perceptions of race and ethnicity.

A portion of the LEH grant will provide a $750 stipend for each local teacher that participates in the course; ULM will provide the facilities and a three-hour graduate tuition waiver for each participant.

ULM history professor Dr. Christopher Blackburn authored the grant proposal to the LEH and will serve as the director and primary scholar for the upcoming program. This is the second LEH summer teacher institute grant that Blackburn has received while at ULM. The first was in 1997 and was entitled “Society and Culture in Early Modern France.”

ULM history professors Drs. Richard Chardkoff and Gordon Harvey will also bring their diverse expertise to bear by assisting with various aspects of the program.

The ultimate goal of the institute is that each participant should emerge from the class with multimedia presentations and lecture notes sufficient to provide a foundation for teaching the Holocaust and its related events in their respective classes. Blackburn hopes that “the information and materials gathered from the institute will allow area teachers to better address several established Louisiana state content standards and benchmarks for social studies and history.”

To learn more about this institute or to apply, call Christopher Blackburn at: (318) 342-1550 or e-mail him at

More about ULM scholars participating in the institute:

Christopher Blackburn is professor of history at ULM. His primary research interest is Eastern Europe, and, thanks to generous grants from the U.S. Fulbright Commission, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Kosciuszko Foundation, he has conducted extensive research throughout Poland. He is the author of “Napoleon and the Szlachta,” and several articles and conference presentations on the history of Poland. Blackburn continues his strong commitment to the ULM classroom by teaching both the complete cycle of the World Civilization series and advanced courses in The Holocaust, Eastern Europe, Revolutionary France, and Europe, 1815-1890.

Richard Chardkoff is director of the General Studies Program at ULM. His publications include “Sol’s Story: A Triumph of the Human Spirit” and the forthcoming history of the World War II pilots of Selman Field. At the institute, he will reflect on the experience of writing “Sol’s Story” and use this as a basis for discussing the day-to-day workings of the German concentration camp system and its impact on Jewish prisoners.

Gordon Harvey, history department head, will serve as a curriculum specialist for the Institute, and he will assist the students in using the information gathered from the course to address several Louisiana state content standards for social studies and history. Harvey will familiarize participants with how best to use relevant computer software, Web-based technologies, and podcasting in producing short classroom presentations on germane topics.

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