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Bright Institute Chooses Ursinus Professor for First Cohort

Lori Daggar will join 13 other early American history professors during a two-week, in-residence summer seminar for three years at Knox College in Illinois.

The Bright Institute is designed for professors who teach at liberal arts colleges from across the United States. 

Each year’s seminar will be co-hosted by an eminent professor of American history before 1848 and a pedagogical consultant who will help participants turn their research into incisive classroom opportunities. Daggar is working on a book project that traces the development of American empire by looking at the ideas, policies and consequences of economic development, mission work and philanthropy in Indian country in the 19th century.

During the spring 2019 semester at Ursinus, she will teach a class called “Making American Empire,” a course that will explore the violence that helped give rise to the United States and that will develop, in part, out of her work done at the Bright Institute.

“These are professors from small liberal arts colleges who are seeking to marry research and teaching interests,” Daggar says of the cohort. “It will help us think about ways to use teaching strategies to make research speak to students and show them how it applies to prevalent issues today.”

For Daggar, a specialist in early American and Native American history, that means providing an expansive view of North American history while giving students a new perspective on contemporary issues like the debates over the Dakota Access Pipeline and Bears Ears National Monument.

Every Bright Institute participant will receive $3,000 in research support during each year of the seminar. The institute is supported through a trust established by Edwin W. Bright and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Hand Bright, a 1944 alumna of Knox College.–By Ed Moorhouse