Letter from the Director

Duffy’s Cut:  Investigating Immigration, Industrialization, and Illness in 19th Century America "A Perfect Storm"

Summer Institute for Teachers
July 11, 2016 – July 29, 2016

Dear Colleagues,
I invite you to submit an application to participate in the summer institute, "Duffy’s Cut: Investigating Immigration, Industrialization, and Illness in 19th Century America" for middle school to 12th grade teachers. Supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and hosted by Immaculata University in partnership with Penn Museum of Anthropology. The Institute will be held on the beautiful campus of Immaculata University in Malvern, Pennsylvania from July 11, 2016 to July 29, 2016. This institute will be an interdisciplinary immersion experience in the history and science of the Duffy’s Cut story.

The death by violence and cholera of 57 Irish immigrant railroad workers at Duffy’s Cut in 1832  represents a micro- historical glimpse of broader macro-historical phenomena in early America: immigration patterns, the response to epidemic disease, railroads and the Industrial Revolution, nativism and what historian Alan Kraut has termed "the immigrant menace".

Interdisciplinary perspectives from the fields of history, archaeology, forensics, genealogy, geology, folklore and other fields will be employed in this institute to illuminate various aspects of American society in the Jacksonian era.

This institute will enable NEH Scholars to gain a firsthand understanding of the history, folklore, genealogy, geology, archaeology, forensic anthropology and dentistry that enabled the project specialists to uncover the mysterious fate of the Irish work crew, which had been lost to folklore for 180 years.  Scholars will be provided with hands on opportunities for research into the actual historical sources on the event, archaeological dig experience at the Duffy’s Cut site, and instruction by the primary researchers in the Duffy’s Cut Project and other specialists on aspects of Duffy’s Cut.

I am quite excited about serving as director of this institute, and I hope you are equally excited about the possibility of attending. We plan to have an intellectually-stimulating and fun-filled three weeks in exploring and immersing ourselves into the Duffy’s Cut history. Please explore the information on this website, and do not hesitate to contact us with your questions.

William E. Watson, PhD.
Institute Director

NEHImmaculata UniversityDuffy's CutPenn Museum

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities

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