For more than 60 years, the Frank C. Munson Institute at Mystic Seaport Museum has drawn graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars to its residential, five week-long summer programs in maritime studies. During the summer of 2024, the Munson Institute will offer two co-current courses focused on the American maritime experience. These courses will trace U.S. maritime heritage from before “America” to the present, exploring maritime communities, cultures, and industries through lecture, discussion, and independent research.
2024 Munson Fellows will participate in two co-current courses focusing on American maritime history and complete an independent research project.
Exploring Maritime Histories
This lecture course studies the legacy of U.S. maritime heritage from before “America” to the present. Beginning with millennia-old Indigenous maritime cultures, this course traces U.S. maritime industries such as the slave trade, shipbuilding, whaling and fisheries, steam navigation and contemporary shipping. This course considers the disruption of colonialism to existing Indigenous maritime communities, the contributions of Black and Indigenous peoples to U.S. maritime industry, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War, the new navy, American involvement in World Wars I and II, and globalization. It closes with a discussion of problems facing maritime communities.
Entwined: Freedom, Sovereignty and the Sea
This seminar studies in-depth African and Indigenous perspectives in maritime history and explores a reframing of that history which includes Black and Indigenous voices and histories as authoritative. Settler colonialism, Indigenous dispossession and enslavement, the slave trade, various elements of the slave institution in the region, and survivance and coastal and seaport communities will be explored through a maritime lens. Black and Indigenous life at sea, diaspora and spirituality will also be areas of focus.
Independent Research involves the preparation of a major research paper on a topic of your choice under the direction of the Institute Director and the senior Museum leadership and making use of the resources of Mystic Seaport Museum’s collections.
Applicants for the 2024 summer session may apply for one of the twelve fellowships. Each of the resident fellowships, set to run from June 24 – July 26, will be supported with a $2,000 stipend, accommodations in museum-owned housing, and book purchases. Applicants with a specific research and writing project are encouraged to apply separately for a Paul Cuffe Memorial Fellowship for additional funding of up to $2400.
We encourage applications from members of the region’s native peoples and black communities.
Please include in your application:
- Resume or CV (1-4 pages)
- 2 References
- Application Essay (2-4 pages): The essay should include applicant’s personal and academic interests, experiences and qualifications, reasons for applying, how the Institute relates to applicant’s personal or professional goals, and what applicant wants to get from the Institute. Please upload this essay under 'Upload Additional Files' in the application portal.
- These fellowships are most particularly intended for junior faculty, graduate students, and advanced undergraduate students
- Must be qualified to work at a graduate level
- Experience pursuing research with primary documents and original sources