These travel grants are established in the name of Professor Paul Nyhus (1935-2005), a member of the Department of History from 1966 to 2004. Professor Nyhus served as Acting Dean of Students in 1969, Dean of Students from 1970 to 1975 and Dean of the College from 1975 to 1980. These grants are intended to facilitate primary research by History majors enrolled in either Honors or an Independent Study. There are three types of grants.
Nyhus proposals will be reviewed by members of the history department, and in most cases, applicants are notified of the committee’s decision within three weeks.
The history department offers Nyhus mini-grants to fund research expenses up to $250. These may include such expenses as access to online journals, travel to archives, or attending applicable conferences; mini-grants will not be awarded for regular expenses that may accompany any course, such as photocopying materials or purchasing books.
Mini Nyhus Application Deadline: Monthly. Applications must be submitted via email to Josephine Johnson (email@example.com) no later than 12pm on the 15th day of each month during the academic year.
Application Materials: 1) Application letter that briefly states the grant’s purpose, 2) estimated budget of expenses, 3) brief endorsement by a member of the history faculty.
Eligibility: Applicant must be a history major or minor.
The Department offers grants of $500 each, for travel to archival collections, microfilm, conducting or transcribing interviews, or copying archival materials.
Small Nyhus Application Deadline:Applications will be considered in three rounds, with deadlines of November 1, and February 15, and April 1. Applications must be submitted via email to Josephine Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Application Materials: 1) Application letter that briefly states the grant’s purpose, 2) estimated budget of expenses, 3) endorsement by the faculty supervisor of the project.
Eligibility: Applicant must be a history major enrolled in either Honors or an Independent Study.
Amy Collier '12
During my senior year at Bowdoin, I completed an honors thesis with Professor Connie Chiang. My project examined how the emerging philanthropic and conservation movements, as well as the rise of tourism, contributed to the creation of Acadia National Park and complicated the relationship between year-round and summer residents on Mount Desert Island. I was fortunate enough to receive a Nyhus Travel Grant, which I used to travel to the Rockefeller Archive Center in Sleepy Hollow, New York, and to the Harvard University Libraries, as well as to various archives and historical societies around Maine. I read through speeches, newspaper articles, donation receipts, pamphlets, and, most importantly, original correspondence between park founders, contributors, and critics. Because of the lack of scholarly work on my topic, these primary sources were the foundation of my thesis and largely shaped the development of my project.
Molly Porcher '13
For my thesis, I am researching the way the way African history has been taught in American public schools. In particular, I am looking at the way Africa and African history have been represented in the history curriculum over the past half century and how changes in these representations are related to the American political and social environment. In conducting my research, I wanted to analyze primary sources like textbooks and curriculum barometer of how the treatment of African history in schools has developed.
Thanks to the resources provided by the Nyhus travel grant, I was able to travel the education archives located at Stanford University’s Cubberley library to explore these materials. The experienced was fantastic and rewarding, and the primary sources I was able to access were phenomenal! With the help of the friendly and resourceful library staff, I found and studied a variety of curricular materials, dating from the mid-1940s to the early 1970s. These included outlines of world history curricula, as well as units and courses designed specifically to address African history. The Cubberley library also has a fantastic collection of historical textbooks—the earliest are from the 19th century!—that allowed me to study the transformations in the way school texts presented Africa continent and African history. My research trip was a memorable and meaningful experience that, most importantly, allowed me to conduct the breadth and depth of research I imagined when I first undertook this project.
This $2000 grant is for travel, lodging and research expenses related to an honors project. Each year, the Department will grant awards in two rounds: April (for research to be conducted during summer or during the following winter break), and November (to a current senior enrolled in an honors project for research to be conducted during the upcoming winter break).
Large Nyhus Application Deadline:Applications will be considered in two rounds, with deadlines of November 1 and April 1. Applications must be submitted via email to Josephine Johnson (email@example.com).
1) Narrative proposal of no more than 1000 words in length explaining the topic to be researched, the student's background relative to the proposal, the method and sources to be used, and any contacts already established with other scholars, interviewees or archives;
2) tentative budget, as detailed as possible, for how the grant would be used;
3) Bowdoin transcript;
4) letter of support from the faculty supervisor of the project.
Eligibility: Applicant must be a history major enrolled in an Honors Project.
Wilson Dippo '12
Under Professor Strother Roberts, he completed an advanced independent study that examined Montana’s American Indian Tribes. Specifically he looked at the first fifty years of reservation life for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai on the Flathead Reservation in Northern Montana. Wilson’s project traced the ways in which American Indians exerted their agency despite national policy that effectively stripped them of their autonomy. Wilson examined hunting, general allotment, and bison ranching on the Flathead Reservation. Unexpectedly the bison from the reservation became the nucleus for the herds today in Yellowstone National Park as well as both the Canadian and United States National Bison Herds. The Mansfield Library houses primary documents including correspondence, newspapers, photographs, and government records that cannot be found anywhere else. Of these materials, the records relating to the death of deputy State Game Warden Charles Peyton in 1908 were exceptionally interesting. Peyton confronted a Pend d’Oreille Indian hunting party in at least two different occasions, and in a firefight, the details of which are murky at best, Peyton and three Pend d’Oreille Indians died. While the national press at the time generally reported that Peyton had acted in self-defense, records of the investigation suggest that the reverse may have been the case.
Sean McElroy '12
Thanks to a Nyhus Travel Grant from Bowdoin’s History Department, I was able to travel over the past winter break to conduct research at the Orwell Archives, located in University College, London. The Orwell Archives are an extraordinarily rich source of not only Orwell’s own manuscripts, letters, and possessions, but perhaps the foremost collection in the world of published and unpublished material relating to appropriations of Orwell after his death in 1950 in the old University Hospital, a hospital which stood only a few hundred meters from the archive.
In my work at the Archive, I was given access to an extraordinary wealth of primary materials that has greatly enhanced my project. I was able to access and read many of Orwell’s letters, as well as the correspondence of his second (and final) wife, Sonia Brownell, which highlighted how the Orwell estate attempted to control Orwell’s work. I was also able to access many original and unpublished adaptations of Orwell’s work, which enabled me to understand how various individuals and groups appropriated and manipulated Orwell’s ideas, along with a wealth of other invaluable primary materials.
My project discusses the history of Orwell’s appropriation, focusing on elements and agents that attempted to claim and shape the Orwell image during the Cold War. More specifically, my project presents a history of how various ‘conservative’ elements and individuals transformed the Orwell image into a mechanism to gain popular support, whether for the Cold War prerogatives of the 1950s, or to provide an intellectual ‘forefather’ to the emerging neoconservative movement of the 1980s. This project has been greatly enriched thanks to my research at the Archive, which was fully enabled by this grant.
Campus News: Travel Grants Established Honoring Paul Nyhus (March 10, 2005)