American Studies Summer Institute

About the Summer Institute

Join us for an intensive ten-day program of thought-provoking lectures and discussions led by distinguished scholars and practitioners. The American Studies Summer Institute, an annual program co-sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Boston American Studies Department and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, offers educators and graduate students the opportunity to explore in depth a rich topic with contemporary resonance drawn from American social, cultural and political history.

The Summer Institute will be on hiatus for 2023. Please fill out this form to be notified when it is offered again.

Graduate Credit or PDPs

Participants may earn three graduate credits in American Studies. For those who wish to receive graduate credit, the fee for this grant-supported course is $495, plus a $10 records fee for nonmatriculated students. For teachers taking the course for PDPs only, a noncredit option is available for $150.


Each year, in the event that registration requests exceed the available capacity, preference will be given to graduate students enrolled in the UMass Boston American Studies Program and to secondary school teachers.

For Reference: The 2022 Summer Institute

America's Silenced Histories

July 11-22, 2022 (weekdays)
8:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Narratives of America’s past originate and evolve in specific historical and cultural contexts. The resulting stories—shaped by existing ideas about whose histories matter—have been skewed by their omissions, elisions, and pernicious distortions of the past engendered by prevailing inequalities. The 2022 program considered our country’s untold stories, discussed the ways that voices have been silenced, misrepresented, and underrepresented in the scholarship, in archives, and in public memory. We considered why events such as the 1921 Tulsa Massacre only recently received a national accounting and why Americans “forget” large-scale phenomena such as the influenza pandemic of 1918. Together we delved into explanations of these elisions and their consequences for the nation. We explored how people of color, immigrants, and other groups have preserved and recovered their histories and reinstated these in the public record.

Drawing upon experts from a variety of disciplines and with diverse perspectives, this Institute was directed by Patricia A. Reeve, Associate Professor of History at Suffolk University, and Nina Tisch, Education Specialist at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

The Kennedy Library's education and public programs related to civil rights and social justice are sponsored in part by AT&T.

AT&T Logo