NEH Grant to Support 2010 Summer Institute at Duke

08 December 2009 12:00AM

December 05, 2009 – A three-week, 2010 Summer Institute at Duke University will provide a “Boot Camp” in the history of economic thought for college faculty.

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded Duke a grant of $148, 416 to support the project, “Teaching the History of Political Economy,” to be led by Dr. Bruce Caldwell, professor of economics and Director of the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke.  

The Institute will explore the ideas of the great economic thinkers.

“Studying the writings of the greatest minds in economics is always rewarding, but perhaps especially so in times of economic crisis,” Caldwell said. “What did Adam Smith and Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek, really have to say?  What might we learn from the great minds of the past?”   

Twenty-two faculty members and three graduate students will be selected from a pool of national applicants. Participants will include both economists and scholars from other social sciences and the humanities.

“We are hoping to rejuvenate the teaching of the history of economic thought in the college curriculum,” Caldwell said. “Some of our participants may go on to develop history of economic thought courses of their own, others may choose to infuse existing courses in the social sciences and humanities with ideas they picked up at the Institute.”

The Institute will take place from June 6 through June 25 at Duke. All scholars selected to participate will be awarded a stipend to help cover travel costs, books and other research and living expenses. Application materials are available online at  the Center for the History of Political Economy website,

Also involved will be a number of nationally recognized scholars, including Dr. Steven Medema (University of Colorado-Boulder), Dr. Sandra Peart (University of Richmond), Dr. Bradley Bateman (Denison University) and three professors from Duke, Dr. Craufurd Goodwin, Dr. Kevin Hoover and Dr. Roy Weintraub.

“I am absolutely delighted to be working with such a strong team of scholars,” Caldwell said. “Every one of the people mentioned above has served as a president of the History of Economics Society, and a number of them have participated in projects that aimed at promoting the teaching of, and scholarship in, the history of political economy. It is a dream team.”