Institute scholars will explore cultural continuity and change in the Pueblo world from about 2000 B.C. to the present. This educational journey will be distinguished by a commitment to creating a multicultural community of inquiry led by prominent scholars in the areas of archaeology, ethnohistory, oral history, and education. The institute will be based at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in southwestern Colorado and will feature two field trips to significant ancient and contemporary Pueblo villages.
We will spend several days each at Mesa Verde National Park and at historic Pueblo and Spanish colonial communities in northern New Mexico. Participants will gain an enhanced understanding of the cultural diversity that constitutes the Pueblo world—over both time and place—and they will examine how Pueblo culture has been shaped by interaction among these diverse groups.
Each day will begin with the group reflecting on and discussing the previous day’s activities and readings and how they mesh into an interpretive whole. Instructional methods used throughout the institute include inquiry activities, field experiences, primary research, lecture, discussion, readings, films, independent study, and visits to ancient and present-day Pueblo communities. Pueblo scholars will address traditional knowledge and world view as well as political, social, and educational issues relevant to contemporary Pueblo communities. Through visits to contemporary Pueblo villages, participants will gain some understanding of how contemporary Pueblo people view Euroamerican culture—perspectives that will translate well into the educators’ increasingly multicultural classrooms.
Institute scholars will learn about the world-altering challenges that confronted the Southwest’s ancestral Pueblo Indians beginning in A.D. 1300 with their departure from their traditional homeland in the Mesa Verde region of southwestern Colorado. The ancestral Pueblo departed their homeland, migrated into the northern Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico, and redefined themselves in the context of other Pueblo communities. Soon after, they were confronted by Spanish conquistadors, missionaries, and colonists intent on acquiring wealth, saving souls, and generally replacing the indigenous populations of New Mexico. Then, in 1680, an alliance of Puebloan villages under the leadership of Popé, a religious leader from Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo (formerly San Juan Pueblo), staged America’s first successful revolution against European colonial forces. Through field trips, lectures, readings, and discussion, program participants will explore these central questions:
- How and why did Pueblo people leave their ancestral homeland at Mesa Verde?
- What happened when Pueblo people arrived and settled in the northern Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico?
- How did the arrival of the Spanish affect Pueblo options and responses to the challenges presented by their new homeland?
- How did these early experiences contribute to the resilience of Pueblo culture today?
Many Ways of Knowing the Past
Institute scholars will explore this little-known history by piecing together multiple lines of information gathered through archaeology, ethnohistory, and oral history. Interpretations of this information from the perspectives of both Pueblo scholars and Western scientists will be offered to allow institute participants to determine if and how the bodies of information are compatible. We will examine the differences in the data and interpretive strengths and limitations of the three disciplines (archaeology, ethnohistory, and oral history) used to reconstruct the Pueblo past. Where the interpretations do not reconcile, the differences offer opportunities to ask why.
The Relationship Between Pueblo History and Identity
Pueblo people are resilient, and Pueblo culture is vibrant and diverse. Institute scholars will get acquainted with Pueblo people and culture through information provided by Pueblo scholars, as well as through visits to Pueblo communities. This interaction will offer scholars the opportunity to examine how Pueblo culture has created a level of resiliency that aided Pueblo people to overcome a history of immense challenges. We will also examine the question of how Pueblo history influences the construction of Pueblo Indian identity today. We explore the creation of modern Pueblo identity through the themes of migration, reintegration, colonization, revolution, and resiliency.
Week One—Setting the Stage: Method and Theory in Archaeology, Ethnohistory, and Oral History, the Origins of Ancestral Pueblo Culture, and Introduction to the Mesa Verde Region
Throughout week one, institute scholars are introduced to core subject matter and to the faculty members who will guide them through their studies. Dr. Sharon Milholland and Dr. Kathy Stemmler introduce the required readings and assignments and provide an orientation to the resources. The orientation will have a methodological emphasis, focusing on the data employed by each discipline, the strengths and limitations of each data source, and the resultant impacts on each discipline’s interpretations. The orientation is followed by small-group discussions that consider the question, How do we know about the past? We introduce Crow Canyon and the resources that are available to scholars during their stay. Finally, we use pottery and chipped stone tool replication and archaeological assemblages to help ground the scholars in the cultural chronology of the region and to make connections between ancient and contemporary Pueblo communities.
Crow Canyon archaeologists and a team of specialists have modeled Pueblo culture and the past environment of the Mesa Verde region at a level of detail unmatched anywhere in the world. Institute participants get a firsthand account of this research from Dr. Mark Varien, executive vice president of the Research Institute at Crow Canyon, who explores the Pueblo response to climate change, environmental impacts, and the concept of sustainability. The remainder of the first week is spent engaged in activities that show how the data of archaeology, ethnohistory, and oral history are created, analyzed, and integrated into interpretations. Institute scholars learn about archaeological laboratory and field work, museum collections research, and experimental archaeology. Week one concludes with a panel discussion of Pueblo linguistic diversity led by Dr. Joseph Suina (Cochiti Pueblo) and Dr. Tessie Naranjo (Santa Clara Pueblo), scholars who are leaders in efforts to preserve native languages and are fluent in Tewa and Keres. By the end of week one, institute scholars acquire a basic knowledge of Pueblo cultural chronology, understand the institute themes, and gain insight into the ancestral Pueblo world of the central Mesa Verde region.
Week Two—Mesa Verde and the Construction of Pueblo Indian History
During week two, the group is joined by Dr. Kyle Bocinsky, a scholar of Mesa Verde prehistory and the causes and consequences of the 13th-century migrations. We guide scholars on a four-day exploration of Mesa Verde National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to famous cliff dwellings—domestic buildings built into high, narrow alcoves. Dr. Bocinsky begins the week with an introductory lecture about the Mesa Verde world. The group travels to Mesa Verde for a welcome and behind-the-scenes museum and curation tour, after which they check in at Far View Lodge, their base for the next three nights. Over the next four days, scholars learn about the creation of Mesa Verde National Park, the park’s effects on local populations, the geography of the Pueblo world, how Pueblo people interacted with the landscape, and how Pueblo society changed through time. We tour major archaeological sites including Balcony House, Cliff Palace, Step House, and Spruce Tree House, and visit the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum. Participants use their new understanding of Pueblo cultural history to explore the institute’s overarching themes: migration, diversity, and the construction of Pueblo identity.
Week Three—Migration, Reintegration, Colonization, Revolution and Resilience: The Creation of Modern Pueblo Identity
During week three, the institute bridges the Pueblo past and present. Dr. Kari Schleher, Crow Canyon’s laboratory manager, joins us; she is a scholar of Pueblo ceramics and Pueblo archaeology at Spanish contact. Institute scholars leave Crow Canyon and travel 275 miles to the southeast, following the approximate route taken by Pueblo migrants when they left Mesa Verde in the late 1200s. Our destination is the northern Rio Grande pueblos and the city of Santa Fe. Here, we are joined by Dr. Robert Preucel, director of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, professor of anthropology at Brown University, and an expert on the archaeology of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.
During our four-day stay in northern New Mexico, institute scholars visit archaeological sites, contemporary Pueblo communities, and two Spanish colonial capitals. We visit archaeological sites at Bandelier National Monument and in the Galisteo Basin. Both are ancestral sites for the Pueblo of Cochiti; one was occupied before the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, and the other is a post-Revolt Pueblo refugee site. We also visit the contemporary Pueblo communities of Santa Clara Pueblo (Dr. Naranjo’s home), Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo), and Cochiti Pueblo (Dr. Suina’s home). While visiting these communities, institute scholars have the opportunity to interact with additional Pueblo educators and scholars.
Finally, the group visits Yungue, which Spanish colonists, led by Juan de Oñate, appropriated (and renamed San Gabriel) in 1598 to become the capital of the New Mexico colony. We also explore Santa Fe, established in 1610, when New Mexico’s capital was moved from San Gabriel. The final days of the institute conclude with a traditional pottery firing, demonstrations of the tools made during the three weeks, sharing of curriculum projects, and a final reflection on the integration of the institute readings and experiences.
We are in the process of updating the institute reading list. We are particularly fortunate to have among the institute scholars many of the contributors to the core readings. Two edited volumes (Noble 2006; Powers 2005) published by the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe (The Mesa Verde World and The Peopling of Bandelier) were written for nonprofessional audiences by researchers who have made primary contributions to our understanding of Pueblo prehistory—including Drs. Naranjo, Preucel, and Suina. Scholars are asked to read The Mesa Verde World (Noble 2006) and Peoples of the Mesa Verde (Crow Canyon Archaeological Center 2011) prior to the institute. The week one readings introduce the archaeological evidence for Pueblo origins, which focuses on population movements and technology (Ortman 2006; Varien et al. 2007; Varien and Wilshusen 2002). These data and interpretations are considered along with traditional Pueblo perspectives on the metaphorical emergence of Pueblo people—often from a previous world, under world, or from a body of water (Naranjo 2006; Sando 1992).
The week two readings focus on the creation of Mesa Verde National Park, the final decades of Pueblo occupation in the Mesa Verde region, the precursors to migration, and the explanations for migration. These readings also present archaeological evidence for the social and environmental context of the final years of occupation of the Mesa Verde region and Pueblo perspectives on the migrations that left the area depopulated by A.D. 1300. Dr. Donna Glowacki’s (2015) research on the role of religion in the 13th-century migrations from the Mesa Verde region, and Dr. Scott Ortman’s (2012) juxtapositions of the archaeological and linguistic evidence with oral histories (Sando 1992) of the migration period are especially compelling. Schwindt and colleagues (2016) present findings from the National Science Foundation-funded Village Ecodynamics Project that suggest how climate change might have driven the development of resource inequality in the Mesa Verde region and culminated in the migrations—a poignant reflection of the global challenges we face today.
The readings selected for the third week consider the formation of historic Pueblo communities (Ware 2014), the initial contact between the Pueblo and Spanish worlds (Sando 1992), the Spanish colonization of New Mexico (Weber 1992), and the Pueblo Revolt (Preucel 2002; Suina 2002). Many of the readings were authored by institute scholars, providing teachers with the opportunity to ask questions about the process of research and interpretation. Winds from the North: Tewa Origins and Historical Anthropology (Ortman (2012) integrates data and interpretations from archaeology, linguistics, physical anthropology and oral history to make a compelling and controversial case for the processes leading to the A.D. 1280s emigration from the Mesa Verde region and the resultant establishment of new Pueblo communities in the northern Rio Grande region of New Mexico.
Please note: The reading materials will be purchased by scholars, made available online, or printed and handed out at Crow Canyon. These details will be provided in the updated reading list.
The scholars will work in small groups with each other to focus on the central questions of the institute by common topical or grade-level interests. The groups will review various humanities topics and curriculum projects inspired by Pueblo culture and adapt a version appropriate to their classrooms. They will be encouraged to produce resource lists, broad curricular designs, and/or lesson plans that will be of greatest benefit to them in their classrooms.
A detailed syllabus will be provided to program participants as part of the welcome packet.
At the end of the project's residential period, scholars will be asked to submit online evaluations in which they review their work during the institute and assess its value to their personal and professional development.
Crow Canyon is situated in a spectacularly scenic location near the town of Cortez in southwestern Colorado. To the east of the Center’s 170-acre campus are the 13,000-foot peaks of the La Plata Mountains; 10 miles to the south is Mesa Verde National Park; and to the west are Sleeping Ute Mountain and the red rock canyons of southeastern Utah, including Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Within a couple of hours’ drive of Crow Canyon are the historic Colorado mining towns of Telluride, Durango, Silverton, and Ouray.
Housing and Dining
We encourage NEH scholars to stay on campus in order to become fully integrated members of the institute’s collegial learning community. NEH scholars are housed in comfortable Navajo-style log cabins (hogans). The cabins have electric heat and lights, but no television and no air conditioning. At nearly 6191 feet in elevation, even summer nights can be chilly. The cabins are located in a quiet, secluded area of campus. Housing is shared—generally two to four people per cabin; single rooms are not available. You must provide your own bedding and towels. Shower and restroom facilities are adjacent to the cabins.
The dining hall is located in the Crow Canyon lodge. Crow Canyon has an excellent chef; our meals are not typical institutional fare. Vegetarian options are available. Dinners and lunches include a salad bar. Coffee, lemonade, iced tea, and fresh fruit are available on campus all day. We do our best to accommodate special dietary needs upon request. The town of Cortez offers options for those who may need different accommodations; information regarding alternative housing will be provided upon request.
In addition to housing and dining facilities, the main buildings on the Crow Canyon campus contain classrooms, an education lab, archaeological research labs, a 5,000-volume research library, a temporary curation facility, a large comfortable study for adults who are visiting campus, and staff offices. A work station is available in the Gates Building lobby for e-mail and Internet access (the building closes at 10 p.m.); we encourage you to bring a laptop or tablet for greater flexibility in pursuing your research interests. Wireless internet is available. Cell phone reception at Crow Canyon is generally very good.
Environmental Conditions: A Few Things to Consider
Now that we have told you how beautiful the area is, we would like to provide a few words of caution. The town of Cortez lies at an elevation of 6200 feet and has an average annual precipitation of only 14 inches. Mesa Verde National Park is less arid; the sites we visit lie at elevations of 6800–8000 feet. Forest fires in the mountains are fairly common during the summer months, sometimes filling the air with smoke and occasionally ash. Workshop activities involve moderate hiking and extended periods of time outdoors. We tell you this so that you may realistically evaluate your ability to fully participate in and enjoy all aspects of the workshop. Individuals with certain health conditions, such as asthma, may have difficulty in this setting. We do not want to discourage you, but we also do not want you to put your health at risk. Please consider these factors and, if you have doubts, consult with your physician before applying.
Please visit these links to learn about the climate, environment, and accommodations for these individual locations.
Mesa Verde National Park
Bandelier National Monument
Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo
Santa Clara Pueblo
Far View Lodge
, Mesa Verde National Park
Garrett's Desert Inn
, Santa Fe, New Mexico
To apply to our Summer Institute, please submit three copies of a complete application to:
Human Resources Assistant
Crow Canyon Archaeological Center
23390 Road K
Cortez, CO 81321
Completed applications should be submitted to the project director, not the NEH, and should be postmarked no later than March 1, 2017. Application materials sent to the NEH will not be reviewed.
Please note: An individual may apply to up to two projects (NEH Summer Seminars, Institutes, or Landmarks Workshops), but may participate in only one.
What is in a complete application?
1. NEH cover sheet
2. A curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé with the names and contact information of two references
3. A four-page, double-spaced essay
Where do I obtain the NEH application cover sheet?
The NEH application cover sheet must be filled out online at this address:
Please follow the prompts. Before you click the "submit" button, print out the cover sheet and add it to your application package. Then click "submit." At this point you will be asked if you want to fill out a cover sheet for another project. If you do, follow the prompts to select the other project and repeat the process.
Do not use the same cover sheet for different projects. You must submit a separate cover sheet online for each project to which you are applying in order to generate a unique tracking number for each application.
CV, Résumé, References
Please include a résumé or brief biography detailing your educational qualification and professional experience. Be sure the résumé provides the name, title, phone number, and e-mail address of two professional references.
What are you looking for in the application essay?
The application essay should be no more than four double-spaced pages. It should address your interest, both academic and personal, in the subject to be studied; qualifications and experiences that equip you to do the work of the seminar or institute and to make a contribution to a learning community; a statement of what you want to accomplish by participating; and the relation of the project to the applicant's professional responsibilities, in other words, how will this experience impact your students?
A selection committee will read and evaluate all properly completed applications in order to select the most promising applicants and to identify a number of alternates. Institute selection committees typically consist of three to five members, usually drawn from the institute faculty and staff members.
Special consideration is given to the likelihood that an applicant will benefit professionally and personally from the seminar/institute experience. It is important, therefore, to address each of the following factors in your application essay:
1. Your effectiveness and commitment as a teacher/educator;
2. Your intellectual interests, in general, and as they relate to the work of the project;
3. Your special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would contribute to the seminar or institute;
4. The likelihood that the experience will enhance your teaching.
While recent participants are eligible to apply, selection committees are charged to give first consideration to applicants who have not participated in an NEH-supported seminar, institute, or workshop in the last three years (2014, 2015, or 2016). Additionally, preference is given to applicants who would significantly contribute to the diversity of the program.
Successful applicants will be notified of their selection on Friday, March 31, 2017, and they will have until Friday, April 7, to accept or decline the offer.
Please Note: Once you have accepted an offer to attend any NEH Summer Program (NEH Summer Seminar, Institute or Landmarks Workshop), you may not accept an additional offer or withdraw in order to accept a different offer.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT: Endowment programs do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or age. For further information, write to NEH Equal Opportunity Officer, 400 7th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024. TDD: 202/606 8282 (this is a special telephone device for the Deaf).