NEH Inst Home

Increase font size
Decrease font size


Migration and Empire: The Roman Experience from Marcus Aurelius to Muhammad


Monday, June 19, 2017 to Friday, July 14, 2017


Letter from the Co-Directors to Prospective Participants:

Migration is an essential part of the human experience, and its role in shaping world affairs was as great in antiquity as it is today. We have devised Migration and Empire: The Roman Experience from Marcus Aurelius to Muhammad to address two interlocking phenomena against the background of today’s headlines.

First, we consider the experience of migration itself, which is a subject of concern to historians and experts in many disciplines. Second, we focus on the Roman Empire in the period from the second to the seventh century, during which the Empire shrank from its greatest extent on three continents to become no more than a regional power in the Eastern Mediterranean. Migration played an important role in this transformation.

The topic is most important and timely because recent studies are now enabling us to understand the demographic, social, and political history of the Roman Empire in this period in new ways. These in turn can provide fresh perspectives on today’s global migrant crisis.

The Institute has three objectives:

  • Each of the 25 participants will expand their academic horizons and enrich their scholarship.
  • They will develop plans to share their findings in effective, rewarding ways with their students in the classroom.
  • Together they will develop a vibrant intellectual community that will long outlast the Institute’s four weeks of collaborative inquiry.

We seek applicants from the widest possible range of relevant disciplines and institutions – faculty who are eager to explore the Roman experience of migration and empire with intent to share it in the college classroom, and (where appropriate) to integrate it with coverage of the movements of peoples in other times and places. An interest in comparative approaches and in creative teaching strategies (exploiting the digital humanities, for example) will be especially valued, as will an ability to share insight into other cultures and periods worldwide. We encourage applications from adjunct and community college faculty.

Knowledge of Latin, Greek, or other foreign languages is not required.

Applicants recommended as ready contributors to discussion will be most welcome, because this is to be a key component of the Institute.

Each participant pursues an independent project (either research-based or instruction-based) on a topic relating to the Institute; one session in each of Weeks 2, 3, and 4 is reserved for working on it.

For eligibility and how to apply, see below. The deadline for submitting your application is March 1, 2017. You will be notified via email of the selection committee’s decision on your application on March 31, 2017.


Michael Maas and Richard Talbert

NEH Disclaimer: Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed on this site do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email