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ACM Seeks Pre-Proposals for the Fourth SAIL Faculty Seminar in Jordan

ACM Seeks Pre-Proposals for the Fourth SAIL Faculty Seminar in Jordan December 16, 2013
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What is a compelling, multidisciplinary topic that can best be studied at a location in the heart of the Middle East?

That is the question posed in ACM’s current Call for Pre-Proposals seeking a topic and a leadership team of three professors for the fourth Seminar in Advanced Interdisciplinary Learning (SAIL) for faculty. The seminar will include an on-site portion in Amman, Jordan in summer 2015.

With funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, SAIL sponsors seminars are aimed at supporting ACM college faculty as they create multidisciplinary curricula for upper-level undergraduates at their colleges.

View of Amman, JordanView of Amman, Jordan, from the Citadel, a national historic site with Roman, Byzantine, and early Islamic excavations.

Photo by Emily Gaul

In a SAIL seminar, a group of 15 professors drawn from across the social sciences, natural sciences and math, and the arts and humanities explores a substantive topic from multiple perspectives. Each seminar unspools over the course of 18 months, which includes ten days on site at a place which offers rich resources to facilitate the inquiry.

During the academic year that follows, the SAIL participants use their experience and learning from the on-site seminar discussions and activities as a basis for developing advanced integrative, multidisciplinary courses and modules for their students.

“Centering the on-site seminar in Jordan will present a variety of opportunities for the faculty in the 2015 SAIL seminar,” said David Schodt, ACM Senior Program Officer for Faculty and Staff Development Programs, who works with the SAIL project. “ACM has an off-campus study program in Amman, in partnership with AMIDEAST, an organization with decades of experience running educational programs Jordan and elsewhere in the Middle East. So we have infrastructure there, and AMIDEAST will be able to help facilitate the seminar, such as with local contacts and information on logistical arrangements.”

The first SAIL seminar, on the topic Considering Animals, held its on-site portion in Washington, DC in 2012, followed by the Mediterranean Trivium: Earth, Sea, & Culture this past summer in Italy. The next seminar, focused on Contested Spaces, will be on site in the Pikes Peak region of Colorado on June 20-30, 2014. The grant from the Mellon Foundation will support five seminars, with the final one holding its on-site portion in summer 2016 at a location in the U.S.

The Call for Pre-Proposals invites three-person teams of faculty to propose a topic for the 2015 seminar. The SAIL selection committee will review pre-proposals and decide which teams will submit full proposals.

The faculty team whose proposal is selected will serve as the seminar’s leaders. Four groups of three professors from other ACM colleges will be selected through a competitive process in fall 2014, for the total of 15 seminar participants.

Travel, lodging, and meals for the on-site portion of the seminar are provided, and participants receive honoraria upon completion of curricular development projects. Visit the SAIL webpage for more information about the seminars and to download the pre-proposal instructions and application form. The deadline for pre-proposals is April 4, 2014.


Contested Spaces (on site in Colorado in summer 2014)
Mediterranean Trivium: Earth, Sea, & Culture (on site in Italy in summer 2013)
Considering Animals (on site in Washington, DC in summer 2012)

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