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Christopher Bouton '09 Awarded SHEAR/Mellon Foundation American History Fellowship

Posted April 8, 2008
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Christopher Bouton '09 has been awarded a 2008 fellowship to participate in The Society for Historians of the Early Republic (SHEAR)/Mellon Foundation Summer Undergraduate Seminar in American History, 1776-1861. 

The SHEAR/Mellon Undergraduate Fellowship Program, founded in 2005, is dedicated to providing talented, motivated undergraduate scholars the opportunity to pursue original primary source research in some of the finest archival collections relevant to early American history. Bouton is one of only 10 undergraduate students to be chosen to participate in the seminar, which is held at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Undergraduate fellows receive stipends, housing for the duration of the seminar, and reimbursement for travel expenses to Philadelphia to fund three weeks of intensive seminar sessions in historiography and critique and individual archival research. 

Bouton's research interests include the time period from 1820 to 1865, the Civil War, and the abolitionist movement in America. "I'm not exactly sure what the topic of my senior thesis will be, although I expect it will involve the abolitionist movement," Bouton said. "I don't have to go to Philadelphia with a specific topic in mind, that is one of the great things about the SHEAR/Mellon program - they allow you to develop your idea while you are down there, with the expectation that by the time you leave you'll have the idea for your senior thesis."

The seminar also brings the students' faculty honors advisors to the McNeil Center during the seminar's final five days to lend their talents and knowledge to the work of the group and to meet individually with their student advisees. Bouton, a history major at Hamilton, is advised by Associate Professor of History Doug Ambrose.

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