Duffy’s Cut Summer Institute
With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Immaculata University sponsored project, Duffy’s Cut: Immigration, Industrialization, and Illness in Nineteenth Century America, is being offered from July 11-29 on the campus of Immaculata as a summer institute for nearly 30 teachers from schools across the country.
Because the Duffy’s Cut story sheds light on the seamy underside of the American Industrial Revolution, the faculty leading the institute argue that Duffy’s Cut should be incorporated into the mainstream of the American national historical narrative. It is an example of many things—the sacrifices made by nineteenth century Irish immigrants in the construction of the American infrastructure at the dawn of the industrial age; the ongoing fear of the immigrant; the fear of cholera and responses to the arrival of a global epidemic on American shores.
The three-week institute is designed for teachers (known as summer scholars by the NEH) exploring interdisciplinary education through a focus on the events at Duffy’s Cut – a railroad site outside Philadelphia where 57 Irish immigrants died through violence and disease in 1832. Duffy’s Cut has now become the site of an archaeological dig and the source of popular works of art using media such as music, documentaries, and literature. The coursework consists of classroom work, lectures, group projects, field trips and live performances. To supplement the classroom learning, participants will travel to several regional educational and historical locations including the excavation site known as Duffy’s Cut.
Tuesday, July 12: Duffy’s Cut
Friday, July 15: The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Tuesday, July 19: Saint Augustine’s and Saint Anne’s parishes, West Laurel Hill Cemetery, and Lazaretto Hospital
Friday, July 22: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology
Tuesday, July 26: Downingtown Cemetery and Spring City Cemetery
Several members of the Immaculata community will be involved with the institute, including program director William Watson, Ph.D., professor of History at Immaculata; Diane Grimes, professor of Art; Earl Schandelmeier, adjunct faculty member for the History Department; and Joe Conte ’14, History major.
“We hope the summer scholars will find ways of incorporating the story into their curriculum, and that they will create lesson plans which will discuss this story and the broader issues in American history that it illustrates,” Watson stated.
Participants can earn a continuing education certificate or the opportunity for three graduate credit hours. For more information, visit http://neh.immaculata.edu/ or call 484-323-3037.
Immaculata University is a Catholic, coeducational institution of higher learning, located on the Main Line between Malvern and Exton, 20 miles west of Philadelphia.