Deadline Extended: Residential Summer Institute at The Huntington

The Research Institute in the History of Science and Technology at Caltech and The Huntington seeks applications from graduate students and post-doctoral scholars to participate in a week-long residential institute on the theme of ‘Anthroforming the Landscape: A Historical View from Asia.’ Asia’s rising dominance and influence in the early twenty-first century speaks urgently to the historical context of contemporary concerns about environmental sustainability, and specifically to the history of Asian influence on travel and transportation; mining and metallurgy; technology and communication; the management of water and other natural resources; and the geo-politics of the locale, of the region and of the globe.

The Huntington invites junior scholars with interests and expertise in the environmental, scientific and technological history of Asia to apply for the opportunity to undertake a week-long, immersive and directed research project of their choosing based on Huntington collections.

Those collections can be discerned remotely on three key sites: (for printed and manuscript sources); the Huntington Digital Library (; and the Online Archive of California (, which lists hundreds of searchable, highly granular collections guides. Immediately following the residential institute, participants will be urged to attend a four-day conference “Rich Rocks, the Climate Crisis, and the Tech-Imperium,” which will focus on the historical context for the latest manifestation of resource competition between Asia and the rest of the world: the global battle for technological supremacy, the decarbonization of the economy, and for access to the environmental resources which support it.

Admission is limited to ten participants. The Summer Institute will take place at The Huntington between Monday, July 5th and Friday, July 9th, 2021 and is convened by Professor Sophia Kalantzakos of New York University/NYU Abu Dhabi. The Library is located in San Marino, California, close to Caltech, about an hour from downtown Los Angeles. The Huntington is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry and Arabella Huntington that hosts scholars from around the world to pursue their research. It includes a famous landscaped garden dating from the Gilded era, art galleries, a botanical collection, and exhibition spaces that will be open to Institute participants.

The Summer Institute will offer three mornings of seminars focusing on the use of Huntington resources of particular relevance to the projects of individual participants, providing extensive, hands-on guidance for the discovery of appropriate collections. The rest of the week will be given over to participants’ active use of the collections as research scholars. It is a primary goal of the Institute to help early-career scholars think critically about the identification, interpretation, and navigation of those archival sources which might inform their research.

Each of the ten participants will receive a stipend of $500 and reimbursed travel expenses up to a maximum of $1,500. Accommodation will be provided free of charge at the Caltech Athenaeum from Saturday, July 3 through Friday, July 16, 2021. A full range of dietary choices are available for purchase at The Huntington’s several cafés.

Travel and Duration
Travel should be arranged so that participants can be on site at The Huntington on the morning of Monday, July 5 to be issued with a Reader’s card and attend an introductory session for the Institute. The expectation is that participants in the Institute will stay through Thursday, July 15 for the conclusion of the “Rich Rocks” conference.

Applicants must be graduate students or post-doctoral students registered in a university degree program in a relevant discipline. Early career faculty with interests in the history of the environment, and of science and technology, in Asia are also eligible.
Please note: It is NOT a requirement that the applicant be based in the US; or that they be an American citizen; or that they be enrolled specifically in a program in the history of science and technology. We aim for internationalism and inclusivity. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are warmly encouraged to apply. The language of the Institute is English.

Sophia Kalantzakos is Global Distinguished Professor in Environmental Studies and Public Policy at New York University and currently a long-term affiliate at NYU Abu Dhabi. She is the author of China and the Geopolitics of Rare Earths (Oxford University Press, 2018); The EU, US, and China Tackling Climate Change: Policies and Alliances for the Anthropocene (Routledge, 2017); and co-editor, with Nikolaos Farantouris, of Energy and Environmental Transformations in a Globalizing World: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue (Nomiki Vivliothiki, 2015).

Monday–Friday, July 5–9, 2021, normal library hours (9 a.m.–12 p.m.;  1–5 p.m.) The “Rich Rocks” Conference takes place Monday, July 12 through Thursday, July 15.

Contingency Plan
Given the uncertain nature of the current pandemic and the timing of returning to in-person research and programming, The Huntington will decide at the appropriate moment whether or not it is possible to host this program in situ and will inform all participants as soon as possible if plans need to change.

Application Deadline
March 1, 2021

Applicaton Procedure
There is no application form. An application consists of items 1–4:

  1. A cover sheet with the following information: Name; mailing address; email address; telephone number; present rank and institution name; date PhD received or expected; citizenship status; if it would be your intention to stay on for the conference.
  2. A 1500-word statement which indicates the applicant’s own research project and explains why this particular program is of interest.
  3. Curriculum vitae of no more than three pages.
  4. 2 short letters of recommendation. It is the applicant's responsibility to contact his/her referee and supply them with a description of the project. Please do not send letters from your job dossier or from Interfolio Scholar Services. Please do not submit any materials in excess of the items listed above.

Submission Guidelines

  • The application must be submitted as a single document in PDF file format only to
  • Letters of recommendation—in PDF file format only—must be submitted directly from the recommender to Please reference applicant’s name in SUBJECT line. Letters should be no more than two pages in length.
  • Please direct questions about the academic content of the program to Sophia Kalantzakos at (DO NOT send applications or letters to this email address.)
  • Please direct questions about the application process to Natalie Serrano at (DO NOT send applications or letters to this email address.)

All applications and letters will receive an email acknowledgment of receipt. All successful candidates will be notified of the results on or shortly after Monday, March 1, 2021.

Dr. Steve Hindle
W.M. Keck Foundation Director of Research
The Huntington Library