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The Cullman Center Institute for Teachers


Illustration by Gary Panter
Illustration by Gary Panter


“Cullman Center workshops are the very best professional development I have been involved in. They have immediate impact on my teaching. I always return to school excited to put into practice some element of what I've learned.” — David Wilson

“The Cullman Center and its workshops are an inspiration, a reminder, a challenge to stay focused on what matters in education — curiosity and inquiry.” — Matthew Hoffman

The Cullman Center Institute for Teachers offers two distinct programs for professional development that give teachers an opportunity to enrich their understanding of the humanities and research in one of the world's great libraries. The Institute is located in The New York Public Library's landmark building on Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street at The Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.

Our Spring Seminars, which last a day, are free. Breakfast and lunch are included.

Summer Seminars last a week. Participants receive a $300 stipend, all required books and materials, a private office with networked computer at the Cullman Center, and breakfast and lunch each day. There is also an opportunity to receive graduate credit through Adams State College. Click here for details.

Space is limited. Any full-time teacher, school librarian, or administrator is welcome to apply; priority is given to K-12 public school teachers in the New York metropolitan area.

Special funding for the Cullman Center's Institute for Teachers is generously provided by Helen and Roger Alcaly and the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History.


"Your dedication and generosity to NYC public school teachers are truly remarkable — a much appreciated reminder that teaching is a noble profession. You show that in everything you do.” Cinda Becker

“The opportunity to engage in such a deep intellectual pursuit made me feel valued both as a teacher and a person. No one values and treats teachers better than the Cullman Center!”  Kim Kelly


The Cullman Center is made possible by a generous endowment from Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman in honor of Brooke Russell Astor, with major support provided by Mrs. John L. Weinberg, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Estate of Charles J. Liebman, John and Constance Birkelund, The Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, and additional gifts from The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Helen and Roger Alcaly, The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, The Rona Jaffe Foundation, William W. Karatz, Mary Ellen von der Heyden, Merilee and Roy Bostock, The Arts and Letters Foundation, Lybess Sweezy and Ken Miller, and Cullman Center Fellows.

Click here to view our 2016 Spring Seminars


Summer Seminars 2016

The Cullman Center Teacher Institute is accepting applications for three weeklong seminars. Priority is given to K-12 educators in the New York metropolitan area. Two letters of recommendation are required. If you attended a summer seminar in July of 2014 or 2015 you are ineligible to apply for this summer. Applications must be completed and letters of recommendation received by Sunday, April 17th.



Alejandro Zambra

How to Forget How to Write Fiction: A Creative Writing Workshop, July 11 - 15

Monday, July 11, 2016, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Creative writing classes and writing manuals are full of so many do’s and don’ts that we tend to forget that the essence of literature is hard to define. Rather than offer writing advice or guidelines, this workshop will explore fiction’s uncertain and volatile boundaries through a series of not-totally-weird writing exercises as well as discussions of texts by writers such as Elias Canetti, J. M. Coetzee, Natalia Ginzburg, Nicanor Parra, and Georges Perec. Throughout the week, each Read More ›
Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

The Reporter and the Story: A Workshop in Journalism, July 18 - 22

Monday, July 18, 2016, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
“Reporting” primarily connotes information-gathering – the seeking out of knowledge from sources in the outside world. Yet reporting also involves emotional and sensory apprehensions, including the writer’s relationship to what is unknown when the reporting begins. This workshop will explore ways writers might use these less-understood tools. How could confusion, for example, aid reporting? How does it shape one’s voice in the narrative? Change the story? Participants will consider these questions as well as conventional fact-finding methods as they write their own short nonfiction Read More ›
Dániel Margócsy

Imagining Nature in the Age of Discoveries, July 25 - 29

Monday, July 25, 2016, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, European understanding of natural and human diversity was transformed by travelers’ encounters with new environments and cultures in the Americas, Africa, and Asia. In this seminar, we will examine printed texts, early maps, broadsheets, and paintings to consider how scholars, writers, and ordinary people reimagined their places in an expanding world. Readings will include travelers’ accounts of cannibals, poison trees, and satyrs; essays by Montaigne; excerpts from Andreas Vesalius’s De humani corporis fabrica; and secondary literature in the histories Read More ›

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