For the third consecutive year, Belfast Area High School English and history teacher William J. Murphy has been selected as an NEH Summer Scholar from a national applicant pool to attend one of 20 summer study opportunities supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The endowment is a federal agency that each summer supports Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops so teachers can study with experts in humanities disciplines.

Murphy will participate in a workshop titled “Sailing to Freedom: New Bedford and the Underground Railroad” held in the historic seaport of New Bedford, coordinated by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and directed by Dr. Timothy Walker and Lee Blake.

The workshop will bring together scholars of the Underground Railroad, the antebellum Abolition Movement, and African-Americans in the maritime trades. They include Kathryn Glover, author of The Fugitive’s Gibraltar: Escaping Slaves and Abolitionism in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Dr. Jeffrey Bolster, author of Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail, and David Cecelski, author of The Waterman’s Song: Slavery and Freedom in North Carolina.

The 80 participating teachers each receive a $1,200 stipend to help cover travel, study and living expenses.

Topics for the 20 NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops include Benjamin Franklin; Fort Niagara; Emily Dickinson; Philadelphia and the Early Republic; the Industrial Revolution; James Madison; African-American History in Massachusetts; Duke Ellington; the Chicago Lakefront; the abolition, women’s rights, and religious revival movements in upstate New York; mining in the far west; Abraham Lincoln; the Hudson River; Zora Neale Hurston; African-American entrepreneurs in antebellum America; Fort Ticonderoga; California history; and the Underground Railroad.

The approximately 1,600 educators who take part will teach more than 200,000 American students the following year.