As part of our mission to support innovation in historical research, The Davis Center organizes its initiatives around a new theme every several years. By bringing together scholars across disciplines around a range of programming and events, we promote new ways of studying history’s most pressing topics.

The Shelby Cullom Davis Center theme for 2022-2024 is Truth and Information.

Recent debates about truth, lies, and authenticity have reminded us that truth has a history, and that the meaning of truthfulness and justice keep changing over time. The Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University seeks applications from scholars exploring the historical evolution of regimes and practices of establishing, telling, and writing truth. We understand the notion of truth broadly: as a philosophical and epistemological category, an ideal of social equity and political justice, and a principle governing historical writing, legal, and scientific investigation. We invite historians who study the role of ideology, religion, informational technology, and media in the historical evolution of truth. We are also interested in projects on the history of lying, deception, and misinformation. Intellectual historians, historians of art, gender, race, sexuality, information, governance, science, and technology from antiquity to the modern period whose work engages with these subjects are encouraged to apply. Topics may include (but are not limited to) the use and misuse of facts in political propaganda, problems of evidence and objectivity, authenticity and source criticism, fakes, forgery and conspiracy theories, and diplomatic, inter- and intra- national reconciliation.

Past Themes

Throughout our history, we have explored a diverse range of themes, from Risk and Fortune to Corruption to the History of Education. Learn more about our past themes.

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The Manager, Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies
Department of History
129 Dickinson Hall
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1017, U.S.A.