Ahmanson Undergraduate Research Scholarships

Up to ten undergraduate scholarships are offered every year to support undergraduate student research at the Clark Library. These are intended for UCLA upper-division students who enroll in a designated course (usually open to upper division students from any UCLA department). Program details, seminar descriptions and requirements, and application procedures are announced each year.

2022–23 Ahmanson Undergraduate Scholarship Seminar

The Political and Philosophical Foundations of Modernity, 1650–1789
History 187, Spring 2023
Tuesdays, 10:00 a.m.1:00 p.m.
Directed by Professor Margaret Jacob
Decorative image, Rigaud, Hyacinthe. Portrait of Louis XIV, 1700–1701. Oil on canvas, 277x194cm. Paris, the Louvre. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Many sessions held at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library (off campus)
The Clark Library is located 12 miles from campus in the West Adams neighborhood of Los Angeles. For directions and additional information, please visit http://clarklibrary.ucla.edu/visit/

ENROLLMENT BY INSTRUCTOR CONSENT ONLY (see below for application instructions)

On successful completion, students receive a $1,000 scholarship, funded by the Ahmanson Foundation and administered through the Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies.

Overview of the topic

The course examines the profound changes that occurred in early modern Europe from the early seventeenth century up to the French Revolution in 1789. Much attention will be paid to the new science from Copernicus to Newton, and to related transformations in religious beliefs from the impact of the Protestant Reformation to the rise of atheism and materialism in the eighteenth century. Finally, political upheavals from the English civil wars to the rise of French absolutism, and its opponents, must figure prominently in any attempt to understand the origins and foundations of modernity. A related theme of the course will concern the erosion of Christian hegemony in the period.

Each undergraduate will be asked to produce a 12–15 pp. paper based on primary sources and aimed at the theme of the course. Sample topics might include: Socinianism in 17th century England; the religiosity of Isaac Newton or Robert Boyle; the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685; publishing in the Dutch Republic; Hazard’s “Crisis of the European Mind”; outrage and heresy, 1680–1750, atheism and pornography; the first attempt to understand all the known religions in the world, Picart’s Ceremonies and Religious Customs of all the Peoples of the World, 1723–1737; Contract theory, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau; the religious festivals of the French Revolution. All papers will be due by June 15, 2023; no incompletes will be given. Professor Jacob will hold office hours at the Clark, on Tuesdays until 4 PM.

How to Apply:

To apply, an email stating interest and reasons for taking the seminar should be addressed to Professor Margaret Jacob, mjacob@history.ucla.edu no later than March 10, 2023. The class is limited in size. Subsidies for use of Lyft are provided for student transportation to and from the Clark Library. Undergraduate students who complete the seminar successfully are awarded a $1,000 scholarship.

Enrollment in each Ahmanson Undergraduate Scholarship Seminar is limited to ten participants. Those who successfully complete the course requirements receive an award of $1,000.

Questions about the program:
Center for 17th- & 18th-Century Studies
302 Royce Hall, UCLA

Image: Rigaud, Hyacinthe. Portrait of Louis XIV, 1700–1701. Oil on canvas, 277x194cm. Paris, the Louvre. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.