NEH Summer Seminars

(These seminars took place in July, 2014. We are no longer accepting applications.)

The Dickens Project has received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support two Summer Seminars in 2014.

Prof. Sharon Weltman will lead the NEH Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers, called "Performing Dickens: Oliver Twist and Great Expectations on Page, Stage, and Screen." 

The “Performing Dickens” seminar will examine Oliver Twist and Great Expectations, two of Dickens’s most often taught and most frequently adapted novels, along with a range of important film, television, and dramatic adaptations from 1837 to 2012. The seminar will place Dickens in theatrical context, discussing his many connections to the stage:  both the theater’s profound effect on his art (he wrote while acting out his characters in front of a mirror) and his vital effect on Victorian performance practice (through collaboration with playwrights and wildly successful reading tours). The seminar will also ask more broadly how adaptations and performances interpret their source texts and affect their meaning. Many of these film and stage adaptations have become classics in their own right. College and university teachers of literature, theater, film, performance, and adaptation studies will benefit from this seminar on performing Dickens as they work on their own related projects. (read more)

"Great Adaptations: Dickens in Literature and Film" will be led by Prof. Marty Gould (Univ. of South Florida) and is intended for School Teachers. Prof. Gould previously led this successful seminar in 2011. 

Focused on a cluster of films and narrative rewritings of two major Dickens novels (Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol), the "Great Adaptations" seminar will explore the enduring influence of Dickens on the modern imagination. More generally, the seminar will consider adaptation as a cultural practice that expands and enriches readers' understanding of originary texts. A major goal of the seminar will be to help teachers identify new ways to use adaptation in the classroom in order to engage students actively in thinking and writing about literature. Examples will be drawn from a variety of genres, including fiction, film, and drama.

Participants will be asked to arrive and be settled in by July 6, to enjoy a Welcome Dinner that evening. Seminars will begin meeting the following morning and end on Friday, August 1. Everyone is welcome to stay on for the Dickens Universe at no additional charge. 

Guest speakers for the Gould seminar include Thomas Leitch and John Glavin, while Prof. Weltman has invited Tracy Davis, Jacky Bratton, Carolyn Williams, and John Glavin. Regular film screenings are scheduled, as well as festivities and field trips sponsored by the Friends of the Dickens Project.

About NEH Seminars

Summer Seminars for School Teachers and College and University Instructors are offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide teachers an opportunity for substantive study of significant humanities ideas and texts. Prior to completing an application to a specific seminar, please review the letter from the seminar director and consider carefully what is expected in terms of residence and attendance, reading and writing requirements, and general participation in the work of the project.

A Seminar for School Teachers enables 16 NEH Summer Scholars to explore a topic or set of readings with a scholar having special interest and expertise in the field. The core material of the seminar need not relate directly to the school curriculum; the principal goal of the seminar is to engage teachers in the scholarly enterprise and to expand and deepen their understanding of the humanities through reading, discussion, writing, and reflection. 

Summer Seminars for College and University Teachers are offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide 16 college and university faculty members and independent scholars with an opportunity to enrich and revitalize their understanding of significant humanities ideas, texts, and topics. These study opportunities are especially designed for this program and are not intended to duplicate courses normally offered by graduate programs. On completion of the seminar, NEH Summer Scholars will receive a certificate indicating their participation.