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NEH Summer Seminar: Performing Dickens

Posted By Sharon A. Weltman, Louisiana State University, Thursday, December 12, 2013
Applications are now open for "Performing Dickens: Oliver Twist and Great Expectations on Page Stage, and Screen,” a four-week National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers, sponsored by the Dickens Project at the University of California Santa Cruz.  From Monday, July 7, 2014 to Friday, August 1, 2014, we'll examine Oliver Twist (1837-1839) and Great Expectations (1860-1861), along with a range of important film, television, and stage adaptations from 1837 to 2012. Many of these, such as David Lean’s 1946 Great Expectations or Lionel Bart’s 1960 musical Oliver!, have become classics in their own right.  The seminar will place the novels in theatrical context, discussing Dickens’s own many connections to drama, including both the theater’s profound effect on his art (he wrote while acting out his characters in front of a mirror) and Dickens’s dynamic effect on Victorian performance practice (through collaboration with other playwrights, his wildly successful reading tours, and the vast number of successful Victorian plays based on the novels).  The seminar will also ask more broadly how adaptations and performances interpret their source texts and affect their meaning. Placing different scholarly, critical, and theoretical traditions of performance, adaptation, literature, theater, and film in conversation with one another will yield important new insights. Dickens—as an author who is inherently theatrical and is more frequently adapted than any other—is an ideal vehicle to consider these issues.  Sixteen college and university teachers will read and discuss "performing Dickens” as they work on their own related research projects, with a stipend of $3,300.00. Two of these sixteen spots are available for graduate students.  The applications are due by March 4, 2014
For information detailed information about the "Performing Dickens” NEH seminar, including how to apply, please see the website
Seminar Director:  Sharon Aronofsky Weltman (Louisiana State University)
Visiting Faculty:    Tracy Davis (Northwestern University)
                               Carolyn Williams (Rutgers University)
                               Jacky Bratton (University of London-Royal Holloway)
                               John Glavin (Georgetown University) 
Seminar Dates:  Monday, July 7, 2014 to Friday, August 1, 2014
Deadline to Apply:  March 4, 2014 
Notification date:  March 31, 2014 
Stipend:  $3,300.00

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