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Teaching Literature through Adaptation


An NEH Summer Seminar for School Teachers


Seminar Director: Professor Marty Gould
Seminar Dates: 23 June-12 July 2019
Application Deadline: 1 March 2019


Hosted by the University of California, Santa Cruz

Supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities

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About the Seminar

Using two case studies–Jane Eyre and Great Expectations–this three-week seminar explores various ways teachers can use literary imitations to engage students in the processes of engaged reading and creative expression. Drawing on cutting-edge scholarship, the seminar showcases the ways in which the informed study of adaptations can enhance the development of core skills in the areas of critical reading, analytical reasoning, argumentative writing, and creative production. By bringing adaptations into the classroom conversation, teachers can promote active literacy, encouraging students to speak not only about but also to the texts they study.

Our Texts

Two of the most frequently adapted novels of the nineteenth century, Jane Eyre and Great Expectations are ideal sites for our investigation: these are first-person narratives about self-making, of confronting and reconstructing images of oneself, and of grappling with multiple potential versions of one’s life.

At their core, these texts are about how our life’s ambitions are formed, how we develop self-awareness, how we express our identities, and how we empathize and communicate with those unlike us, lessons essential to the formation of self-aware and ethically responsible citizens of a diverse society.


The seminar is designed for K-12 teachers. We welcome applications from teachers across the disciplines, from English and History to Government, Journalism, Theatre, and the Arts.

Full eligibility criteria are available at the NEH site.

Applications may be submitted online, via email, or snail mail.

Apply by 11:59 PM on 1 March, 2019. The online submission portal will become inactive after 5 March, 2019.


Help us to spread the word about this seminar. Download the flyer (PDF). Connect with us on social media, @dickensproject and #nehadaptations.