For their final project for the seminar, each NEH Summer Scholar will prepare innovative exercises and lesson plans involving adaptations. These projects may–but do not have to–engage our two core texts (Jane Eyre and Great Expectations): Summer Scholars may develop their projects either independently or collaboratively with other members of the seminar. This is a great opportunity to create innovative assignments that tap into the power of adaptations to connect readers with literary texts in meaningful ways. It is also a chance to investigate adaptations we didn’t look at together, to bring new and interesting material to the attention of the other members of the seminar.
For this project you may either work with our common readings (expanding on our group discussion of those texts) or one or more adaptations you have discovered on your own. I will provide a bibliography with some suggested texts which offer any number of models for innovative instruction, from graphic novels and web publications to ideas for connecting literary study with other disciplinary areas within the school curriculum. Everyone will have an opportunity to share their work in progress in the final week of the seminar and will have time to refine their ideas before posting them to the website at the end of September. The website will gather together the background information, sample handouts, images, and web pages everyone assembles as their final projects. Our collective goal should be to compile an innovative and useful online resource that all members of the group can draw upon (and continue to contribute to) well after the seminar has concluded.
Because a primary goal of these projects is finding new ways to share with their students and other teachers some of the insights that Summer Scholars have garnered during the seminar sessions, final projects should also be submitted to EDSITEment, The Best of the Humanities on the Web, the compendium of resources that the National Endowment for the Humanities provides for school teachers (edsitement.neh.gov).
As an alternative to this project, some members of the seminar may wish to try their own hands at adaptation, exercising their creative impulses to refashion our core texts in a way that reflects the critical and theoretical lessons of the seminar. Anyone interested in this alternative should talk to me early on so we can discuss your plans and objectives for a creative project.