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Folger Shakespeare Library's Teaching Shakespeare Institute

Summer Seminars and Institutes for School Teachers

Postmark Deadline: March 1, 2012

“Folger Shakespeare Library's Teaching Shakespeare Institute” is a four-week institute for twenty-five secondary school teachers to examine Shakespeare's plays. Robert G. Young, Director of Education at the Folger Shakespeare Library, leads an institute on four plays:  The Comedy of Errors, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, and Pericles.  Participants examine the texts, other related primary sources, and performance histories; they also stage scenes from the plays and explore the incorporation of pedagogical technologies in the classroom.  To consider similarities and differences among the plays in genre, theme, structure, and “the variety and relative depth of the characters that inhabit them,” the institute also probes Shakespeare’s creative process and use of sources, as well as questions of “authorship, collaboration, and revision.” Teachers work with institute faculty and staff to discover new ways of understanding and teaching Shakespeare.  In addition to the project director, the institute faculty includes scholars Jay Halio (University of Delaware), Margaret Maurer (Colgate University), Stephen Dickey (University of California, Los Angeles);  actor-directors Caleen Sinnette Jennings (American University) and Michael Tolaydo (St. Mary’s College); and curriculum coordinators Michael LoMonico and Susan Biondo-Hench.  Staff from the Library,  including curator of art Erin Blake and research director David Schalkwyk, also contribute.  Participants join the Folger’s Teaching Shakespeare online network, home and launch pad for the participant-developed lesson plans and annotated primary sources, as well as for discussions with Shakespeare teachers across the nation. 

Dates: July 2—27 (4 weeks)
Grantee Institutions: Folger Shakespeare Library
Location: Washington, DC

About NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes for School Teachers

Each year the NEH’s Division of Education Programs offers teachers opportunities to study a variety of humanities topics in NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes. An NEH Summer Seminar for school teachers enables sixteen participants to explore a topic or set of readings with an expert scholar. 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.

Amount of Award

NEH Summer Scholars are awarded fixed stipends to help cover travel costs, books and other research expenses, and living expenses. Stipend amounts are based on the length of the NEH Summer Seminar or Institute: $2,100 (2 weeks), $2,700 (3 weeks), $3,300 (4 weeks), $3,900 (5 weeks), or $4,500 (6 weeks).


Full-time teachers in American K-12 schools, whether public, charter, independent, or religiously affiliated, as well as home-schooling parents, are eligible to apply to NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes. Americans teaching abroad are also eligible if a majority of the students they teach are American citizens. Librarians and school administrators may also be eligible.

You may request information about as many projects as you like, but you may apply to no more than two NEH Summer Programs (seminars, institutes, or Landmarks workshops) and you may attend only one. Eligibility criteria differ significantly between NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes and NEH Landmarks Workshops.

Please note: Up to two seminar spaces and three institute spaces are available for current graduate students, who intend to pursue careers in K-12 teaching.

How to Apply

For more information and application instructions, please visit the program website listed above.