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Roman Comedy in Performance

Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers

Postmark Deadline: March 1, 2012

“Roman Comedy in Performance” is a four-week college and university teachers institute for twenty-five participants to study and perform Roman comedy. The institute, co-directed by Sharon James (Classics and Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) and Timothy Moore (Classics, University of Texas, Austin), aims to increase scholarly understanding of the ancient contexts and practices of the plays of Plautus and Terence and to provide practical experience in performance of these plays. “Roman comedy should be widely read, taught, and staged,” the directors argue, noting “it is part of Roman history, and had a significant influence on European theater.  It offers vantage points for the study of Rome that are not available elsewhere.”  Morning sessions focus on discussion of  scholarly issues in Roman comedy, ranging from the physical locations of Roman performance spaces to the social make-up of the ancient audiences, to the meaning of such elements as rape and slave torture in the plays themselves—all subjects of current debate in the academy.  In the afternoons, participants work in groups on aspects of performance of specific scenes, experimenting with translation, music, use of masks, costuming, modern vs. ancient staging, and performance in Latin.  The co-directors are joined by distinguished scholars in Classics and performance studies, including Sander Goldberg and Amy Richlin (University of California, Los Angeles), C.W. Marshall (University of British Columbia), Niall Slater (Emory University), Mary-Kay Gamel (University of California, Santa Cruz), Anne Groton (St. Olaf College), John Starks (State University of New York, Binghamton), and George Franko (Hollins University).  An accomplished composer and specialist on Roman comedy, Ted Gellar-Goad, composes original music for the performances. 

Dates: June 24-July 20 (4 weeks)
Grantee Institutions: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Location: Chapel Hill, NC

About NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers

Each year the NEH’s Division of Education Programs offers teachers opportunities to study a variety of humanities topics in Summer Seminars and Institutes. Each NEH Summer Seminar includes sixteen participants working in collaboration with one or two leading scholars. Participants have access to a major research collection, with time reserved to pursue individual projects.

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).


NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes are designed primarily for teachers of American undergraduate students. Qualified independent scholars and those employed by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other organizations may be eligible to compete provided they can effectively advance the teaching and research goals of the project.

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.

Please note:

Adjunct faculty, community college faculty and first-time participants are encouraged to apply.

Up to two seminar spaces and three institute spaces are reserved for current full-time graduate students in the humanities.

How to Apply

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