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Reassessing British Romanticism

Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers

Postmark Deadline: March 4, 2013

A five-week seminar for sixteen college and university faculty to study British Romanticism in light of evolving scholarship.

Project director Stephen Behrendt (University of Nebraska) plans to immerse faculty in the ongoing and dynamic reassessment of one of literature's classic subjects, British Romanticism. In particular, the study of canonical writings alongside recently recovered period texts and contemporary reviews stimulate participants to evaluate the criteria that define Romantic-era writing. To establish a baseline, participants first read Hugh Murray's Morality of Fiction (1805), William Hazlitt's On the Living Poets (1818), and Josiah Condor's Reviewers Reviewed (1811). They then compare Thomas Love Peacock's classic satire, Headlong Hall (1815) and the anonymous political satire Gulzara, Princess of Persia (1816) with the contemporary reviews of both texts. They investigate the hostile reviews of Wordsworth's Peter Bell (1819) and the contemporary popularity of Robert Bloomfield's long overlooked The Farmer's Boy (1800). Secondary texts such as James K. Chandler's England in 1819 (1998), William St. Clair's The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period (2004), and Jim Kelly's Ireland and Romanticism (2011) lend historical perspective.  Professor Behrendt incorporates discussion of the participants' projects into the last two weeks of the seminar. He devotes substantial time to helping them prepare work for publication. Participants are granted privileges to the University of Nebraska library, which includes the Corvey Collection's 10,000 items of Romantic-era literature; they are also encouraged to revise classroom materials and make use of the University's Center for Digital Research in the Humanities.

Dates: June 10 —July 12 (5 weeks)
Director(s): Stephen C. Behrendt
Grantee Institutions: University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Location: Lincoln, NE

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.