NEH Summer Seminar on Dickens (K-12)

Marty  Gould's picture
Summer Program
July 4, 2016 to July 29, 2016
California, United States
Subject Fields: 
Humanities, Literature, Social History / Studies, Theatre & Performance History / Studies, World History / Studies

Designed for middle and high school teachers, the “Charles Dickens: Hard Times and A Tale of Two Cities” seminar is a four-week NEH Summer Serminar that will take place at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in July 2016.

Following an interdisciplinary, cultural-studies approach to literary analysis, the seminar considers Hard Times and A Tale of Two Cities in overlapping historical and cultural dimensions: in relation to historical events and contemporary concerns, literary predecessors and multigeneric imitators, Victorian social theory and modern critical trends. Via a range of disciplinary fields and methods, the seminar considers how Dickens—and literature more generally—can promote historically inflected cultural literacy while developing the ethical and political perspectives our students need in order to fully engage with contemporary social issues: education, labor reform, law, social revolution, and terrorism.

Though built around Dickens, the seminar’s critical methods are more broadly applicable, making the seminar useful for teaching literary texts in a wide range of humanities courses. In their final projects, participants will develop and share specific strategies for translating the seminar material into real-world classroom activities that prompt students to consider why Victorian literature remains relevant to contemporary culture and how humanistic fields of inquiry are necessary to understanding and responding to today’s most pressing social, political, and ethical challenges.

Applications are due 1 March 2016. For more information, visit the seminar website: or email the director at

Contact Info: 

Marty Gould

Department of English

University of South Florida

Contact Email: