UNL to host NEH summer seminar

An ever-expanding understanding of British Romanticism will be the topic of a five-week National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar at UNL.

The seminar, which will bring 16 participants from across the United States, is themed "Reassessing British Romanticism" and will include group discussions on the myriad of discoveries in poetry from the Romantic Era, which began in the mid- to late-18th century and included such poets as William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Participants may also use UNL resources to further their own research projects.

The seminar, one of seven NEH is offering this year, is June 10-July 12. Participants must apply and be selected to attend. There are 14 faculty members and two graduate students among the participants. The seminar's goal is to improve the teaching and professional skills of faculty members from across the nation. Participants receive a $3,900 stipend to attend and selection for attendance at an NEH seminar is regarded as a high achievement for participants.

This is the fourth NEH seminar that UNL has hosted, which is unusual, said Stephen Behrendt, George Holmes Professor of English. To host a seminar, a college or university must apply to NEH for funding and approval. The seminars are hosted around the world each year.

Behrendt said he believes the success of the seminars at UNL is in part because of the extensive materials held in Love Library.

"We have physical and electronic resources that make this a very fine place to study the complex cultural dynamics of the Romantic period in Great Britain," Behrendt said.

Behrendt said the UNL seminars are focused on improving classroom teaching and research but also serve a greater purpose.

"Many participants are the only faculty member (from their college or university) in British Romanticism and so the seminar also offers a wonderful opportunity for interacting with colleagues in the same profession with whom they share many interests and experiences," Behrendt said.

This often leads to collaborative research on the era and on better teaching practices, he said.

— Deann Gayman, University Communications