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Elizabeth Bishop and the Literary Archive

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar 2017

June 12–30, 2017 at Vassar College

Welcome to Elizabeth Bishop and the Literary Archive, a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for College and University Professors to be held from June 12–30, 2017 at Vassar College.

Director: Dr. Bethany Hicok, Professor of English, Westminster College


The Seminar

Bishop in Brazil
J.L. Castel Photo Courtesy of Vassar College

This three-week summer seminar based in the archives at Vassar College will bring together sixteen college and university professors interested in or influenced by the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop (1911–1979) and her circle. These may include Bishop scholars in the field of the literature, history, and culture of the Americas, and, more broadly, scholars focused on interdisciplinary inquiry, gender and LGBTQ studies, and literature and archival research. Or summer scholars might include those interested in exploring the intersections of image and text made possible in the Bishop archives. The goals of the seminar are to extend and deepen our knowledge and understanding about Bishop, her circle, and literary history; understand key theoretical and critical debates surrounding the archives and literary history; work collaboratively to introduce and develop new methods of interdisciplinary teaching and research in the humanities; strengthen the academic discourse surrounding the ethics of archival research; and develop a deeper understanding of how social issues affect artistic expression.

Bishop Swimming in Rock Pool at Samambaia
Courtesy of Vassar College

Summmer scholars will have ample time to work in the archives on independent projects for publication and to revise or develop new syllabi for teaching. Summer scholars will also have the opportunity to collaborate on a proposed volume of essays that focuses on the poet and her archives. Summer scholars (including at least three non-tenure-track/adjunct faculty members) will be selected as per NEH guidelines and receive a $2,700 stipend to help offset the cost of travel, meals and housing.

Interested? The deadline for applications is March 1, 2017. Please visit The Seminar description for further details and find out How to Apply. NEH Summer Seminars are intended principally for scholars who teach American undergraduates. Click on Eligibility for the official NEH guidelines. Summer scholars will be notified by March 31, 2017. Please contact me with any questions. More information will be forthcoming.



NEH disclaimer: Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.