Description: John R. Rosenberg, dean of the College of Humanities, is directing this year’s NEH Summer Seminar for School Teachers at the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain. Dr. Rosenberg and 16 other educators will study Spanish literature, art, and history for the next month in Spain’s own rich, historical context.
Start: October 1, 2014
End: October 31, 2015
- Sponsor: National Endowment for the Humanities
- Principal Investigator: Ray Clifford
- Website: neh.byu.edu
Each summer, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) sponsors summer seminars for educators who are looking to further their mastery of knowledge in the arts, literature, language, history, and culture. This summer, BYU’s Dean of the College of Humanities, John Rosenberg, is directing a summer seminar in Madrid, Spain which begins this week, being offered June 21st through July 24th. Dr. Ray Clifford, listed as the principal investigator on the grant, and Dr. Rosenberg have been preparing many months for this amazing opportunity to lead 16 Summer Scholars to travel to Madrid and learn about Spanish literature and art history while surrounded by its own place of nativity.
Dr. Rosenberg has already led eight similar seminars, four of which have been located in Madrid. His past experiences have proven to be rich and fruitful in his studies in the humanities. Accompanying the group as an administrative assistant this year is Angela Prendes Pueyo, who is from Madrid and holds degrees in Spanish Literature.
The focus of the group’s study is on the plays and contributions of the twentieth century Spanish playwright, Antonio Buero Vallejo. The educators will undergo an in-depth study of some of his plays, including Buero’s Las meninas (The Maids of Honour) and El sueño de la razón (The Sleep of Reason). The study of these works, along with other historical Spanish literature will lead the discussion and merit of the group’s study these next five weeks in Madrid.
This opportunity is unlike any other, as it allows the Summer Scholars to be on site in Madrid as they study the culture and art of Spain. One of the highlights of their seminar is their access to the Museo del Prado, which is the very well-known national art museum in Spain, and truly a treasure of many of Europe’s collections of history. One of the most famous pieces of art on display in the museum is Diego Velázquez’s Las Meninas, a painting which shares the same name as Buero’s play, and the painting that inspired Buero to write the play. The group will even have the privilege of interacting with the Prado’s deputy director, Gabriele Finaldi. To provide an even more original understanding of the works to be studied, the Summer Scholars will discuss and study the literature in its original Spanish language, which will also prevent any loss of culture or art in the translation.
One of the goals that the NEH has in sponsoring these summer seminars is to enhance the capability of school educators in their knowledge and instruction. During the seminar, the participants will be asked to submit assignments and work interactively with other educators. Dr. Rosenberg has set up the seminar so that the Summer Scholars are organized into small groups for discusson. Each participant is also required to submit a writing project regarding a Spanish author of their choice and give a presentation to the other group members on their project. The Summer Scholars are then encouraged to submit their presentations on the online humanities website Edsitement, which features new findings in the humanities, to provide access to other educators. This seminar also provides the unique opportunity for graduate students to apply who are looking to teach in grades K-12, giving them the chance for a remarkable experience to delve into the Spanish humanities as they complete their graduate work.