FAQs

Where can I get an application?
Please see our Applying to the NEH Institute page.

Am I eligible to apply?
Please read carefully the NEH’s regulations about eligibility on the NEH Application Information and Instructions.  This NEH Institute is for college and university teachers; full-time graduate students may also apply.
Preference will be given to applicants who have not participated in an NEH-sponsored seminar or institute in the past three years.

What rules are there for an NEH Institute?
The NEH requires all participants to abide by its Principles of Civility:

The Endowment’s Seminars, Institutes, and Workshops are intended to extend and deepen knowledge and understanding of the humanities by focusing on significant topics, texts, and issues; contribute to the intellectual vitality and professional development of participants; and foster a community of inquiry that provides models of excellence in scholarship and teaching.

NEH expects that project directors will take responsibility for encouraging an ethos of openness and respect, upholding the basic norms of civil discourse.

Seminar, Institute, and Workshop presentations and discussions should be:

(1) firmly grounded in rigorous scholarship and thoughtful analysis;
(2) conducted without partisan advocacy;
(3) respectful of divergent views;
(4) free of ad hominem commentary; and
(5) devoid of ethnic, religious, gender or racial bias

What needs to be included in my application?
See the NEH instructions.

For a paper application:

–     three copies of your completed electronic NEH coversheet, signed
–     three copies of a curriculum vitae
–     two letters of recommendation (sent separately)
–     three copies of your four-page application essay (described in the “Dear Colleague” letter)

For an electronic application:

–     one copy of your completed electronic NEH coversheet
–     your curriculum vitae
–     two letters of recommendation (sent separately)
–     your application essay (described in the “Dear Colleague” letter)

When is the application due?
Applications are due by 5pm Pacific Standard Time on Thursday March 1st, 2012

When will I be notified about the results of my application?
Applicants will be notified on Monday April 2nd, 2012.

If I’m accepted, when do I need to accept or decline the invitation?
You have until Friday, April 6th, 2011 to accept or decline the offer.

How much will I receive for my stipend check?
The total amount of your stipend is $3,300. Half will be paid upon your arrival in Chapel Hill, the other half will be paid to you half way through the institute.

Is the stipend taxable by the IRS?
Yes, the full amount of $3,300 is considered taxable income. The University of North Carolina will withhold no taxes from your check. You may wish to talk to your own tax advisor, or see IRS Publication 970. Neither the NEH nor the University of North Carolina can advise you on your tax situation; the IRS will know about the full amount of your stipend.

Will the amount of my stipend be enough to cover all of the costs associated with the seminar?
The stipend should be sufficient to cover your travel, food, and lodging, but we cannot guarantee that such will be the case.  Please note that supplements will not be given in cases where the stipend is insufficient to cover all expenses.

What happens if I can’t be there for the entire NEH Institute?
If you cannot stay the entire 4 weeks of the NEH Institute, or if you have to miss a day at any point during the Institute, you will be asked to return a pro-rated portion of your stipend, per NEH regulations.  The NEH takes Institute sessions very seriously and expects all participants to attend every scheduled session.

What will our daily class schedule be like?
Morning sessions will meet 10am-noon; afternoon sessions will be 2-3pm and 3-4pm (each participant will be taking part in two group performance projects). For more specifics, see our Schedule page.

What about food and drink during the day?
Breakfast will not be provided, though we will attempt to provide light snacks.  You’re welcome to bring coffee or a favorite beverage to class.  There are several coffee shops within 2 minutes’ walk of both Hyde Hall and Murphey Hall (Carolina Coffee Shop, Jack Sprat, Daily Grind, to name only three).  The lunch period is free time, and food is easily available near both locations.  You’re responsible for all of your own meals, including lunch. Both Hyde Hall and Murphey Hall have refrigerators and kitchen facilities (microwave), as well as a place to eat, for those who wish to bring their lunches.  Persons using those facilities are expected to clean up after themselves.

When would I need to plan to arrive, how can I get there and when can I think about returning home?
You should plan to arrive by Sunday morning, June 24th 2011.  On Sunday afternoon we look forward to meeting you at a welcoming event, with a tour of the University (library, performance and meeting spaces, other facilities) and the hospitality of the University’s Classics Department.  Please plan to be there to meet your colleagues.  We will provide specific information about how to find all the facilities.

You are responsible for making your own travel arrangements.  See our Location and Logistics page; we will be able to provide more detailed information and suggestions as the time approaches.

The NEH Institute ends on Friday, July 20th, 2012, at 4pm.  Early departure is not permitted by the NEH, or is subject to the conditions above, namely returning a pro-rated portion of your stipend, per NEH regulations.

What should I bring with me?
Expect hot and humid weather, so pack accordingly.  It can rain heavily during the summer, so an umbrella is advisable.  All NEH Institute facilities are air-conditioned, so you may want to bring a light sweater as well, for indoors use.  Dress for the NEH Institute is informal, particularly as NEH Summer Scholars will regularly be acting out (and even dancing!) their performance scenes. Hats and sunscreen are highly recommended.

If you have ideas for costuming, please bring appropriate supplies: we will provide costumes (i.e., pallia, cloaks, and other ancient-style garments—but not shoes!) for the performances in ancient dress, but participants should plan to devise their own costumes for the other performance choices.

Can I bring my family and pets?
You are neither encouraged nor discouraged to bring family members with you, or to entertain them at any point during the NEH Institute.  They are welcome at hospitality and social events, but they will not permitted to attend the NEH Institute.  Pets are not allowed in any of the University housing, nor in many of the off-campus housing options; you would have to explore all the possible options for pets.  There are pet-sitting services in town, about which we can give suggestions as the time approaches.

Where can I work out?
The weather will be hot.  Often it will also be humid. Outdoor runners are advised to run early in the morning (a schedule made easier by our 10am starting time).  As Visiting Scholars at the University of North Carolina, you and your family will have privileges at the pool and the gym.

How do I get around if I don’t have a car?
The bus system in Chapel Hill is free and ranges widely around town.  The majority of the housing options are within walking distance of campus or are only a short bus ride away.  See our Locations and Logistics page for more information.

Where will the NEH Institute be held?
Morning sessions will be held in Hyde Hall, where three rooms will also be available for the afternoon groups.  The other afternoon groups will meet in Murphey Hall, home of the University’s Classics Department, a short walk from Hyde Hall, Davis Library, the Student Dining Hall, and the campus Bookstore, where the Daily Grind coffee shop is located.

Where can I park at the University?
Our advice is: don’t.  The University cannot provide parking permits for Institute Scholars.  During the summer, metered parking is sometimes available on the streets near Hyde Hall.  There are commercial parking lots near Hyde Hall.

Should I read anything prior to attending the Institute?
Yes: all of Roman comedy in translation!  Also, you will be expected to read certain scholarly materials for the first two days of class; these materials will be provided to you in advance.  See our Pre-Institute Readings page.  Please bring all your reading materials with you to the Institute.

What if I’m camera-shy or have stage fright?
Then this is not the Institute for you.  All participants must perform several versions of Roman Comedy, for videotaping (and possibly for informal public presentations, if such performances seem desirable).  The video clips will be made available on the internet and for distribution on DVDs.  Participants will be required to sign a legal waiver form, agreeing to be videotaped and to let their performances be posted on the internet.

Do I need to know Latin?
No
.  We hope that some NEH Summer Scholars and the NEH Institute will be able to perform some scenes in Latin, but most of the performances will be in English translation, and the discussions during our morning sessions will not demand knowledge of the Latin texts.  In fact, we hope very much that NEH Summer Scholars from fields outside of classics will join us.

Do I need to have experience or training in acting?
No
.  We hope that we can produce videos of a very high quality, but we will not expect professional acting.

Other questions?
Contact either of the directors: sljames@email.unc.edu or tmoore@artsci.wustl.edu.