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The online laboratory for NAI Seniors's study of George Eliot's Middlemarch.


MiddleLab is a year long study of George Eliot's novel by seniors of the USC NAI program in their AP English classroom through a series of collaborations between the Neighborhood Academic Initiative (NAI) and the Dickens Project, including partnerships with USC faculty and students, classroom swaps, field trips, visual and performing arts adaptations, visiting guest lectures and advanced literary intensives. The seniors will culminate their learning with a series of projects  and an evening of theatrical adaptations bringing the work to life for their community, while penning essays for submission to the Dickens Project scholarship contest in the spring.

NAI goes to to the  Dickens Universe 2016 for Dombey & Son

Winners of the contest will earn an all-expense paid week at the Dickens Universe in 2017 to continue this intense, communal immersion in the novel. The Dickens Universe is a fully residential conference at UC Santa Cruz where winning seniors will join scholars, university faculty and general public—over 200 participants— in one of the largest, and oldest, humanities multi-campus research consortiums in the world. These scholarships, in addition to a book grant gifting each student their own personal copy of the novel to annotate, and ongoing learning events are results of continuing innovations for the study of literature imagined by the  DP-NAI network. The partnership is a laboratory for new pedagogy and communities to connect the resources of the Dickens Universe, higher education and the first generation scholars in the USC Neighborhood Academic Initiative program (NAI). The work hopes to energize the teaching of literature to students of our communities, and to address the wider implications of such work for equity, access and the future of the humanities in public life.