"Oscar Wilde and His Circle" is a five-week N.E.H. seminar that provides a comprehensive analysis of many of the most significant aspects of Oscar Wilde's extraordinary career, beginning with his busy life as an undergraduate at Magdalen College, Oxford, and ending with his untimely demise in a shabby hotel room in the Latin Quarter of Paris. The seminar will be held at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library—a rare book library that forms part of the University of California, Los Angeles library system. U.C.L.A. has administered the Clark Library since the time of its original owner's death in 1934. The library houses the largest collection of materials relating to Wilde and his associates in the world. Besides the main Wilde collection, the Clark holds several archives relating to the careers of other figures linked with the Victorian fin de siècle, including Edward Burne-Jones, Alfred Douglas, George Egerton (Mary Chavelita Dunne Bright), Dollie Radford, and Robert Baldwin Ross. The library's other main collections cover seventeenth- and eighteenth-century studies, the history of fine printing, and early California.

N.E.H. Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers provide college and university faculty members, independent scholars, and graduate students with an opportunity to enrich and revitalize their understanding of significant humanities ideas, texts, and topics. These study opportunities are especially designed for this program and are not intended to duplicate courses normally offered by graduate programs, nor will graduate credit be given for them.

Prior to completing an application to "Oscar Wilde and His Circle," please review the "Dear Colleague" letter from the project director (which you can download from this link) and consider carefully what is expected in terms of residence and attendance, reading and writing requirements, and general participation in the work of the project. The link to the "How to Apply" page gives full details on the application procedure.

Like all N.E.H. summer seminars, "Oscar Wilde and His Circle" will include sixteen N.E.H. Summer Scholars working in collaboration with a leading researcher. Up to two of the places will be reserved for advanced graduate students with a proven interest in Wilde's life and works. N.E.H. Summer Scholars will have access to the largest archive of materials relating to Oscar Wilde and his circle. N.E.H. Summer Scholars will also have time to pursue individual research and study projects.

A complete list of the N.E.H. summer seminars and institutes for 2012 is accessible at:

Please note that applications must be postmarked no later than Friday, March 1, 2012. Successful applicants will be notified by phone on Monday, April 2, 2012.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.