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Boston University (Boston, MA 02215-1300)
Stephan E. Ellenwood (Project Director: March 2020 to present)
Karen Harris (Co Project Director: August 2020 to present)
Friendship and Identity in Literature, Film, and Adolescence

A two-week institute for 25 high school English teachers on the ways that friendship is understood and portrayed in literature and film. 

This innovative institute invites English teachers (grades 9-12) to examine how the universal human connection of friendship is understood, portrayed, and experienced from literary, social, cultural, theoretical, and pedagogical perspectives. As a formative and abiding feature of adolescence, friendship is of special curricular interest in the high school English classroom. Through literature, film, and secondary sources, teachers will explore evolving conceptions of friendship, and examine cultural/social contexts and factors including gender, race, class, loyalty, reciprocity, social media, and power dynamics. Teachers will collaborate with colleagues, learn from interdisciplinary guest scholars, and develop curricular materials to help their students become more grounded and nuanced readers of friendship in literature and in their own lives. (Designed for English teachers but will welcome up to four teacher-participants in other humanities subjects.)

Project fields:
American Literature; Interdisciplinary Studies, General

Institutes for K-12 Educators

Education Programs

$168,494 (approved)
$168,494 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2020 – 12/31/2022