Martha Ackmann, senior lecturer in gender studies, has teamed up this summer with colleagues in the Five College area to teach a National Endowment for the Humanities faculty workshop. The NEH workshop focuses on Emily Dickinson and is the first of its kind to be offered in the area in which the poet was born, received her education, and wrote nearly 1,800 poems.
Joining Ackmann in the workshop are Professor Karen Sanchez-Eppler of Amherst College; Jane Wald and Cindy Dickinson of the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst; and Jane Baer-Leighton, English department chair at Amherst Regional High School.
The workshop consists of two one-week sessions for K-12 teachers from private and public schools in western Massachusetts. One goal of the workshop is to provide area educators with resources needed to incorporate the study of Emily Dickinson into future curriculum projects.
Following the summer workshops, participants will gather again for three subsequent meetings during the next school term to hear additional scholarly presentations on Dickinson. In October, the NEH seminar will meet at Mount Holyoke to hear Ackmann explore the formative influence of Mary Lyon and Mount Holyoke Female Seminary on the young poet.
Ackmann has been teaching a popular fall semester MHC gender studies seminar on Emily Dickinson for the past seven years. Her course was the first college class to be taught in the Dickinson Homestead in Amherst--in the very rooms where the poet wrote her memorable poems.