ENG 319: Teaching Shakespeare

Dr. Rankin 3 credits

          This course offers students the opportunity to study ways in which educators have approached Shakespeare's plays over the course of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Our approach will focus primarily on the tragedies and romances but will include scrutiny of selected major comedies. We will discuss current theories concerning the teaching of Shakespeare in a secondary context, including performance-based pedagogical approaches. Students will be expected to develop historically and geographically sensitive expertise to a least one substantial pedagogical approach to the plays. They will also complete a major performance project that will attend to issues concerning directing, casting, blocking, and other theatrical conventions, on the one hand, and language, on the other hand. Attendance at and analysis of productions of plays at the American Shakespeare Center's Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, VA, will be required. In addition to considering the staging of Shakespeare's plays in both his theater and our own, the course will investigate the charged and sometimes fraught processes by which Shakespeare attained the cultural preeminence which he currently enjoys.

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