Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Isaac's Annotated Bibliography (1)

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     I am writing about synthesizing ideas of teaching Shakespeare, namely combining elements of performance with elements of film and social media. My ideal contribution would be for students to produce performances of their own acting in scenes, film them, and publish them in a social media-type format, allowing other students to comment and analyze each scene together. It would be beneficial to have different groups perform the same scene, so that interpretations would be different, and more discussion could occur. My working thesis: Although there are many approaches to studying Shakespeare, students would most likely benefit from synthesizing these different techniques; specifically, students would benefit from filming their own performances of a Shakespearean scene, and publishing the filmed version on a social media platform, where other students could contribute to the discussion in both literary and performance critical perspectives.

Informal Online Sources:

Dunn, Alyssa. “Teaching Shakespeare's Macbeth.” Teaching Shakespeare's Macbeth, Alyssa Dunn, 14 Feb. 2014, www.slideshare.net/alyssadunn543/teaching-shakespeares-macbeth?qid=9420a867-cd9f-4d72-a60b-222f1e8736a0&v=&b=&from_search=2.

     This is a slide-show presentation about teaching Shakespeare (specifically, MacBeth) through integrating technological platforms. These platforms include podcasts, blogs, Facebook, online resources, Shakespeare apps, and Youtube. This slideshow would be beneficial in providing examples of teachers who are already integrating technology, and find it useful enough to share it with others. I wonder if I could contact this teacher and find out if she has found some platforms to be more beneficial than others.

Sheehy, Mr. “How to Teach Shakespeare to High School Students: A Few Basics from One Who Does It.” A Teachers Writes, A Teacher's Writes, 29 Nov. 2012, ateacherswrites.wordpress.com/2009/03/04/how-to-teach-shakespeare-to-high-school-students-a-few-basics-from-one-who-does-it/.

     This online blog presents different tips to teaching Shakespeare. These tips include reading the play out loud (which would be covered in my idea of performance), paraphrasing difficult passages, focusing on key lines, not hiding any part from the students, and emphasizing the importance of Shakespeare. This resource could help me in explaining how diverse teaching techniques are and how many of these ideas would be encompassed in a synthesized study of Shakespeare. 

Traditional Scholarly Sources

Rodes, David. “Teaching Shakespeare with Examples from Film.” Pacific Coast Philology, vol. 33, no. 2, 1998, p. 112. JSTOR [JSTOR], doi:10.2307/1316841.

     This resource suggests that using film is an important and invaluable resource for teachers in our age of luxury. We have so many different options to choose from in exposing our students to Shakespeare. This is an important resource to use when talking about embracing emerging technology (including social media platforms), but he also mentions including many different interpretations, and the importance of doing so. This would help bolster my argument of having multiple students perform (and thereby interpret) the same scene differently. 

Beehler, Sharon A. “To ‘Eche out Our Performance with Your Mind’: Making Performance Pedagogy Intellectually Sound.” Journal of the Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association, vol. 18, 1997, pp. 201–209. ProQuest, humanities.byu.edu.erl.lib.byu.edu/rmmra/pdfs/18.pdf.

     This is an amazing resource for my paper. It lays out deficiencies that teachers have, and has sufficient backing to make those claims. For instance, it claims that teachers focus too much on audio/visual resources (in contrast with the above article about Shakespeare and Film), and have forgotten about performance. It supports the idea of reading in seeing and acting. It also promotes the idea of becoming both a literary critic, as it relates to Shakespeare, and a performance critic. I could use many different ideas that are presented here, either to nuance my argument, or to support the more synthetic idea behind my argument.

Heller, William. Teaching Shakespeare in the Inner -City Fifth -Grade Classroom using Drama -in -Education, Theatrical Production, and Technology Integration: An Action Research -Based Case Study, New York University, Ann Arbor, 2005. ProQuest, http://search.proquest.com.erl.lib.byu.edu/docview/305466187?accountid=4488.

     This is a dissertation about the study of drama in fifth-grade classrooms. It integrates both ideas of performance, and also technology, in teaching fifth-graders about Shakespeare. This is a good resource all around. It will be interesting to connect this to high school teaching since there would obviously be a difference. It also mentions how performance is creative (I would like to find another source connecting this to creativity in learning), how it would be collaborative, and therefore more beneficial to learning, how technology lends itself to better performance, and how social media opens up the possibility of a global community audience. There are many good ideas in this article that I plan to utilize. 

Shamburg, Christopher, and Cari Craighead. “Shakespeare, Our Digital Native.” The English Journal, vol. 99, no. 1, Sept. 2009, pp. 74–77. JSTOR [JSTOR], www.jstor.org/stable/40503332.

     This is perhaps the most fitting article that I could have found, since it seems to synthesize the same ideas that I am trying to synthesize. He presents a similar argument to my own, although a little different. I haven't decided how to use this source, either to disagree slightly (to suggest a slight difference be made), or to use it as an example of work that is already happening in this field. This would also be a good source to link to videos that I want to use as support from media/performance. 

     All of these sources tend to agree with my proposition in one way or another. The reason behind this is because there are few, if any, articles that recommend no performance or technology in reading Shakespeare. If scholars do not recommend these techniques, they tend to be silent in denouncing them. I would like to find nuance within these sources, however. I think that I have done that in suggesting a synthesis of ideas, but I would like to do more research to see if there are scholars that I can disagree with. Altogether, I am excited to continue working on this paper. 


  1. I like the use of the presentation as something different. I might look more into what you intend to say about "synthesizing," since that might help you have a slightly new angle. (Or is there another way to use media or video?) This is a good thing to talk about, though, and you'll probably be able to find a lot of interesting performance references to aid your argument.

  2. Mary,
    Thanks for your response! I will definitely look more into the idea of "synthesis," not only as it applies to Shakespeare but also teaching in general. I would like to find a good definition to work with and some backing that it is actually beneficial.
    By way of performance sources, I am going to try to find examples of films on Youtube or other platforms that demonstrate what I propose here. I'm going to look today so hopefully I can find some good ones, or even ones that include students talking about their experiences.