Skip to main content
Folger Teaching Homepage
Professional Development /

Teaching Shakespeare Institute 2024

Shakespeare: Othello and The Taming of the Shrew in Conversation

The Folger Shakespeare Library and 25 middle and high school teachers will participate in a two-week institute centered around explorations of and conversations between The Taming of the Shrew and Othello.

When: July 7–19, 2024
November 16, 2024 – Virtual Follow up Conference (half-day)
Where: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC
Application Deadline: Applications are now closed for the 2024 Institute

Who should apply

We aim to bring together a dynamic, diverse community of learners and teachers, ready to learn deeply and collaborate mightily. You’d fit right in…

  • If you are always looking for ways to improve your teaching and your students’ learning,
  • If you have, or would like to have, high energy for Shakespeare,
  • If you are able to discuss with candor topics like gender and race,
  • If you don’t teach Othello or Shrew, but you are deeply interested in considering Shakespeare’s plays through the lenses of race and gender,
  • If you have an appetite for diving into a peerless collection,
  • If you’re keen on learning in multiple ways,
  • If you believe that great teaching can transform student learning

Program summary

The institute will take place at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, the largest Shakespeare collection in the world. The newly refurbished library is situated in an expanded arts and culture complex, with museum exhibitions on one end and one of America’s first Elizabethan-style theatres on the other. Participants will get to examine masterworks of the collection, study rare books and manuscripts that relate directly to Othello and The Taming of the Shrew, take behind-the-scenes tours of just-launched exhibitions, and pursue their research interests in the library, with the guidance of expert faculty and staff. They will engage Shakespeare’s plays as living works that continue to shape the minds and hearts of the American public, and as artifacts of cultural heritage that provide an unvarnished view of the past.

Daily rhythms and activities

The daily life of the TSI participant is a lot! They can expect daily lectures from leading researchers to contextualize the plays; seminar meetings with research faculty to read and discuss each work closely; studio classes to explore the transformative effects of performing Shakespeare’s characters, and curricular workshops for knitting it all together into an inclusive and compelling pedagogy. Additionally, there are field trips, film screenings, and (if we’re lucky) professional productions. By the end of the two-week institute, participants will design a lesson plan tailored for their classes and students that draws on their multi-disciplinary experience at the institute.

The Shakespeare plays

This year’s Institute brings together The Taming of the Shrew and Othello, Shakespeare’s signal treatments of gender and race. They are works that seem to pit anti-racism and feminism against each other, yet their explorations of mastery and subordination, love and malice, household government and civic power, and difference in relation to dominant culture, reveal a lot more about the intricacies of inequality when they are read together than when they are kept apart. Studying these plays will provide participants with a strong orientation to the wider Shakespeare canon, since race and gender are a fundamental aspect of every work. It will also provide an opportunity to reckon with Shakespeare’s enduring influence on social systems that continue to construct and leverage identity as a force of polarizing difference.

Lodging and stipend

Participants will live on campus at Catholic University of America, and will receive an NEH stipend of $2200. See more details about logistics

The seal for the National Endowment for the Humanities

“Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this Web resource, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.”

The Teaching Shakespeare Institute 2024 – Shakespeare: Othello and The Taming of the Shrew in Conversation has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.