Teaching Shakespeare 2018

Where: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC

When: June 24 - July 20, 2018

The Plays: 1 Henry VI, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Institute Director: Dr. Peggy O’Brien, Director of Education, Folger Shakespeare Library

Head Scholar: Dr. Ellen MacKay, Associate Professor of English, University of Chicago

NEH Stipend Awarded to Each Participant: $3,300

Housing: Trinity Washington University

Join Folger staff, Teaching Shakespeare 2018 faculty, and 24 new colleagues from across the country for a month of intense and joyful study of the intellectual, pedagogical, and theatrical challenges of 1 Henry VI, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. One emphasis will be on the making of history: who features in it, who keeps a record of it, and what happens when two forces in a story conflict or two world views collide. We also will explore successful strategies for teaching those plays, including how to engage students in rich classroom discussions on the sometimes difficult topics of cultural, gender, racial, and religious differences. Participants will leave Teaching Shakespeare 2018 not only with new ideas, but with new tools and materials they have created to use in their own classrooms and to share with classrooms across the country.

Read a letter from Teaching Shakespeare 2018 director Dr. Peggy O'Brien.

Note: If the prospect of 1 Henry VI gives you pause because you don’t teach it—hardly any of us who teach middle or high school doconsider what the play offers:

  • Together with the other two plays to be examined, all in Shakespeare’s 1623 First Folio, the trio represents each of the three fascinating types featured in the 1623 First Folio: a) dusty and remote; b) difficult and dark; and c) demented and bizarre. Participants in Teaching Shakespeare 2018 will explore the inventive ways that the three works make dramatic use of the friction of competing narratives
     
  • Diving into a play that you have probably never taught, or maybe have never even read, gives you new insight into the plays you know well. Perhaps even more important, it gives you a chance to approximate the experience of your students who are encountering Shakespeare for the first time.

As a Teaching Shakespeare 2018 participant, you will be an NEH Summer Scholar and have full advantage of resources found only at the Folger—the world’s largest Shakespeare collection and the ultimate resource for teaching and learning Shakespeare: the Reading Rooms, the theatre, the collection of artifacts from the 16th century to the present day that include manuscripts, letters, printed books, costumes, and works of art. And, of course, the remarkable expertise of the Folger staff and the Teaching Shakespeare 2018 faculty will be there to inspire you to connect a new generation of students with Shakespeare’s language.

Days are typically packed with lectures, small group seminars, informal work sessions, sessions with actors and teachers, independent research, and often a lunchtime colloquium. Visiting faculty are also part of the scene; prominent visiting scholars will lead one or two sessions per week on specific topics.

Click here for application instructions


Feedback from 2016 participants

  • “The experience in the Teaching Shakespeare Institute was rigorous, invigorating, and multifaceted. It was rewarding and will impact my teaching in so many ways. I will look at research, reading, performance, and more in very different ways than before . . . with so many more ideas to pursue!”
     
  • “The experience was transformative, and it's going to take my teaching to the next level. Actually, I think it's going to make me skip about five levels as a teacher. My well of knowledge is so much deeper now, and moreover, I have been given so many practical tools that I can apply right away in the classroom. I feel so incredibly lucky to have had this opportunity.”
     
  • “We learned more than I could have imagined possible.  My individual scholarship and close study of a text will provide me with new ways to approach a text with my students.”
     
  • “This has changed my life, especially in regards to my teaching and scholarship. I am leaving this institute with so much newfound knowledge and so many strategies and methods to use in my class. This has renewed my passion for teaching and has transformed me into a totally new, different, better teacher.”
     
  • “The group was varied, but we all got along and had really intense, wonderful conversations and discussions both during and after program hours!”
     
  • “The Institute was phenomenal. The staff of the Folger did everything they could to make sure we had a rigorous, full experience. Our days were full and scheduled, there was no lag time, and all of the professors were planned and ready to go.”

Contact Us

Dr. Peggy O’Brien
Director of Education
Director, Teaching Shakespeare 2018

pobrien@folger.edu
(202) 675-0372
 

Where: Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC

When: June 24 - July 20, 2018

The Plays: 1 Henry VI, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Institute Director: Dr. Peggy O’Brien, Director of Education, Folger Shakespeare Library

Head Scholar: Dr. Ellen MacKay, Associate Professor of English, University of Chicago

NEH Stipend Awarded to Each Participant: $3,300

Housing: Trinity Washington University