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Inviting Students Behind the Text | Early Modern and Open Access

By December 4, 2016 No Comments

This is part of a regular series here at TSS: Early Modern and Open Access regularly showcases peer-reviewed articles (or other resources) of interest to early modernists that are freely available in open access formats.


Laura Saetveit Miles, “Playing Editor: Inviting Students Behind the Text,” Early Modern Culture Online 6 (2015)


This commentary feature considers the advantages of using textual criticism to teach Shakespeare and using Shakespeare to teach textual criticism, at both the undergraduate and graduate level. First I discuss how to do this in practical terms, by suggesting some specific, concrete activities that bring an editorial approach into the classroom: interactive ‘editorial exercises’ that involve micro to macro textual problems. Then I discuss what is to be gained by teaching textual criticism through Shakespeare. Students can be profoundly transformed into critical thinkers and critical readers in four ways: 1) Healthy skepticism: i.e. undermining trust in editions, editors—and authority; 2) Healthy optimism: i.e. building a feeling of critical community; 3) Defamiliarizing the text and unsettling reading practices; 4) Combining a relish for puzzles, clues, data, detective work with the love of reading. In general this piece aims to be both a practical and philosophical consideration of the intersection of editing, Shakespeare, and teaching.


Author Lindsay

Lindsay Ann Reid is a regular contributor to The Scrivener and Early Modern and Open Access. She holds a PhD from the University of Toronto and is a Lecturer in English at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

More posts by Lindsay

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