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Teaching Global Shakespeare | A Great Feast of Languages

By March 8, 2014 No Comments

It is easy to incorporate the issues of global Shakespeare or globalization into the standard Shakespeare course.”

–Alexa Huang 

This week, we turn to some innovative ideas and resources on teaching Global Shakespeare. Over a series of upcoming posts, we will cover some of the major innovators and educators, approaches to and resources for teaching, and offer information on upcoming opportunities to explore Global Shakespeare pedagogy.

Jason Harshman, writing for Global Teacher Education, highlights a “globally minded approach” to the Common Core State Standards, and claims that Global Shakespeare can be an integral part of this praxis:

If “all the world is a stage,” incorporating performances of Shakespeare from around the world into English and Arts teacher education to be used in K-12 classrooms is worth exploring. MIT Global Shakespeares provides videos, script excerpts, and other texts from performances of Shakespeare’s plays across the globe and The Shakespeare Standard provides a collection of blogs, including one dedicated exclusively to global Shakespeare. Both resources support the CCSS English Language Arts requirement that calls for “critical content for all students, including: classic myths and stories from around the world, America’s Founding Documents, foundational American literature, and Shakespeare.”

Professor Alexa Huang of George Washington University, co-founder of MIT Global Shakespeares, and a frequent collaborator with “A Great Feast of Languages,” offers an incredibly useful “Teaching Shakespeare and Globalization.” She argues It is easy to incorporate the issues of global Shakespeare or globalization into the standard Shakespeare course.” Not only does she explain how and why it is important to incorporate Global Shakespeare into a course, but she offers several simple and practical strategies into how to do this.

Likewise, Professor Margaret Litvin of Boston University, in her interview with The Shakespeare Standardalso expressed why teaching Global Shakespeare is so vital in the college-classroom. Litvin explains the “global kaledescope” to understanding how influences, adaptations, appropriations, and allusions occur in complex patterns. As students in her BU Global Shakespeares Seminar contribute to a class blog, it is easy to see their own discoveries and learning in action.

Professor David Schalkwyk recently began his  post heading the new partnership  between Queen Mary, University of London and The University of Warwick: Global Shakespeare, “a range of programmes which will look at creative historical and contemporary approaches as to why ‘Global Shakespeare’ is so relevant to scholars, performers, practitioners, artists, teachers and above all, the next generation of students.”

The World Shakespeare Project, a highly collaborative and innovative project, based at Emory University (Georgia, USA) uses 21st century technology to connect students, faculty, and theatre practitioners, from the UK, India, Morocco, Brazil, and Argentina. Founder Sheila Cavanagh has recently penned an article ““The World’s Common Place”: Leveling the Shakespearean Playing Field” for Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriations on what students–on both sides of the Atlantic–learned about Shakespeare by reading and performing together. The World Shakespeare project is next expanding to Montana to work with several North American Tribal Colleges.

Finally, here’s a call for papers – on Teaching Shakespeare in Japan

Thanks to the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, issue 6 of the British Shakespeare Association magazine Teaching Shakespeare will focus on Japan.

We are seeking contributors who have:

  •  taught or studied Shakespeare in Japan – in schools, colleges, universities, language learning or arts organisations
  • taught Japanese students studying Shakespeare outside Japan
  • studied Shakespeare outside Japan (and are usually Japanese residents)
  • been inspired by Japanese productions, arts and culture etc. in teaching or staging of Shakespeare anywhere . . . and have something to say about the experience.

Articles are short, 500-1000, words but we welcome a range of formats: interviews, vox pops, lesson plans, reviews and storyboards. Please do get in touch with ideas (approx. 150-word abstract) or questions at or by April 30th, It is envisaged that accepted articles would be submitted by August 30th 2014. Past issues are freely available to read online or download. (The full CFP is available on Shaksper: The Global Electronic Shakespeare Conference.)

Until next week… 
The Shakespeare Standard is currently seeking volunteer editors, interns, and contributors for its website. If you are interested, please contact Jeremy Fiebig or Kim Keeline by email at Please be sure to provide your resume, and a cover letter explaining both your experience with Shakespeare and your areas of interest. Thank you again for your interest in The Shakespeare Standard, we look forward to hearing from you.
Teaching Global Shakespeare | A Great Feast of Languages shakespeare news The Shakespeare Standard shakespeare plays list play shakespeare The Shakespeare Standard is an online Shakespeare forum dedicated to bringing the online community Shakespearean news about performance, scholarship, and multimedia every day.  Please join us here at our site or on Facebook or Twitter to discuss the latest things of interest in Shakespeare news. If you would like to share more information about a Global Shakespeare or non-Anglophone Shakespearean production, film, website, etc., please email me at with the subject line “Global Shakespeare.”





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