More than 400 years after his death Shakespeare is still taught in western universities and throughout the world. The number of published books related to his works as well as similarly devoted scholarly conferences seem to increase yearly. This means that what and how to approach teaching Shakespeare is not stagnant as might be imagined, but rather is expanding. The number of plays attributed to Shakespeare have seen some fluctuations, but the theory and scholarly research applied to pinch and prod his works continue to produce new stimulating insights. This gives the teacher more options on what to include in their lessons and by necessity, what to exclude. It is no easy choice deciding what to focus on in the classroom. Within a play, what merits exploration? Just in Romeo and Juliet the field is rich: the imagery in Queen Mab, comparisons of the nurse and the Wife of Bath, Petrarchan elements in the balcony scene, to name a few. Religion can be brought up discussing the ramifications of ghosts in Elizabethan England or the omission of Christian references in Lear. There is no end of aspects to examine. What is taught is also dependent on what appeals to or most engages the students.
This roundtable would like to hear from those engaged in teaching Shakespeare: why was a play or poem chosen and how was it taught—successful activities or even failures—or other related issues. It will be part of NeMLA 2020, the 51st Annual Convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association which will be held March 5-8, 2020, in Boston, Massachusetts.
Please submit abstract proposals of no more than 250 words by September 30, 2019, using the NeMLA link: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/login