Participation (20%) Although I will give brief informational lectures, I plan on operating this class as a seminar the vast majority of the time. “Seminar” comes from the Latin word meaning “seed bed,” as in, a place for scholars and their ideas to grow. The success of this class is heavily dependent, therefore, on the contributions you make to our weekly meetings. You should come prepared to each class to speak and share interpretations, criticisms, ask questions, and respond to your classmates’ commentary.
Seminar Starter (10%) You will begin our discussion for one of our seminar meetings. How you choose to do this is up to you, but plan on spending about 15 minutes on your introduction. Here are some things you might do with this time (though don’t feel limited by these suggestions): summarize the critical reading for the day; give some historical background to the play we are discussing; offer a response to either the critical reading or the play that is argumentative and provocative; show and analyze a performance of a scene from one of our plays; stage a mini-debate on a given topic (if you are working on a team). The goal of this exercise is to generate conversations topics for the evening, so please keep that in mind when you are preparing.
Shakespeare and New Media Presentation (10%)
Seminar Synopsis (5%) One person will be responsible each class for offering a final summary of our seminar meeting. In class you will give a brief verbal summary (no longer than 5 minutes) of THREE main points and ideas that you take away from the meeting that night. What topics or threads of discussion did you identify as most significant? With what questions are you left? Do you see any connections between our discussion and previous seminar meetings?
It is very important that you do not give a blow-by-blow of the class (I will interrupt you if it looks like you are going in that direction with your comments). Rather, offer a coherent synthesis of some of the main ideas we discussed and explored over the course of the evening, along with you own thoughts and ideas for further discussion and exploration.
Written Work (40%)
Short Essay Assignments (4-5 pages). Over the course of the term I will post four short assignments for you. These will allow you to explore in greater detail the topics and methodologies we are using in class.
You must follow the guidelines outlined in the Shakespeare Style Sheet before submitting your essays.
Final Presentation (15%)
Rather than ask you to write a traditional final exam, I will assign you to groups in which you will collaborate on creating a concept for a textbook, performance, teaching module, or some other product for a twenty-first century audience.