Teaching Shakespeare Institute 2018  |  View in browser

Teaching Colleagues:

Well . . . the news that you are reading or seeing or hearing is about a Washington, DC that is deadlocked and gridlocked, full of discord and disagreement.

And . . . um . . . that’s all true. Unfortunately.

ALSO TRUE: tucked behind the Capitol and the Library of Congress, just across from the Supreme Court, is the fierce heartbeat of the Folger. Not loud, not fancy. Just deep and relentless attention to the humanities. And to you who, through literature, are opening all of those young minds to the wonders and challenges of being human.

So we soldier on. In the midst.

And we’ve got a couple of things for you:

  • We’d LOVE for you to come work with us this summer at the Teaching Shakespeare Institute! Calling all middle and high school teachers! Applications due on March 1. (And NEH doesn’t fool around with due dates!) A sampling from past participants:
    • “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.”
    • “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!”

    Wouldn’t you find the combination of big focus on (a) your research in the collection, (b) the art of teaching, (c) the minds and hearts of a raging faculty and great new colleagues, and (d) an NEH stipend . . . pretty irresistible? Can you bring your urge to dive deep, your open mind, your burn to learn and your desire to be a better teacher? Let’s go!

  • Not just in February. With the greatest, greatest respect for Black History Month—and with full knowledge of the reason for establishing a BHM: We don’t call out Black History Month here because Shakespeare and African American writers speak to each other all months of the year.
    • We teach Claude McKay’s sonnets and Shakespeare’s sonnets side by side (thank you Ms. Denize and Dr. Newlin).
    • We’re intrigued—and students are too—by what the characters of August Wilson and Shakespeare have to say to one another (thanks Caleen Jennings, Amber Phelps, Mark Miazga).
    • And . . . who’s not loving beat-box Shakespeare?!

And that’s just for starters. And even though it is February, we’ll post some of this stuff on Forsooth!

We hope you’re off to a good month/semester! Next time, I’ll report on my winter break reading, including the great reading list you sent me.



Peggy O'Brien, Ph.D.
Director of Education
Folger Shakespeare Library