Shakespeare studies revamped in new course

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Queen Mary University of London and the University of Warwick have joined forces to launch a programme called Global Shakespeare. The course aims to restructure the study of Shakespeare by focusing on the influence that Shakespeare’s work had on the globe.

MA Global Shakespeare is jointly taught by the two institutions and there are currently four students on the one year course.

Artefact spoke to three of them.

Alexander Neidert, who moved to London to complete his BA in history and theatre studies, said: “What attracted me most to the programme was that it was not a singular programme in that the topics and range of materials covered spanned English literature, dramaturgy, translation, pedagogy, journalism, new media, etc.”

“Clearly this was a programme on Shakespeare that could combine a multitude of interests and allow me the freedom to explore these interests how I wanted,” he said.

Katharine Woff, recently graduated with a BA in French from the University of Virginia, said: “It’s an initiative to explore both the influence of the global on Shakespeare at the time of his writing, and the way Shakespeare is performed and adapted across the globe today.”

Mia Hewitt, a French and Spanish graduate from Exeter University, thinks the way the course is split creates a “best of both worlds” scenario. “The first term is at Queen Mary’s, which means I get the expertise of David Schalkwyk, Jerry Brotton, Alexa Huang and Preti Taneja, as well as being able to take advantage of the many archives and theatres in London.

“The second term is at the University of Warwick, which will mean a new host of experts, and the resources in Stratford-upon-Avon. For my dissertation, I can choose a supervisor from either university, and have double the amount of resources available.”

According to Katharine Woff, “Right now its only drawback is that we haven’t got our name out there enough yet! This project is just in its infancy, and I’m sure that as the years pass and more students and scholars become involved, it will grow to something unrivalled elsewhere.” 

Photo courtesy of the University of Warwick

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