Jo A Shea
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
Specialist, Associate Dean
Early modern literature and culture.
E 321 • Shakespeare: Selected Plays
35305 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 500pm-630pm PAR 206
Instructor: Shea, J Areas: I / D
Unique #: 35305 Flags: Global cultures
Semester: Spring 2013 Restrictions: n/a
Cross-lists: n/a Computer Instruction: No
Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.
Description: This course examines a selection Shakespeare’s plays in their historical context and through a variety of interpretive viewpoints. We will explore, for instance, how understanding and performance change when we shift from a generic focus to interpretive viewpoints that privilege other terminologies (or ideologies) such as history, gender, family, patriotism, religion, or entertainment.
Class discussion and exercises (including reading out loud) will help students develop the skill necessary to develop close readings and contextual readings that are particularly responsive to early modern English and early modern English culture. Writing assignments, student lead presentations, and exams will ask students to use those skills in sustained interpretative arguments. Group discussion and in-class work will be very important in this class.
Required Texts: Richard II; Henry V; Midsummer Night’s Dream; Twelfth Night; Hamlet; Othello; The Merchant of Venice; Measure for Measure; The Duchess of Malfi.
Additional required texts and movie clips will be available through the Blackboard course site. (You may use any scholarly, annotated edition of the Shakespeare plays, and you may purchase them from any vendor.)
Requirements & Grading: Your final grade will be a composite of the following: In-class exam (20%); Group presentation project (25%); Short writing assignments (10%); Class participation (20%); Take-home exam (25%).
Group presentation project – Students will be required to participate in research project that culminates in an individually written summary and a 15-20 minute group presentation that exhibits a coherent, sustained argument / interpretation of a given scene or a particular aspect of one of the plays. Preparing the presentations will require coordinating schedules and responsibilities with classmates and a significant time investment, including reading additional assigned nondramatic texts and performing independent research. Presentation concepts must be approved by specified deadlines. Each student must submit an individually written summary of argument the presentation strives to elucidate. Creativity in presentation format is encouraged.
E 321 • Shakespeare: Selected Plays
34650 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 800-930 PAR 206
Shakespeare: Selected Plays
E 321 (UNIQUE #34650) TTH Spring 2010
Dr. Jo Anne Shea
Office: LAC 1.204E
Office Hours: Tues. 4-5:30, by appointment & other times, by appointment.
- Richard II (Arden, 2002, ed. Forker)
- Henry V (Oxford, 1982, ed. Taylor)
- Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bedford, 1999, ed. Paster & Howard)
- Twelfth Night (Arden, 2008, ed. Elam)
- Hamlet (Longman, 2005, ed. Jordan)
- Othello (Cambridge, 2003, ed. Sanders)
- The Merchant of Venice (Longman, 2005, ed. Danson)
- Measure for Measure (Bedford, 2004, ed. Kamps & Raber)
Additional required texts and movie clips will be available through the Blackboard course site. (You may use any scholarly, annotated edition of the Shakespeare plays, and you may purchase them from any vendor. The editions ordered from the University Coop are noted above.)
Class materials, announcements, sign-up sheets, film clips, and some required texts will be posted on the course BlackBoard site: http://courses.utexas.edu. Please check this site regularly! You will be responsible for any information posted on this site.
In “Terministic Screens,” Kenneth Burke notes “Even if any given terminology is a reflection of reality, by its very nature as a terminology it must be a selection of reality; and to this extent it must function also as a deflection of reality.” He refers generally to the rhetorical framework of this selected reality as a “terministic screen.”
This course examines a number of Shakespeare’s plays through a selection of “terministic screens” or interpretive viewpoints. How, for instance, does the generic designation of “history,” “tragedy,” or “comedy” shape the way the plays are read, understood, and produced? How do understanding and performance change when we shift from a generic focus to interpretive viewpoints that privilege other terminologies (or ideologies) such as history, gender, family, patriotism, religion, or entertainment?
A description of the assignments is in a separate section below. Your final grade will be a composite of the following:
Exams (2 @ 25% each)
Group presentation project (20%)
In-class writing (10%)
Class participation (20%)
- REQUIRED READINGS. All assigned texts should be read completely by the first day for which they're assigned. You should count on reading most of the assigned readings more than once. You can generally use any editions you wish of the texts I've assigned, but be sure to buy properly annotated editions. Bring the relevant books to class every day.
- Group discussion will be very important to this class.
- All assigned work must be completed.
- To pass the course you must complete all assignments. Late work will receive a one-half grade point penalty, and will not be accepted (reverting to 0.0) after one week past the final due date. Graded work must engage the critical framework and issues that have been central to the class discussions and presentations in this particular class.
Regular attendance is expected. You get three free absences; above that you'll be penalized substantially (see class participation, below). Three absences will result in an “absence and failing report”; four absences will result in the lowering of the course grade; more than seven absences will result in a grade of "F" for the course. Medical excuses require official documentation within a week. If you arrive late it's your responsibility to get signed in immediately after class; no alterations or corrections after class from memory will be allowed. (Adjustment will be made for individual late enrollment.)
For more information, please download the full syllabus.