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Early Modern Literature Section

Workshops & Talks

Lit Workshops
The Shakespeare Trial: Students Put Shakespeare on Trial for Fraud!

The authorship question has plagued Shakespeare studies since the 18th century and, in a society that thrives on conspiracy theories, the problem of Shakespeare’s authorship doesn’t seem to be losing any steam. With recent movies, such as Anonymous (2011) and a new MA program in the UK dedicated to proving Shakespeare was a fraud, we face a whole new generation of skeptics and detractors. Inspired by these renewed debates, Dr. Jessica Riddell set out not to persuade but rather to engage with these ideas. Armed with an intrepid team of legal researchers (her Elizabethan Shakespeare class), Dr. Riddell enlisted the help of faculty, alumni, and students to put Shakespeare on trial for fraud. If, after all the evidence is presented and arguments are weighed, the jury (the audience) still finds Shakespeare guilty, then at least they do so with all the facts before them.

Find the reference material here:

Lit Resources


Lisa Dickson’s Early Modern Resources for Students and Teachers

Padlets are handy places where I collect useful things that I’ve found or made for my students. These include tools for reading Shakespeare, articles on Renaissance philosophies, interviews, podcasts and more! I update them often.

Lit Publications


“From Sherbrooke to Stratford and Back Again: Team teaching and experiential learning through 'Shakesperience'.”

Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, March 12, 2020.

Attempting to teach theater in an English Literature course is a daunting prospect. A far cry from the highly individual experience of reading a novel or poem, theater is both a visual and communal kind of engagement. It is a challenge to capture this medium in a traditional lecture-based classroom and harder still to convey its three-dimensionality to undergraduate students. In this paper, we argue that experiential learning and team teaching are especially resonant in the exploration of Shakespearean studies because of the active and collaborative nature of his theater and plays. This paper draws out avenues for experiential learning in the humanities that should have broad applicability and interest a wide range of readers. Framing our design, implementation, and critical reflection in the relevant research, we provide an example of how to anchor experiential learning in the humanities in practice. [sic].

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