Shakespeare in the Second Language Classroom (SaS, Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK 8-11 October 2015)

full name / name of organization: 
Shakespeare and Scandinavia

Panel: Shakespeare in the Second Language Classroom

Mention Shakespeare to a group of primary or secondary students, and you will get an equal measure of excitement and fear. Excitement over his iconic status and his universal presence in popular culture, and fear over his "difficult" language. This is particularly true for the second language classroom. However, across Scandinavia (and the world), Shakespeare is regularly mentioned by name in national curriculums. For example, The Norwegian National Curriculum states: «Engelskspråklig litteratur, fra barnerim til Shakespeare, kan gi leseglede for livet og en dypere forståelse for andre og seg selv.» [English Literature, from nursery rhymes to Shakespeare, can offer a life-long joy of reading and a deeper understanding of others and oneself].

This panel seeks to consider the creative and innovative ways educators inspire students to appreciate Shakespeare and his language, and interrogate the ways Shakespeare remains a resource for language learning across Scandinavia. We invite papers from educators and critics that consider the role of Shakespeare in the Second Language Classroom, but are particularly interested in Shakespeare in Scandinavian Classrooms at every skill and age level. Topics may include, but are not limited to the following questions and themes:

Fear Factor: Confronting resistance to Shakespeare's language in teachers and students alike.

Using Shakespeare in adaptation in the classroom, for example, through film, graphic novels, and translations.

Education through Performance, Shakespeare in the Classroom: Live Theater (or Student Performance) vs. Digital Theater (i.e. The Globe Theatre's "Globe on Screen" program that broadcasts Globe Shakespeare performances in cinemas worldwide).

Transcendent Shakespeare: Does Shakespeare transcend language, culture, and history?

Teaching Shakespeare in the Multicultural and Multilingual classroom.

Shakespeare Modernized, Shakespeare Simplified: Shakespeare rewritten for younger, or less-skilled, readers (i.e. No-Fear Shakespeare, Simply Shakespeare, The Orchard Books of Shakespeare Stories, or Shakespeare Can be Fun!)

Shakespearean Influences: Introducing Shakespeare through references in contemporary popular culture, or Scandinavian sources.

Icon or Playwright? Bringing Shakespeare down from the pedestal, and into the classroom.

Please forward abstracts of no more than 500 words, and a brief bio (2-3 sentences), to and no later than 31 May 2015.

Conference Information:
Shakespeare and Scandinavia
Kingston University at the Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames
8-11 October 2015

Shakespeare and Scandinavia will be the first event of its kind ever held in the UK. The conference will draw its inspiration from the rich history of Kingston cultural exchanges and historic encounters, but with contributions from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, will aim to reconsider the many Shakespearean connections between the UK and the Nordic countries, from the commissioning of Hamlet up to the present day. On the eve of Shakespeare's 400th anniversary, Shakespeare and Scandinavia will be a fanfare for the Bard of the North.
Shakespeare and Scandinavia will be an interdisciplinary conference, and will consider cross-cultural Shakespeare connections from the perspectives of art history; literary criticism; drama, film, music and performance studies; philosophy; and translation and reception studies; as well as within wider discourses concerning constitutional history and national identity. The conference aims to map all these diverse aspects of Shakespeare in the North, but also to reinforce the current standing and development of Nordic Shakespearean and early modern studies.

For more information regarding the conference: