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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: September ::
Re: Teaching Shakespeare
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0696, Tuesday, 19 September 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Armstrong Eric <
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 >
        Date:   Sunday, 17 Sep 1995 18:26:24 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: ethiop & generalizations
 
(2)     From:   Jon Enriquez <ENRIQUEZJ@GUVAX.BITNET>
        Date:   Monday, 18 Sep 1995 09:32:34 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0690  Re: Teaching Shakespeare
 
(3)     From:   Terence Martin <STSMART@UMSLVMA>
        Date:   Monday, 18 Sep 95 12:25:18 CDT
        Subj:   Classes on the Web
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Armstrong Eric <
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 >
Date:           Sunday, 17 Sep 1995 18:26:24 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Re: ethiop & generalizations
 
W. L. Godshalk wrote,
 
>Now I realize that this esthetic judgment may be tough on those of use who have
>more melanin than the rest of you, but think of all the esthetic judgments that
>WE make, judgments that exclude so many of us:  tall and slim are good; short
>and fat are bad. Old is bad; young is good. Again and again, we make
>exclusionary judgments based on non-rational criteria.
>
>So we might point out to our students that Hermia's "ethiop" is one of these
>non-rational, exclusionary esthetic judgments. And the discussion can go from
>there!
 
Dear Bill G. : Please do not include me in your gang of "prejudiced" WE. Maybe
I am nitpicking, but I resist this kind of generalization in my speech and
writing. If YOU make judgements based on esthetic choices, fine. Age-ism and
Body Image preferences are your own (and possibly the media's), please do not
foist them on me or other SHAKESPERians.
 
Sorry for the flame-like tone, but I hate it when people include me in their
words, intentionally or not. I wonder if others feel similarly?
 
Thanks,
Eric Armstrong.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jon Enriquez <ENRIQUEZJ@GUVAX.BITNET>
Date:           Monday, 18 Sep 1995 09:32:34 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0690  Re: Teaching Shakespeare
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0690  Re: Teaching Shakespeare
 
To the things already said about Thomas Ellis's experience with "ethiop," let
me add two possible areas for further classroom discussion.
 
(1)  Why should a racial epithet within a literary work alienate
     people from the author?  We've had this discussion on the
     list before, and some archival digging may or may not be
     helpful for shaping the discussion.  But you can talk about
     notions of character (it's the character, after all, who
     uses the epithet, not the author, etc.), you can talk about
     the nature of personal reactions to words, and so forth.
 
(2)  You can go into a further exploration of racism within
     Elizabethan England, the assumptions of the audience, changing
     ideas of appropriate language, and so on.
 
In both cases, you are helping the students to learn more about these plays
(and their audiences and culture in general), and also about language, and also
about themselves and their own experiences. But we would do a disservice to
students if we allowed them to get turned off of Shakespeare by a word.
 
Jon Enriquez
Georgetown University

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(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Martin <STSMART@UMSLVMA>
Date:           Monday, 18 Sep 95 12:25:18 CDT
Subject:        Classes on the Web
 
Thanks to Michael Best for sharing his Web Page for his class.  It is
especially informative for those of us still dipping our toes in the water, so
to speak, rather than boldly getting on with it as he has done.
 
Terence Martin
UM-St. Louis
 

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