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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: September ::
Re: Ethiop (Teaching Shakespeare)
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 705, Thursday, 21 September 1995.
 
(1)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 20 Sep 1995 23:09:07 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0700  Re: Teaching Shakespeare (Ethiop)
 
(2)     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Thursday, 21 Sep 1995 12:12:48 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0700  Re: Teaching Shakespeare (Ethiop)
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Wednesday, 20 Sep 1995 23:09:07 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0700  Re: Teaching Shakespeare (Ethiop)
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0700  Re: Teaching Shakespeare (Ethiop)
 
Dear Folks,
 
I think Joseph Green misquotes me.  As I recall, I said "Let the discussion
begin." I did not say, "Let's move on without discussing this issue." One of my
points was that "ethiop" has a 16th century context -- as well as a 20th
century context. And I cannot be sure of the full meaning of the 16th century
context.
 
Most of my classes are discussions in which I contribute only the questions and
the summaries.  I don't stop debate, and my students feel quite free to argue
for contrary positions. Rarely do I take a position in these debates.
 
And any of you who have called me "insensitive," let me call your attention to
the insensitivity of calling someone else "insensitive." Name calling, as I
recall, is not considered a "sensitive" act.
 
Yours, Bill Godshalk
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Thursday, 21 Sep 1995 12:12:48 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0700  Re: Teaching Shakespeare (Ethiop)
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0700  Re: Teaching Shakespeare (Ethiop)
 
I've been thinking about the dilemma of a white teacher teaching Shakespeare to
an all black class and running into racial issues. What about taking the bull
by the horns at the outset, making it the focal point right at the beginning.
In other words, the class is about Shakespeare, but at the same time it is
about the history of racism (and sexism, and antisemitism). That would
certainly grab their attention. Here is this writer who practically created the
language we speak. See how his prejudice (not his alone, but one he shared with
his entire society) shows in his work and how this is a legacy we all live
with. Alert them to it from the start. Like an innoculation. Warn them to watch
for evidence of all the isms and ask them to point them out.
 
Stephanie Hughes
 

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