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ABCS Slow-Reading Shakespeare with Paul Robeson High School

ENGL 0200.301
MW 10:15-11:44am

In this ABCS (Academically Based Community Service) course, we will read a single Shakespeare play slowly and carefully, through multiple methodologies and approaches, over the course of the semester. Students will also work on the same play with 10th graders at Robeson High School under the direction of their award-winning teacher, Ms Tiaw. “Slow reading” means an intensely detailed, iterative reading of the play through linguistic, cultural-historical, bibliographic, and performative lenses. We will gain a detailed knowledge of this play, but in doing so, we will also learn about Shakespeare’s style, dramaturgy, and theatrical context. Penn students will thereby become well-prepared to work with Robeson students as they work through a scene, or a piece of dialogue, or character motivations. The course will be a success if, through this work in tandem and in parallel, everyone in the Penn classroom and the Robeson classroom—both students and teachers—gains a deeper understanding of the play and of the benefits of the slow, patient, detailed exploration of a text. No previous experience with Shakespeare or with teaching is required. What is required is a serious commitment to the work of the class, including showing up to all sessions both at Penn and at Robeson. (Sessions at Robeson will meet during the same Penn time block so everyone will be free. There may be one or two events arranged outside this time.) If for some emergency reason you will be unable to do the work on a given day, you must commit to notifying Ms Tiaw and me with as much advance notice as possible.


English Major Requirements
  • Sector 1 Theory and Poetics (AETP)
  • Sector 3 Medieval/Renaissance (AEMR)
English Concentration Attributes
  • Drama Concentration (AEDR)
  • Medieval/Renaissance Concentration (AEMC)
  • Poetry & Poetics Concentration (AEPP)
College Attributes