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date: 03 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

It is now a common pedagogical practice in secondary schools, colleges, and universities to incorporate performance into the Shakespearean classroom. While the ‘revolution in performance approaches to teaching Shakespeare’ has occurred, many practical questions still remain. At the heart of these practical dilemmas, we argue, is a conflicted response to the significance of our diverse student populations. According to theories for performance-based pedagogy, the student’s body plays a central role in his or her kinaesthetic processes and syntheses. Nonetheless, the current theories, methodologies, and practices of performance-based pedagogy sacrifice discussions of the student’s race, gender, ability, and sexuality in order to espouse a universalist rhetoric. While the rhetoric about the value of diversity is readily espoused, the practical implications for the ways to embody diversity in Shakespearean performance are avoided. In this essay, we discuss guidelines for intentional, explicit, and safe explorations of difference.

Keywords: teaching, performance-based pedagogy, kinaesthetic learning, race, diversity

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