Unlearning Shakespeare symposium

Posted March 22nd, 2012 by Sylvia Morris and filed in Events

A symposium on the theme of Unlearning Shakespeare, is to take place at Oxford Brookes University on 28 June. Please see below for full information.  

Harcourt Hill Campus, Oxford Brookes University

Thursday 28 June 2012


Symposium Description and Call for Papers & Attendees

An intensive one-day symposium to explore how creative teaching and learning fits with (or doesn’t fit with) formal learning structures at school and university. The focus of the symposium is on the relationship between institutional structures of thought and practice in learning and the positive turbulence or system stresses caused by injection of or experimentation with innovative approaches. Participants will include academics and teachers as well as anyone with an interest in how creativity functions in respect to institutional learning. The conveners are based at Oxford Brookes University and the University of Sydney and so the symposium will include UK and Australian dimensions.


‘Institutional structures of thought and practice’ include such things as: curriculum, syllabus and rationale; discipline or degree scope, skills and content; learning stages, areas, milestones and pathways; practices and physical spaces of teaching and learning; forms and genres of student demonstration of learning; examination and assessment regimes, bands, standards and guidelines of achievement; inherited, tacit, expected and conventional habits of thought and practice; and desired, projected and created graduate attributes.


‘Innovative approaches’ indicates novel ways of teaching and learning within or against institutional structures that may cause a reappraisal, critique or transformation of those structures.


Unlearning Shakespeare explores, via a focus on Shakespeare pedagogy at school and university, what teaching and learning actually are, where practicality meets imagined ideals, and what might be changed or best left alone. It considers the nexus between system and asystem, between formula and creativity, between educator and student, and between Shakespeare and the study of Shakespeare. The symposium welcomes theoretical and policy papers as well as reflections on practical experience. 


The format will be a dual stream of short papers clustered by topic area and with discussion times following. We also invite proposals for workshop sessions.


Registration and Submission of Abstracts

Registration is by emailing the following information to the conveners by 30 March 2012:

  • Your name, affiliation and contact details including email address,
  • Your intention to attend without presenting a paper, OR,
  • Your intention to attend and present a 15-minute paper (please supply a paper title and abstract of between 50-100 words).

The symposium is free (no charge). Delegates will be able to make use of the on-campus refectory during breaks and lunch.  Details of accommodation options available on request.


Contact the Conveners

Jane Coles, School of Education, Oxford Brookes University. j.coles@brookes.ac.uk

Liam Semler, Department English, University of Sydney. liam.semler@sydney.edu.au




One Response to “Unlearning Shakespeare symposium”

  1. Carol Kelly says:

    Please could you tell me whether it is still possible to register for this symposium? I would be attending on behalf of the Folger Shakespeare Library,Washington DC without a paper.I only recently found out about this event and would be very interested in attending but would not be able to attend until the afternoon.(I arrive in UK that morning). Please advise.
    Thank you

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