Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Posts Categorized: Shakespeares-plays/the-merchant-of-venice

Thirteen Reasons Why Not: Shakespeare, Netflix, and a Teachable Moment

As a participant in the four-week Teaching Shakespeare Institute 2016, I undertook academic research that took me deep into Shakespeare’s language and the Reading Rooms of the Folger. I was intrigued by the role marriage played in two of the plays we studied, Othello and The Merchant of Venice—especially the manner in which particular women… Continue Reading »


How 25 Teachers Spent Their Summer at the Folger

For four weeks this summer, 25 teachers from 22 states and the District of Columbia participated in the Teaching Shakespeare Institute, a deep dive into scholarship, performance, and classroom practice supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (and running here at the Folger since 1984). Institute participants worked with scholars, theatre professionals, mentor teachers,… Continue Reading »


What’s it like to be an intern in the Teaching Shakespeare Institute?

This summer we’re lucky to have three terrific interns at Folger Education: Shanta, a student at Trinity Washington University; Henry, a student at the Hotchkiss School; and Emma, a student at Swarthmore College. What a team! They’re hard at work as we wrap up the Teaching Shakespeare Institute 2016, our month-long flagship program for teachers,… Continue Reading »


Recognizing Shylock’s Humanity in The Merchant of Venice

“I don’t have to condone it to understand it. The pain that people feel is real.”   While most watched DeRay McKesson, Baltimore native and #blacklivesmatter activist, deliver these words in April 2015 (describing the unrest that occurred shortly after Freddie Gray’s funeral through the screens of their television), my students and I watched it… Continue Reading »


Apply to the Teaching Shakespeare Institute 2016!

  ***Our blog will be on hiatus until January 7, 2016. Please check back then for a new post!*** Teaching Shakespeare 2016 is open for business!  Consider applying and/or urge your wonderful, energetic, intellectually hungry and curious colleagues to apply.  A full, full month–June 26th through July 23rd–with a rock star faculty and 24 teaching colleagues.  What… Continue Reading »


Getting Out of the Way

The week of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Summer Academy challenged, inspired, and intellectually filled me; it was exciting to be surrounded by people who light up at the sound of iambic pentameter and are thrilled to talk about Shakespeare twelve hours a day and then some. I returned home brimming with new ideas, and I… Continue Reading »



Teaching Romeo and Juliet with Technology: Part One

By Folger Education In July 2014, 25 teachers from all over the country gathered at the Folger for an intensive month-long study of Shakespeare sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities: the Teaching Shakespeare Institute. Working through the lenses of scholarship, performance, and pedagogy, participants completed three major projects: 1) a research paper using… Continue Reading »